How to start planning for your digital migration
STEP 1: Evaluate your current environment
You’re already using a lot of digital tools. Accounting, payroll, scheduling, marketing… and any number of other departments have multiple tools working independently of one another. Make a list of your existing toolset. Make a copy of it and use it to keep
an inventory of your tech stack. You may have to reach out to various department heads to collect these details. Here’s what you want to find out for every digital tools you currently use:
Name of app
Departments using it
Current role in business process
Total number of users
Objects (Contacts? Transactions?)
Metrics (How is usage measured?)
Integrations with other apps?
Total annual cost
This might seem like a lot of busywork but it will pay dividends. To complete the process of evaluating your existing circumstances you have to face one of the biggest questions in this entire process — What is your budget for a digital transformation? The next step in your process will be to involve a lot of stakeholders within your organisation. Make the best use of their time by first getting a realistic sense of the scope of what you’re embarking on.
Sit down with the CFO or controller and start having that conversation. What are their ideals? What are the actual resources you have access to? This means cash, people, and time. Your shared goal is to make a wise investment that will increase the impact of your organisation. What is the target impact that you want to achieve? Begin with that shared understanding and use it as the basis for the remainder of this process. As you go, you may find that some of those existing software tools become redundant. Their business
functions and budget allocation can be absorbed into this project. As you continue to make your case for becoming a digital-first organization, your CFO might end up being your best ally
IMPORTANT NOTE ABOUT DATA: Make sure that part of your tech review you consider where your existing training data lives and how it will be handled. For example, if you’re transferring a large dataset to a new platform, will you be using SCORM or xAPI? If this question went over your head, talk to your engineering team or IT department, or better still, reach out to us and we can explain. This is only an issue if you have existing eLearning courses that you want to recreate on a new platform.
STEP 2: Perform a needs analysis
Now that you have a handle on your current position, it’s time to look forward to where you want to go. This means involving more team members. In fact, our advice is to form an internal change management team. Make it fun and call yourselves a task force. Even if a tech product says it’s plug and-play, it’s going to require internal resources (your best people) to help you implement it. Start now and not only get their buy-in, but have them help you determine your organisation’s specific needs. The CEO is not a required member of this team, but they certainly could be. This change management team should be operating with permission from your organisation’s leadership. The last bullet is Operations lead or Executive Sponsor. They’re the one who’s department is responsible for this transition. That might be the CEO, COO — they might even be you. The rest of the squad does not need to be top leadership, but they should be empowered by their departments to help you determine some key considerations:
- What is the budget for this project? (You’ve determined that already — look at you go!)
- What is your ideal list of functions for a digital tool? (Ask all task force members)
- Make a complete wishlist and think about the specifics like speed, simplicity, mobility, and security.
- Which specific people in the company will be required to support this project?
- How many team members will be active users?
- What permissions or job functions will they have?
- When do you need to launch this project?
Step 3: Go comparison shopping
Now that you have a list of needs and an engaged committee of stakeholders, you can use those to match your needs with specific solutions. Refer back to your needs analysis and cross-reference them with the features of the products and solutions you’re reviewing. Now is not the time for scruples — be honest, even about what you don’t like. It will help you gain speed in the vetting process if you know what’s important and what isn’t. It also helps to be able to determine a platform’s strengths and weaknesses. To help you ruthlessly conduct your due diligence, here are few things to know about eLearning platforms.
- Supports different types of learning content – The ability to offer different ways to learn your training material, such as audio, quizzes, video and gamification, is one of the biggest advantages of online learning.
- Fully integrated eCommerce Functionality – You may want to be able to charge for some of your learning, Display all your courses within an online catalog that’s easy for your users to digest.
- A strong web presence and marketing tools – Driving engagement takes more than simple the ability to access your eLearning platform
- Offers reporting and analytics – To keep iterating your virtual learning programs andassessing your trainees’ satisfaction, you need to be able to see how users performed and interacted with them! Make sure your platform offers in-depth, customizable analytics and reporting.
- Intuitive, user-friendly interface – The learning curve with new tech is already steep enough — don’t make your learners’ lives any harder by choosing a platform with a confusing or outdated interface! You want it to work and you want to be easy to use. Check and check.
- Device-responsive design – Learners will be expecting to be able to access your content from their preferred devices, everything from a smartphone to tablet to a desktop computer. A responsive platform makes sure your programs look great no matter how your trainees are viewing them. If the tool you’re evaluating doesn’t have this, run. We mean it. It’s 2021, everybody.
- Social and collaborative learning support – Online learning doesn’t happen in a vacuum — in fact, that’s a recipe for checked-out learners, poor engagement, and terrible knowledge retention. Make sure your LMS platform offers ways for learners to interact with each other as well as with their instructors, like video conferencing, chat functions, and social media integration.
- Great user support – You don’t realize how important support is until you really need it. Choose a platform with good customer service so your team isn’t left high and dry if you run into technical issues.
Adapted from Lambda Guide to Selecting an eLearning Platform