All posts by Rahul Satasiya

Gyrus Systems Earns “Top 5” Award for “Best Compliance LMS” by Talented Learning

Richmond, VA,  December 8, 2016,  Gyrus Systems, a leader in the Learning Management Systems (LMS) industry, proudly announced that Talented Learning named the GyrusAim® Learning Management System as a "Top 5" Finisher in the "Best Compliance LMS" category. 

 

 

Talented Learning is a news, research and consulting organization dedicated to the advancement of all aspects of extended enterprise learning technology solutions.  Gyrus Systems' earned this award by developing GyrusAim features that "are admin focused and have skills, competencies, audit trails, electronic signatures, strong ILT management, facility and resource management, broad content support and powerhouse reporting."  

“It’s a great honor to be recognized again by Talented Learning in providing innovative learning solutions for our customers,” said Viren Kapadia, President and CEO of Gyrus Systems. “We are always focusing on market needs, client success and product leadership."

This award means that Gyrus Systems' customers continue to enjoy the ever-expanding enterprise-level compliance features included in GyrusAim, ranging from the deep feature-set of Instructor-Led Training to Certifications, gamification and more.  Thanks to all of our customers that have provided feature input in 2016, your comments and suggestions continue to make GyrusAim a great LMS!

Making your Implementation Execution as Successful as Hamilton: An American Musical

Making your Implementation Execution as Successful as Hamilton: An American Musical

Making your Implementation Execution as Successful as Hamilton: An American Musical

Blog #2 Customer Service Excellence during Implementation

In my last article I shared how providing good customer service should never be your goal. Instead, a company should focus on fostering a culture of excellence. Excellent customer service flows naturally from a corporate commitment to excellence in all areas. Over the course of the next few blogs I am going to talk about how excellence shines through in varies customer service settings.

Let’s start at the beginning of a customer service relationship, with Implementation.

Implementation is a lot like staging the Broadway musical Hamilton. There is the cast, the crew, the audience, the musicians- people by the hundreds, not to mention all the costumes, props and stage sets. Everyone and everything must work together to transform these many moving parts into a seamless performance. The keys to a flawless implementation are the same as the keys to successfully staging a Broadway hit: commitment and communication.

Commitment Essentials: You will want to secure

  1. Corporate Commitments
  2. Team Commitments
  3. Individual Commitments

It’s all about being all-in.

Lin-Manuel Miranda spent several years writing the script and lyrics for his Tony award winning production Hamilton. He was all-in. His cast is all-in. His crew is all-in. Even a great play will fall flat if everyone involved in its production is not all-in. When one company decides it can best achieve its goals through the implementation of the product of another company’s you have corporate commitment. That commitment must filter down to the implementation teams.

Teams need clear goals and to be held accountable for meeting those goals. On the set of Hamilton the lighting team and the costume team both understand how they contribute to the overall success of the production. They understand the vision of the writer, director and producer. In the same way, each team in an implementation must understand their own role and how that role fits in with the overall plan. Just as the show can’t go on if any one of the teams decide to sit the night out, the implementation can fall apart if each team isn’t completely committed to propelling the project forward by fulfilling their role.

The same is even truer for the individuals, whether they are the actors and musicians or the technicians and trainers. Each individual must be committed to fulfilling their role with excellence. They must know their lines or roles thoroughly and they must understand how their actions impact the project as a whole. Committed individuals join together to form committed teams that advance the vision of their leader, whether their leader is Lin-Manuel Miranda or a CEO.

When everyone is fully committed, or “all-in,” you can work on the other key to success, communication, to keep everyone “all-together.”

Communication Essentials: You will want to decide

  1. Who to Communicate With
  2. How to Structure Your Communication
  3. How to Track the Process through Communication

It’s all about keeping everyone on “all-together.”

The bigger the project, whether a hit Broadway show like Hamilton, with more than 200 people involved, or a complex implementation, the more critical excellence in communication is. Be sure everyone who needs to be in the loop is- and no one who should not or need not be- is kept out of the loop. Who you don’t talk to is as critical as who you do talk to. If you want to ensure that your emails are actually opened and read by the recipients, keep your communications as short and direct as possible. There is a fine line between giving enough information and overloading people with details, so remember who you are communicating with and what their “need to know” level is. The information you share with the ERP tech team will be more detailed and very different from the information you will need to share with the HR training team. Be sure to establish early on who will be included on the various communication threads.

During the show, Hamilton’s sets and props glide on and off stage with seeming ease because their route has been carefully structured. In an implementation you can improve the flow of information by using a similar structure for each email in each communication thread. Don’t let your readers get lost in the abundance of words in a long email. When you have a great deal of information to share, bullet points are your friend. The exercise of structuring your details into bullet points will also help you to distill your thoughts into salient points of action. Your goal is to be complete without being complicated. And remember, communication is a two-way street. Reply to every email you receive, even if it is only to say, “I got it!”

Stage managers keep everyone on track during a show. They are the behind the scenes organizers who make everything that happens on stage look seamless. Your implementation can also benefit from having a “stage manager” or point person for both the service provider and the client. These are the people who will coordinate all communication to ensure that every step of the way is coordinated, planned, tracked and documented. These are the people who will hold everyone accountable.

Whether staging a Broadway smash like Hamilton or coordinating a corporate implementation, you need to get everyone all-in and all-together. To foster that, you will need to communicate clearly and appropriately to the right people. Once you have selected your point people, defined your communication threads and structured your communication plan with a team that is all-in, you have set the stage for a successful implementation.

Election Day – Using Social Media Campaign Methods to Enhance Learning Programs

Election Day – Using Social Media Campaign Methods to Enhance Learning Programs

Election Day – Using Social Media Campaign Methods to Enhance Learning Programs

Many of you, much like myself are incredibly tired of the election build-up. I have heard countless friends’ and strangers’ state that they cannot wait for November 8th, just because we can finally be free of these intrusive campaign approaches. Well, I’m here to tell you, it’s finally time. No more build-up, today is the day (If you haven’t done so already, be sure to get out there and rock the vote). That being said, a lot of the initiatives utilized to motivate voters, also have merit in the learning realm. Specifically, a lot of research goes into calibrating a well-oiled campaign. Both sides know that there is a threshold of what they can provide to their prospective voters without disengaging them, as well as a wide variety of approaches in which their potential voters can be reached.

As learning professionals, the election is a large tutorial on how to motivate learners to undergo organizational learning at a reasonable pace. Instead of ensuring the success of a country, our focus is strictly on programs and the utilization of proven techniques. Advertisements may not be the best way to remind your organization of due-dates (Although, they could work to some extent). However, a few of the other methods utilized which are a little less intrusive could work wonders for your program. In order to provide a thorough campaign platform, I’ve opted into solely discussing innovative approaches parties are taking in the realm of social media.

Reminders

Normally, the eighth day of a month would come and go without much thought. But people from all over the US have had this date circled on their calendar for years. This may be the first day of the year that some of your friends who are really bad at acknowledging dates actually know what the date is. Granted the external drive for knowing this date may exceed that of the social media efforts utilized to inform of when people should show up. But the reminders definitely help. The same rings true for your learning program, whether it be within private social groups on LinkedIn or even a company’s Intranet, constant and persistent engaging reminders can make the difference between a low engagement of a learning object, and fully taking advantage of the learning itself.    

Engaging Communications

Reminders are not the only way in which to inform learners about what is going on within your program. Use learnings as a stepping stone and initialize discussion based on learning topics via private social media channels (Protected Groups). This will not only further facilitate learner engagement but also bring attention to learning efforts. This has been effectively utilized in the presidential campaigns in a public forum by instilling a FOMO (Fear of Missing Out). FOMO is a powerful tool for learning engagement as it allows program organizers the ability to project a needs based urgency to learners organization-wide.  

Badging

Perhaps the simplest form of badging exists in the voting world. A small sticker emblazoned with “I Voted Today”, or another similar moniker adorns users across a wide variety of social media today. Additional badging efforts have been included in campaigns from an early go this election period. “I’m with her” and “Make America Great Again” social media badges have been highly visible and effective marketing efforts for both candidates. Similar efforts can also work for your learners. Badging is a wide-ranging field that can be specifically addressed within learning or merely within the functioning of the LMS itself. Imagine your learners displaying proud badges of time spent within their learning environment, and what effect that may have directly on their co-workers. Badges are powerful and highly adaptive tools that can lead to the additional motivation of users within a system.  

Conclusion

This campaign season has been a wealth of knowledge in terms of utilization of unconventional voter commitment methodologies. Some of these methods are very significant from a social media standpoint. These are highlighted above as reminders, engagement strategies, and badging. When considering expanding the reach and capabilities of your learning program, do not neglect these capabilities. Beyond these initiatives, the most important takeaway is: Make sure you vote! (If you haven’t done so already). As always, thank you for joining us here at the Gyrus Blog, be sure to subscribe at the top right-hand corner of this page (Bottom if you are viewing this via a mobile platform), in order to get this fresh content distributed directly to your email inbox as it is posted. As well as follow us on social media for new content, product news, and interaction directly from Gyrus.

Baseball and your Learning Organization

Baseball and your Learning Organization

Baseball and your Learning Organization

As an admitted Cleveland Indians fan and gracious World Series loser, I thought long and hard about how I could somehow link America’s Pastime to this unique blog. I could talk about learning techniques utilized in the past seven games and why players were less intimidated by pitches they encountered the second and third time around, or possibly what a combined 176 years of waiting can teach us in preparing for the future. However, the outcome I chose to focus on was staring me in the face this entire time. The modern game has migrated into something that is completely different from its predecessor, in the early 2000s The Oakland A’s set out to do something incredible, they perfected “Moneyball”, the practice of using a wide variety of statistics-driven analysis in order to determine an optimal and most cost effective lineup in order to take their team deep into the postseason. This practice and the particular application has changed the way small market teams compete in the major leagues and thus has made this recent postseason a possibility for my preferred team.

So you may be asking yourself where is the linkage to learning programs? Statistics are not just limited to the baseball field. Though it may not be the most attractive trend in the learning industry, there is something to be said about the wealth of information that is available to Learning Professionals across the board. In the age of post “Moneyball,” everyone is looking to leverage their data and do something uniquely beneficial for their organization, regardless of industry. If a learning program can figure out the ideal mix prior to anyone else in an industry, there is a very real chance that an organization can become a dominant player on the market, or at least improve their positioning.

The Importance of Reports

Reasonably, one of the strongest value offerings for a Learning Management System (LMS) is its reporting capabilities. The possibilities of this capability are virtually endless. When most people think about reporting in the Learning Industry, they think about ROI justification. However, there is so much more out there. Instead of just implementing learning for the sake of having some sort of platform in which to train individuals in the workforce, we can now scrutinize the learning that is being distributed, how effective it is as a whole, and address the individual needs of learners within our systems. We can also paint a picture with this immense wealth of data by determining manners to address company sales, safety within the workplace, external communications, and any other potential learning facet within a program.

Measuring Learning

Statistics are powerful. In the modern learning construct the following information is now available to you; at a glance knowledge of who has underwent a learning exercise, personnel who have neglected to take required courses, performance in the required courses (in order to address the requirement for additional learning), gap analysis on what learners need to accomplish in order to become an even greater resource, and theoretically any other statistical aid that may help you make informed decisions on behalf of your organization. We are living in the golden age of reporting, where statistics are feeling less like math and more like real world functionalities that are understandable and accessible. When establishing a veritable competitive dynasty for your organization calculate the grand scope of what you hope to obtain from your data. Establish the most important knowledge to obtain for improving your personnel and workforce as a whole and determine how those metrics would look, then implement them directly in your program.

Data and Data Quality Disclaimer

With all the wonders of reporting and analytics available to us, it is important not to get too involved with your statistics until you have verified the quality of your information. Replicate accounts, inactive users, junk accounts, and misconfigured users can skew reporting functionality. Prior to enacting these groundbreaking research practices into your organization. Be sure to perform the due diligence of data governance. This should be addressed early on in the implementation process.   

Conclusion

Despite the loss, I would like to wish the Chicago Cubs and all of their fans a large congratulations. It has truly been an amazing season, postseason, and series. After 108 years of waiting, you truly deserve such an outcome. As per the reporting and analytics portion of this blog, learning and development programs everywhere are benefitting from the addition of better reporting practices. Beyond Return on Investment figures, professionals everywhere can evaluate the true reach and effectiveness of their learning programs. Be sure to take a look at your learning program to establish if you are taking advantage of the full range and wealth of quality data, immediately at your fingertips. As always, thank you for joining us here at the Gyrus Blog, be sure to subscribe at the top right-hand corner of this page (Bottom if you are viewing this via a mobile platform), in order to get this fresh content distributed directly to your email inbox as it is posted. As well as follow us on social media for new content, product news, and interaction directly from Gyrus.

Aligning Learning Needs with Business Process

Aligning Learning Needs with Business Process

Aligning Learning Needs with Business Process

It appears that the work of a learning professional is never done. In order to establish an effective learning program, there must be a great consideration for the future needs of the day to day business, and the workforce themselves. One cannot simply establish a program and walk away stating that it is as perfect as it will always be and there is nothing more we can do as an organization. Learning is a fairly nebulous industry. The opportunities to improve upon our past successes are abundant in every turn. Whether it be addressing the blended learning mix we provide, the content we promote directly, or the style in which our learners process information; there are countless decisions that we can make, and the answer that we provide today, may not be what is most effective weeks from now.

How to safeguard your users’ learning experience

First things first, establish a platform that you are confident will grow along with your organization. Learning Management Systems (LMSs) are the foundation of the learning process. Picking the one that not only suits the need of your organization today but has a clear roadmap for innovation and product enhancements along your entire user experience, can go a long way in maximizing the return on your immense learning program formation efforts. When exploring a potential LMS, be sure to take into consideration features that are soon to be available, as they may give a precise picture of learning initiatives that can be included to propagate the reach of the organizational learning.

Learning Approach

The 70:20:10 rule, suggests that learning should be delivered in a manner that is 70% knowledge acquired from job-related experiences, 20% from social interactions, and 10% from formal educational objects. This mix is widely accepted as an industry standard and practiced across a huge assortment of learning segments. That being said, part of ensuring the longevity and reach of a learning program is performing the due diligence on where the field is going. Meaning, keep your ear to the ground and look out for any outlying theories that may contradict this ideal mix, and be aware that with all the new forms of learning that are quickly enhancing the marketplace, there is a very real chance that this model may need to be tweaked, to also represent unaccounted for learning objects. The Greek Philosopher, Heraclitus, was recorded multiple times for saying “Change is the only constant in life.” In the learning world, perhaps more now than ever, this position has never ringed truer.

Effectiveness of Content

Measuring the effectiveness of current offerings is vital in any learning environment. The content you are providing right now could be incredible, and your staff could be entirely enamored with the wide range of capabilities your learning and development department has focused. Or, possibly and most likely, the employees within your organization could potentially be providing hints and messages on the need for new courses, all of which may not be falling onto the appropriate and capable ears of the capable system administrator. Instead, the learning department, in general, could possibly be struggling with a lack of knowledge growth. Organizations are most effective when they grow organically, with this growth, comes a new wealth of knowledge, which can make for a timely addition to the learning mix.

Learning Aids or additional learning processes

The learning world is changing. It used to be that in order to obtain compliance training, employees would have to undergo grueling round table instructor-led training (ILT). However, today that is no longer the case. Outside of E-Learnings as a newer platform to maximize user buy-in, a variety of efforts are starting to be included into a well-blended mix, such as Social Learning, Gamification, and Micro Learning exercise. The collaborative appeal of social learning offers a new way to improve user intrigue by allowing for the convention of an additional system user, providing both expertise and a unique perspective towards a variety of experiences a user can encounter within a learning program. For gamification, the users which you have been addressing with traditional learning exercises can now be provided a new outlet, which may serve to reinvigorate users, as well create the value proposition of self-motivated individuals to perform within the program itself. Thirdly, microlearning can be utilized to extend the reach of the previously established learnings. Instead of getting stuck on a certain aspect of a course. You can now provide an overview of specific hard to understand content, in order to ensure the awareness of all aspects of a process, across the scope of the organization.

Conclusion

The future may seem entirely uncertain, but one thing is definite; preparing your learning department for industry advancements while keeping your eyes open for future state innovations can be the difference between a fledgling program and one that turns a business into a finely tuned and oiled machine. In order to properly prepare system administrators we recommend the following: establish an environment that will not only grow with you but also offers all the functionality your organization currently needs to produce the best possible learning for its staff. Then, lend specific focus towards the delivery method employed (how formal is the learning mix? What portion of it feels as if it is being directly pulled from the staff members themselves?) Rely on reporting and measurement to continuously evaluate the content that is being delivered. Pay close attention to content that is being perceived as less and less effective, as these often indicate areas with the largest potential for growth. Finally, do not be afraid of employing the utilization of new elements within your learning environment. Though it may seem that a lot can be achieved just through a classroom session and/or an E-Learning, there is still the possibility of expanding the reach of the provided learning. As always, thank you for joining us here at the Gyrus Blog, be sure to subscribe at the top right-hand corner of this page (Bottom if you are viewing this via a mobile platform), in order to get this fresh content distributed directly to your email inbox as it is posted. As well as follow us on social media for new content, product news, and interaction directly from Gyrus.

References

Who said "the only thing constant is change"? (n.d.). Retrieved November 01, 2016, from https://www.reference.com/world-view/said-only-thing-constant-change-d50c0532e714e12b

Mad Skills – The Skill-Centric Approach

Mad Skills – The Skill-Centric Approach

Mad Skills – The Skill-Centric Approach

In the marketplace, you will find that there is a wide variety of people who are fulfilling the same role; however, at the end of the day, not everyone is capable of the same outcome. At least, not now, in their current point of training. In a skill-centric program, Organizations can identify traits and aspects of successful members of their current competencies and roles, and address the precise capabilities that need to be established to excel within those positions. The same organizations can weigh deficiencies exhibited by members in those roles, in order to create a more efficient workplace. Once these needs are identified, then, training can be developed that specifically suits the needs of the positions within a particular organization.

What do we mean when we say skill?

Skill is a fairly loose term within the Learning and Development community. A skill is defined according to Merriam-Webster as, “The ability to do something that comes from training, experience, or practice.” Our goal is not just to implement training for the sake of following an industrywide standard. Instead, the ultimate goal is to provide system users with the capability to obtain real-life practical and applicable knowledge that will not only aid in their immediate development: helping themselves and their organizations. But also to provide a repeatable, efficient, and amicable process, to be used across the entirety of an organization.

What is a skill-centric design?

A skill-centric design allows for a hierarchal overview of the entire learning process, with the end goal of creating learning objects that are not only practical but completely vital to members within the organization. Skill-centric design embeds the core competencies of an organization as the immediate end goal for users within the system, then allows granular control as to who obtains these skills and when. The process of formulating learnings primarily for the development of skills can address positional shortcomings and extend the reach of organizational learnings.

How do organizations benefit from utilizing skills?

By coordinating the users that receive skill-level training, organizations as a whole can be much more certain about the capabilities of their employees. This can create an environment in which skills are provided as needed to individuals within operations. As well as allow for the ability to develop reports to identify skill deficiencies and gaps of members of the catered workforce in order to further progress learners. A skill oriented firm can address work areas progressively and are often not victims to a reactive mentality the influences users away from their core responsibilities at inappropriate times. Organizations should take charge of their required skills, and task their Human Resource departments with performing the exercise of establishing current and future needs, obtaining the insights of leadership team members as to what exactly they need, and possibly consulting with a third party operation to determine effective areas which could become a boon to growth. With this inflow of skill information, organizations are awarded the ability to identify different roles and their functions, what needs to be done to make them better, and perhaps procedural components that are lacking within the current state of the organization. Human Resource professionals can now take this information and develop a roadmap for employees, and building actionable development plans with skill focus as the core offering.  

Conclusion

Skills are an essential component of the learning and development world. By utilizing a skill-centric design, organizations can fully recognize the potential of their individuals, prepare said individuals for more advanced positions, as well as lessen the impact of training requirements on new hires. When searching for an LMS, be sure to take into account the manner of which it is organized, as a skill-centric design may be just what your organization needs to establish a more effective learning program. As always, thank you for joining us here at the Gyrus Blog, be sure to subscribe at the top right-hand corner of this page (Bottom if you are viewing this via a mobile platform), in order to get this fresh content distributed directly to your email inbox as it is posted. As well as follow us on social media for new content, product news, and interaction directly from Gyrus.

References

Skill Definition. (n.d.). Retrieved October 27, 2016, from http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/skill

The Ultimate Benefit of Learning Management Systems

The Ultimate Benefit of Learning Management Systems

The Ultimate Benefit of Learning Management Systems

The Benefits of a Learning Management System (LMS) are quite wide and can contain everything from basic functionality to cool recently implemented features. For the sake of this post, I will evaluate the barebones of the LMS and relay the immediate finding of what these systems are not only capable of but what they will eventually do for your organization.

One Stop Location

LMS are not only for E-learning activities! When establishing an appropriate blended learning strategy and increasing departmental efficiency, the LMS should be the first place you look. Learning Management Systems have the unique ability to act as an actionable content repository, in which you can assign learning object status to a wide arrangement of file types, host Instructor-led Training (ILT) offerings, and quickly reference all the available learnings accessible to your organization. Then quiz, test, and survey about any type of learning a user may encounter within the system. By aligning all of this functionality into one place an LMS is truly a powerful offering for any organization. Ultimately reducing time spent in content production by avoidance of unnecessary redundancy, and through the accessibility of vastly approachable materials.  

Ease of Access

A properly configured LMS can be reached from anywhere in the world, allowing for a large commitment in utilization. Modern day LMS, also often fully support Mobile functionalities, allowing the user to select their preferred platform when accessing their learnings. The LMS has made it so that learning is no longer confined to computer labs within organizations. People can get up to date with their processes directly from their desk, on the road at a trade show or while on a sales trip, or remotely from radio offices and branches users; regardless of scenario users can now obtain and action upon their learnings. All that is required is a device, a browser, sign-on credentials and a domain.

Analytics and Reporting

New and more innovative reporting capabilities are constantly evolving within the marketplace due to industry perceived best practices. An LMS gives you the capability to monitor and evaluate all of the actions conducted within the system, who has undergone what training? Who needs additional learning? What learning plan can be assigned to close an overall gap within roles within particular organizations? These are all questions that can be answered clearly, concisely, and immediately within an LMS platform. This takes the guesswork out of learning efficiency within an organization and places the knowledge required in order to promote a strong learning program directly in the hands of program administrators and trainers directly.

Platform for Change

An LMS is a virtual playground for learning and development personnel. I say this with respect to the marketplace in itself and how LMS are shaped in the anticipation of supporting future market trends. A modern day LMS needs to have the foresight to accommodate innovative new features such as gamification (in all of its potential forms), social learning, and file types as they become more and more regulated going forward. With this in mind, most changes within a learning environment originate directly at the LMS level and will continue to occur here as it is the most flexible component of the learning mix.

Conclusion

There are many benefits of Learning Management Systems, these listed, are core components of a standard LMSs functionality. By evaluating what a system is capable of doing for us at its most basic level, we can begin to assess additional functionalities beyond the core. Join us as we further consider these additional benefits week in and week out here at the Gyrus Blog. As always, thank you for joining us here at the Gyrus Blog, be sure to subscribe at the top right-hand corner of this page (Bottom if you are viewing this via a mobile platform), in order to get this fresh content distributed directly to your email inbox as it is posted.

The Power of Free Learnings – Non-SCORM Content

The Power of Free Learnings – Non-SCORM Content

The Power of Free Learnings – Non-SCORM Content

In the modern world, we have access to a wide-variety of free content. There are devoted websites that provide free E-Learnings and there is even a virtual Galaxy full of compliance offerings and operational tutorials on video hosting sites such as YouTube. When evaluating your learning program, are you making the most of what is available to you? Here is a quick guideline in evaluating the free content available to you, and how to augment your learning program with what you find.

Evaluate Current Content

Specifically, in the realm of business application learnings, there are finite methodologies for succeeding within a particular role. Many organizations provide custom learnings for these areas, as the practical nature of the process may be completely outside the scope of real life. Videos found on YouTube provide an alternative perspective. What may work for your business, may not register the greatest buy-in from your workforce. When looking through your current course offerings, consider whether or not there is enough of a human element in the offering, and how additional context could bolster the idea in the minds of your users. Also, look for items that may not be present. For example, if you are offering a software tutorial in your current learning mix, seek out specific features which may extend the functionality of the application which you are teaching on. It is hard to know what may most benefit your users, but giving them a full scope of ideas could be just what the doctor ordered in consideration of what could potentially best impact the organization in question. Establish a training team on these topics and talk about what your instructors may wish to see in the learning that is not currently there, and develop a complete list of requirements in order to make to learnings as well rounded as possible for the end users within your system. Develop a mapping that shows where the content holes are, and use this as a form of reference going forward.

Evaluating the Free Content

Not all free content is created equally. As such, this step is absolutely vital to ensuring proper utilization of free content within your learning platform. In order to evaluate the free learnings, perform simple web searches to look for materials that may fill these identified gaps, and begin building a list. Create a periodical email campaign internally with your learning team to establish the validity of some of the URLs which you have collected. Then, establish a meeting to follow-up on these items and collect input as to why the learnings you have found either work or come up short in the scheme of what your organization most values. This process will further shape your requirements, and push your search for suitable free content. Along the way, be sure not to neglect the ratings of the content which you are evaluating, a quick glance of the number of likes and dislikes on an embedded video could be all you need to disqualify a video prior to even viewing it for further content validity.

Patch Holes in Educational Provisions

Once you and your learning design team have evaluated your current offerings and the free online web provisions, it is time to start patching the holes which you have found. Match the criteria which you have established in the evaluation of your current content with the vetted available learnings encountered in the previous step of evaluating the free content. Utilizing the free learnings, start filling in the blanks of the mapping document you and your design team created within the step of evaluating your current content offerings.  

How to Implement New Content

Flag courses within your Learning Management System (LMS) in which these new Learning Objects may apply, and determine the best methodology for grading these new learnings. Whether it be via a simple verification of a one-time viewing, or a more elaborate methodology such as the creation of a supplemental testing object to verify user comprehension. This process will further the reach of the new content in the system, as well as the previously established courses in which these are in reference towards.

Conclusion  

There is an incredible library of learnings, completely free, available on whatever platform you are reading this blog on. Follow the steps of evaluating your current content, the content you would wish to add, filling the holes in your existing offerings, in order to implement a complete educational mix, which best suits the needs of your workforce. Doing this will ensure the best possible environment for your personnel and establish a deeper understanding of possible functionalities that could be going neglected within your organization’s current offerings. As always, thank you for joining us here at the Gyrus Blog, be sure to subscribe at the top right-hand corner of this page (Bottom if you are viewing this via a mobile platform), in order to get this fresh content distributed directly to your email inbox as it is posted.

Training Manager Frustrations: The Customer Service Solution

Training Manager Frustrations: The Customer Service Solution

Training Manager Frustrations: The Customer Service Solution

A post written by Debbie Weltmer

Everyone wants to receive good customer service and every company would like to think they offer acceptable to great customer service. Yet we all have horror stories of disappointing service we’ve experienced. Online rants and YouTube videos of abysmal service are shared with ghoulish delight and a company’s reputation can take a nose dive as a result of one bad service encounter being uploaded to the web, tweeted, or shared via alternative social media posts or reposts. It’s every service manager’s worst nightmare. 

And yet good customer service should never be a company’s goal.

A goal is something that is imposed by leadership but a truly awesome customer experience is the natural result of a corporate-wide culture of excellence. If a company values excellence in every area, excellent customer service will be the natural result. And if excellence is unknown within a company, all the goals, memos, campaigns and ads extolling a company’s commitment to providing wonderful customer service will fall on deaf ears. There will be no long-term improvement in customer service because you can’t change employees’ attitudes through a memo or ad campaign.

Customer service excellence isn’t related to the type of business you are in or even who your typical employee is. The Wall Street Journal’s 2015 Customer Service Hall of Fame boasts such diverse industries as supermarkets, tech companies, package delivery services and even a fast food chain. Chick-fil-a, with its largely under-21 workforce, ranked just above Apple, with its highly educated tech workforce, so obviously, age and education are unrelated to superior customer service. Then what do Chick-fil-a and Apple have in common? What do they have in common with Marriot, UPS and Trader Joe’s, who also appeared in the WSJ Customer Service Hall of Fame? Each of these companies shares one prominent trait: a commitment to excellence that permeates the entire company.

Awesome customer service flows from the culture of each of these companies. It flows from the top down. It does not begin at the customer service manager’s level. It is not forced down to the customer service team as a memo or mandate. Culture trumps a “new initiative” every time; the act of peer pressure, whether for good or evil, reinforces a company’s values. We reflect in our attitudes and actions the values our leadership projects. A company’s culture is made visible by every decision leadership makes, and that culture is reflected in the small decisions, made day in and day out, by each employee, at every customer touch point.

Companies like Chick-fil-a, Marriot, and Apple, which consistently provide an amazing customer experience, are able to continue this tradition of excellence through the people they hire. Great people want to work at excellent companies with incredible reputations and strong cultural values. We all want to be associated with awesomeness! We all would like to brag that our employer is known for excellence. Or innovation. Or sustainability. Or some other highly desirable value. A commitment to excellence generates a creative, positive work environment where turnover is low and employees are encouraged to contribute to the ongoing pursuit of excellence. When employees are happy to come to work, have confidence in their company and excitement for their product or service, when they have respect for their company’s leadership and vision, then excellent customer service will be a natural byproduct. No one will have to tell a customer service rep to be nice, they will act nicely simply because they are great people. These members of the workforce are also happy people who are excited about their product. Excitement is infectious, due to this reason employees will become evangelists for your product, dedicated to sharing their excitement for your product or service, and zealous to protect your reputation. They become an unstoppable force for the expansion and protection of your reputation.

So determine to be excellent. Be excellent in the little things. Be excellent in the big things. Be excellent in everything. Commit to producing an excellent product or providing an excellent service. Hire only those people who share your vision of excellence. Be excellent and you will attract an excellent workforce. You will be able to choose from the cream of the crop because you will be flooded with resumes and applications from people who want to be associated with the best.

Make excellence your goal, not good customer service. A culture of excellence is where truly amazing customer service comes from.

 

References

Sauter, M. B., Frohlich, T. C., & Stebbins, S. (2015). Customer Service Hall of Fame. Retrieved October 12, 2016, from http://247wallst.com/special-report/2015/07/23/customer-service-hall-of-fame-2/4/

 

How to Gamify Compliance Training

How to Gamify Compliance Training

How to Gamify Compliance Training

In September we explored ways in which to make compliance training more fun, with our article entitled “Fun Compliance Training – A Real Phrase”. However, we did not fully dive into the depths of manners in which such fun could be accomplished. It seems nowadays in the learning world we can’t escape it. Gamification is everywhere and it is here to stay. So, we as professionals need to begin to truly embrace the concept as an evolving practice. In order to do so, it is important that we truly appreciate what gamification, the concept, is all about and why it is so fascinating to the learning world. The main objective of gamification is to turn our everyday learning concepts into something much more approachable, even fun for the user. This is easiest to achieve in processes that are difficult to comprehend or that are a little more obscure than a straightforward and rigid compliance training course. Historically, compliance training is not meant to be fun. In fact, quite the contrary it is meant to be informative, taken at face value, and tested so that there is no question about its intent, or encroaching gray area surrounding what elements can be governed within an organization. But just because that mentality exists, it doesn’t mean that it cannot be gamified or even done in an impactful way that can and will completely benefit your system’s learners.

If you are looking to gamify the compliance training experience, there are a few elements you will have to keep in mind. One, it is important not to lose sight of the main message of the training. Two, some things are not meant to be fun, and there are entirely more ways to motivate a user to participate in a gamified experience than just creating a game merely for the sake of having one. Three, tie in scenarios that closely relate to the learners’ work life, and fourthly, break down the learning into components allowing for appropriate levels of comprehension and knowledge gain.

Transitioning Compliance into a game

Don’t just port your compliance training over to a gaming platform. Instead, you will need to consider the ins and outs of what you are hoping to accomplish. Why are you transitioning the content over to the new media in the first place? If you are evaluating your compliance training and you feel that it is just a little too stale or that people are not comprehending all of the aspects currently in your learning mix. It may be time to consider changing your delivery method. In order to migrate learnings over to this new exciting mix, take down a list of what you are trying to present to the users. Be sure not to miss anything, as a game is only as good as its input. Then begin planning ways in which you may deliver those messages directly to your learning base.

Motivating Learners to participate

Making a super fun and immersive world in which players wander around and are exposed to compliance concepts, may not be the best way to approach gamifying compliance. Instead, focus on quick and to the point real-life scenarios and play up the consequences of choices we have to make daily within our jobs. By providing a deep understanding of the practical application, the user can obtain a deeper sense of the concepts as a whole.

Real-world Scenarios

To further emphasize the need for practical implementation, I have chosen to call out these real-world, real-life scenarios again. When gamifying compliance training, the most powerful component of the offering is allowing for a platform to simulate and teach standardized practices in a virtual world. In our previous blog post, we further emphasized this concept by establishing the need for archetypes. Users are most likely to identify with characterizations that most closely represent them, as well as situations in which seem real to them. Be careful, don’t just choose members of your workforce and embed them into a game. Instead, assemble characteristics that your workforce exhibits, and use them as the basis for character creation.

Bite-sized pieces

Unlike normal compliance training, it is imperative not to display all the content at once. Each component must be broken up into its most basic form, for the highest degree of impact. Situations within the games while imitating real-life are not meant to be demonstrated with all the complexities one may encounter at the same time. As understanding is best established at a one to one level. It is important that the content is completely pointed in one particular direction, and that there is no ambiguity in the manner in which it is displayed.

Conclusion

Gamifying compliance training is a unique value-added component to a learning mix. Make sure to follow these steps in order to properly implement a gamified platform into your learning and development program. Things like providing real-life scenarios and character based environments are the first step to delivering significant value added learnings into your program. When combined with effective motivation techniques a gamified platform could be just what your organizational compliance training needs to be better received. I hope you have enjoyed your time here with us at the Gyrus Systems Blog. Be sure to fill out the subscription form at the top right of this page (bottom if you are viewing this via a mobile device), in order to have fresh content delivered to you as it is posted, directly to your email inbox.

What Business Application Training Accomplishes

What Business Application Training Accomplishes

What Business Application Training Accomplishes

In corporate training programs, often the focus is strictly on compliance. It seems that not everyone is hip to the idea that there is indeed a utilization that can improve their personnel’s’ capabilities in competitively selected industries. Well, I am here to tell you that there indeed is. In modern times we expect a lot from our training and development programs, and it safe to assume that progression in our industry is strictly relational to a number of additional learning aspects we can obtain from our Learning Programs themselves. By instilling basic business skills courses within your program employees can quickly obtain the business skills they do not know they require to succeed in their roles.

I often think back to a sales seminar I was sent to, many moons ago. In that program, I learned many manners in which I could properly present myself in front of the customer, how to effectively summarize the purpose of my existence within a corporate entity, and most importantly a phone etiquette trick that has stayed with me until this very day. That etiquette trick is the simplest thing that one can do on the phone, but it goes a long way in aiding communication partner’s retention and appreciation of your call. As you have read this far, you are probably dying to know “what was the trick?” Well, I am more than happy to relay it here: when you call and you reach someone’s voicemail and are in the process of leaving a callback number. Speak deliberately (slow and assertively) and repeat yourself (the repetition is key, just in case they were unable to decipher your first rendition of the number). One of the most annoying things about communication in this digital age is that people ramble out their work numbers so rapidly, often you have to listen to the message five to ten times just to decipher the call. Things like this may seem like it is common sense, but you would be very surprised at the interactions your personnel has on behalf of the company. This blog will now focus on the list of generic business application training that will not only expand the learning and development program of your organization but will also enhance the competencies of your workforce.

Problem Solving

General problem-solving skills, as well as company specific troubleshooting standards, can go a long way in preparing the workforce for elements of the job they do not anticipate. When issues arise, it is best to prepare your students with a manner to evaluate the issue and determine a course of action, in order to best respond to the issue.  By doing so, employees are outfitted with the tools needed to accomplish these challenges with the least possible hindrance to daily work life. General problem-solving techniques can also prevent intervention from senior members of your workforce, allowing focus to remain on more taxing efforts within your organization’s workflow.

Writing

With the importance of email correspondence in modern business, writing and grammar skills are more important and meaningful than ever. Nothing turns potential consumers off quicker than an initial correspondence that makes them feel as if they are speaking to someone unable to process their business language. By including written and grammatical skills in your learning plans, you can further the reach of your organization’s unique brand, ensure a universal business voice, and further, extend the capabilities of your staff.

Communication Strategies

How does your company want you to communicate with established users, consumers, and stakeholders? Is there a specific channel? Tone? The point of view? Emotion? Or brand identity that your personnel is required to comply with? This is a very important aspect of the learning mix to approach. The existence of your learning platform can determine the communication efforts of your employee base. By providing a general outline of what the first encounter with an outside agency should be, as well as additional communications throughout the newly established relationship. A learning in the category can also go a long way in informing users as to where additional resources in the categories may be located (resources such as organization branded forms, emails, presentations, and letterhead).  

Presentation Skills

In continuing with communication strategies, public speaking is quite the task for individuals. Not everyone can go up in front of a group of people and talk about the functionalities and benefits of certain aspects of their business. This is your opportunity to instill the unique brand qualifications of your organization. Disseminate what a public speaking engagement could and should look like, as well as notify system users of established approval process the may need to adhere to.  

Time Management

Perhaps the most difficult component of a new job is figuring out how to appropriately manage one’s time. A concise learning on time management techniques can go a long way in making an employee feel as if they do not have to reinvent the wheel, as well as aid in the amount of time you or additional individuals within your organization will have to spend to get them up to speed. With individuals within organizations taking on so many responsibilities nowadays, Time management skills are crucial in rounding out the offerings of a learning system.

Conclusion

These skills and countless others can be the foundation of your learning program going forward. Allowing you to augment your platform to be more than just a compliance tool. Creating an immediate impact on your organization’s personnel. By introducing alternative business skills, and skills like the ones listed above, you are taking the first step in cultivating the abilities of your employees and getting the most out of your learning platform. Be sure to tune into this blog channel as we further explore the learning industry and advancement trends a few times a week. Also, do not forget to subscribe to this blog in the top right-hand corner (bottom of this page if you are viewing via a mobile connection), for the latest posts directly into your email inbox.

 

Connecting the dots: What Corporate Training Can Learn from Formal Education

Connecting the dots: What Corporate Training Can Learn from Formal Education

Connecting the dots: What Corporate Training Can Learn from Formal Education

When we reach our breaking point or time where we decide that we are officially done with our formal education, we often immediately disregard the skillset that made us so successful in school. This is mainly because life in the office-place is very different and entirely more demanding, or at least in terms of outward appearances significantly more time intensive (No disrespect to the all-nighters I used to pull). To demonstrate, take the process of time management, if you are taking five classes and you have three exams on Friday, two pop quizzes on Wednesday, and a total of four written assignments to complete. This may seem entirely second nature. Formally, your mind begins organizing, “Study for this long on these dates, write paper one at this time and on this date, and so on and so on.” This core competency of organizing is vital to the success of individuals in the training field. As it is difficult to make the most of the training if the concern of the trainees lies elsewhere. The following steps will help your learners not only obtain more from their learning but also make them more impactful members of your organizational team.

Organizing the Calendar

Most of us are guilty of the time management taboo of not formalizing a schedule. I tend to write my processes out on a piece of paper or occasionally log important or reoccurring tasks in a Google Calendar entry. But, I am working hard to continue and expand upon these seemingly painstaking processes. In the training world, the largest detriment to training can be the barrier of entry for in system users to encounter the offerings in the full-time window allotted in order to obtain the most from what is being distributed. It is important to note that this sentiment does not just go for the users within the organization, but also the training staff themselves. Imagine how much more effective a training program could be if more time was devoted to course creation and selection, and each component could be vetted formally in order to eliminate unnecessary questions components or just general noise. Organization skills are key to developing the ideal training and development program.

Assigning Priority

In school, priorities are simple. There are concise due dates for all of your activities, “this class occurs at this time on this date and these are the deliverables required to fulfill the requirements for that time period.” In the business world, this model is a little bit murkier. Requirements come in at the spur of the moment, clients require this particular deliverable tomorrow, and this one assignment that you have been working on (on and off) for weeks is due sometime in the next week. The transition of these mentalities is often a stumbling point for most people that are entering into the labor force and a large reason why people abandon their prior learnings and opt for the creation of a new model of organization. This doesn’t have to be the case, instead, a culture of instilling a knowledge chain of the most important tasks as they arrive can be a huge benefit to employees within your system, and as such should entirely be a portion of the organization’s training efforts. The best training programs take this lesson into consideration in the formalization of the learning and development program.

Avoid Distractions

If you have devoted a specific time to sit down and encounter your training, it is your highest priority task at this particular time, and you would like to get the most out of your training, it is imperative that you avoid distractions. Put the phone down, close the informative web tabs, and do not allow yourself to cheat on your training time with additional work. Our brains, while capable of accomplishing a lot of tasks at the same time, are not too great with knowledge retention in scenarios where multi-tasking is taking place. The one exception I will personally allow is reading this Gyrus Systems blog. If a formal note is required to do so, please feel free to contact us.

Reward Yourself

When processes become expected practices at your desk, it is easy to become complacent. Be sure to set small rewards for yourself when you accomplish goals that you have outlined. For me, when I complete this blog, I am going to reward myself with a brief coffee break. I am quite the fan of coffee as it fuels most of these written outbursts, and will continue to throughout the weeks, however, this may not be the reward for you. Consider the regard of short breaks, or water cooler discussion, or if you didn’t buy into my argument that you can be distracted by my blog and my blog only, you can also reward yourself with social media or perhaps industry publications.

Conclusion

Be sure not to forget your teachings that have gotten you this far. What has created your opportunity for success early on in your academic career can aid in dividends for your life in the workforce. Time management, priority assignment, Distraction avoidance, and self-reward, in practice can be the difference in not only excelling in your role and future roles but also in making sure that you can access all of the wonderful training that is available to you within your organization. I hope you have enjoyed my take on the application of life skills in the workforce. Please continue to join us here at the Gyrus Blog as we continue investigating methodologies to improve the learning experiences of your personnel. As always, don’t forget to subscribe to our blog in the top corner of this page (bottom if you are viewing this on a mobile application) to get the latest posts directly to your email inbox.

The Disruptive Approach to the Learning Industry

The Disruptive Approach to the Learning Industry

The Disruptive Approach to the Learning Industry

Not too long ago, all the rage in our industry was shifting focus to the disruptive business model. Whenever there is a long-standing construct, it seems that someone comes out of nowhere and flips the model on its head. We see it all the time in this modern internet age. Companies like Uber, Airbnb, and Google (via a variety of enterprises) continue to break down the walls and establish new and innovative processes for consumers to integrate into their daily lives. From an outside perspective, it would appear that the Learning Market is ripe for such an opportunity. However, I would like to make the case that our industry is not as ripe as one would imagine.

The Learning marketplace, in particular, has been very adaptive throughout its entire existence. It seems that Training personnel are always focused on new and innovative teachings, and designers are obsessed with developing an open platform that can accommodate all these visionary changes that we as learning professionals would wish to implement. As a result, the largest changes that we are currently experiencing in this market are alarmingly innovative, however, they all work within the framework that is in place. The grand scheme of training from a disruptor’s perspective perhaps is not completely re-inventing the framework of the wheel, but instead, the successful disruptor may have to come in with a perspective far more internal to the learning process itself.

Think of the industry and how it currently stands, and the new features that are being introduced within the context of your training environment. New features such as mobile learning, gamification, and microlearning, all serve a need that was not immediately identified within the context of a training environment. That need being, how to motivate your workforce to action upon the training, as well as making said training accessible at any time, in any place. Microlearning in particular caters towards reinforcing ideas, motivating students due to the brevity of the content, as well as creating an environment where the user feels like they have accomplished something within that same very short time span. The innovators in this environment have created these amazing new functionalities, however, they have chosen to do so in a method that works with the already established infrastructure that organizations enjoy, and instead of further shifting focus onto newer and even greener pastures, a focus is being applied on perfecting these new features as they stand today. Gamification, while incredible and entirely visionary for the field of learning is not built out as much as designers and training administrators would like. The role of the disruptor in the learning space is currently to perfect these new processes and turn them into something that is entirely the vision of the learning client and helps positively shape experiences within the paradigm of learning.

What is next for the learning industry?

There is definitely more to come in the learning industry; the current focus is to make the end to end process feel more accessible. Instead of something that has been almost entirely compliance driven, more and more efforts are being placed on rounding out the entire offering. Providing situations where the complete picture of a role is thought out from the first interaction to some of the most difficult interactions an employee may face.

If a disruptor were to shift focus onto the industry at hand, some of the things that may be the most beneficial are as follows:

How do we capitalize on existing knowledge?

This is arguably the most immediate environment for an entrepreneurial mind. One of the largest problems with learning content in our industry is ensuring its effectiveness, as well as appropriately catering it to the needs of individual organizations. Especially, when considering the current climate in the pricing of custom learnings, and attempting to get something perfect based on our perceived requirements. We are not all instructional designers, and even when we are, there is a chance that on our own, we are unable to truly capture the requirements of the learners within our organization. In this stage of development outside eyes of like peers to point out areas in which we may have missed opportunities for greater learning are crucial.  For the outsider (and in this case the disruptor), it is imperative that employees, industry peers, and competitors alike are all considered, as they are a completely underutilized wealth of knowledge. An opportunist can capture the appropriate requirements of these given categories, and determine what they are doing to ready themselves for the future. Though there are organizations that already do this, the focus is not always on specific role capabilities or instituting a passive chain for knowledge transfer. This could be an exciting offering if approached properly, and could entirely revolutionize the manners in which we approach learning in each and every one of our organizations.

How do we further the reach of our learnings?

Practice makes perfect. Just like in school, often people cram for their big test and leave all the answers on the examination itself. We often remember very little, almost as if the knowledge was captured via the keyboard or writing utensil of which the examination occurred and removed from us entirely. Though learning innovators have approached this with some not so traditional methods, such as microlearning and gamification, there are definitively additional opportunities in this space. Imagine a comprehensive approach to facilitating once a day training within a short time window. That can be traceable and effective, giving appropriate tricks and tips on how to be more effective within certain roles within an organization. Or even better, completely editable content that is easy to configure without the help of any vendor whatsoever. This is the exciting future state of content in general.

How can we ensure our learning and development program is properly fixated on organizational bottom line?

At the end of the day, the mission of the organization should be the reason we seek to better ourselves. A disruptor realizes there is an untapped wealth to be found in the delivery of the right training to the appropriate staff, at the right moment. Just in time training may be the future of training itself, having the most impactful content could be the differentiator your organization has desperately craved since it first opened its doors. Imagine a picklist within your LMS that gives you access to any content available within a providers’ system. This could be done and a virtual a la cart variety package could be an amazing way to close role gaps within your organization.

Conclusion

The future is incredibly bright, and always very fun to ponder. With so many opportunities on the horizon and so many choices already in the learning mix, it is hard to argue the undoubted benefits of a learning and development department. Be sure to join me and Gyrus Systems as we further investigate the Learning industry and all that it entails here at the Gyrus Systems Blog. Also, do not forget to subscribe to this blog, with up to the minute content on new postings delivered straight to your email inbox!

Learning and Development: The Presidential Debate Edition

Learning and Development: The Presidential Debate edition

Learning and Development: The Presidential Debate Edition

Disclaimer: I shall start this post by stating that the internal views of this article are that of the blogger himself and not Gyrus Systems as an entity. However, with that in mind; some things are sacred, and I will not be announcing any sort of partisanship or opinion as to who won the recent debate within the context of this post. If voting habits are inferred, either your sleuthing capabilities are very strong, or the answer was found elsewhere (outside the scope of this document).

Blog Commencement

The first Presidential Debate of 2016 occurred this week, and people on both sides are fired up about it. Both parties are claiming victory and neither are backing down, and the viewers all have a lot to say. As one of those viewers and the blogger who prides himself on relevance and a cohesive storyline (especially in day to day & professional happenings), I sought out to discover a link between the events of what transpired on Debate night with a particular facet of the learning industry. After much deliberation and preparation of a well-crafted message, I finally landed on a variety of topics, which will be delivered in a persuasive tone as if produced in a debate forum. In order to properly write this blog post, I will be writing in accordance with the rules of the first Presidential Debate. I flipped a coin to determine whether or not I should even write this post, and then another to determine which of my two monitors I would be focused on for the duration of this blog post. I will be discussing a total of six topics, each of which I will only allow myself 15 minutes to write. The first two topics will focus on the direction of the “Learning Management Systems Industry (LMS).” The next two topics will be on “Successful Implementation of an LMS.” The final two topics will be focused on “Securing your LMS with emphasis on data security and establishing proper permissions.” With this in mind, and my trusty laptop timer working as a moderator, I will now begin.

Disclaimer 2: There is a high likelihood that much like the debate itself, I will go over my self-allotted time limit. At such occurrence, I will most likely disregard the timer and continue with my prose. This is the inherent advantage of being both the participant and the moderator.

Topic 1: Current State of the LMS

There were a lot of weird aspects of this first debate, for one, the debate marked the first time that a spouse of one of the candidates had themselves been a former President. Secondly, the other candidate has never officially held a public office. Regardless, the pomp and circumstance of these two candidates are unlike anything we have ever seen before. People from all over the world were focused in on the United States and what was going on for the entirety of the 90-minute session (plus additional time)…

So, I have already used some of my time. I’ll have to scramble a bit. The LMS industry is currently enjoying a popularity, unlike anything it has ever experienced before. In no time before this have, we witnessed the demand and competitive landscape which we are currently faced with today. This projection is set to grow throughout at least the next two presidential terms, and I for one would like to help educate potential users on all of the great features of which they can be getting out of their learning environments. To start, the technology which we are appreciating now is far vaster than anything we could have imagined a mere 10 years ago. Systems are capable of not only organizing Instructor-Led Training (ILT), but they now house E-Learnings, Gamification, Mobile Learnings, and alternative learning objects. The ways in which people learn are being considered universally in the production of learnings and how users interact. This is leading to new manners of participation, such as learning, the introduction of microlearning modules, and self-guided instruction.

Topic 2: Where is the LMS Industry Going?

In this moment of time, we as an industry are shifting focus, from ways to effectively deliver the highest quality training, towards a new vantage altogether. This being, how do we engage users? What can we do to make our training and development offerings exciting? This new overall perspective is helping create innovation through feature rich aspects of product design. Gamification is a real thing now, you can play games that teach you everything you need to know, effectively measure said games and embed them directly within your learning platform. That being said, these are new processes, and though they are already effective, there is a great room for improvement. Over the next few years, we will continue to see the introduction of more features within the space, leading to greater organizational buy-in a re-conceptualization on the entire learning process. As LMS adapt to these new features, they will need to continue improving on what is already there, SCORM content is at an all-time high, and ILT offerings are by no means a legacy form of teaching.  

Topic 3: Implementation – An off the cuff walkthrough

Implementations are getting easier and easier. The LMS systems you rely on are getting smarter, and the people who perform these have a much better idea of the rules and requirements of your organization. In general, the implementation process is a lot less of a headache than it once was. If you are worried about the integration of components into your LMS, think about the real process required to get you up and running, and start prepping the components that input into your learning program to conform to the required needs of what you are looking to institute. There are still times when long-cycle implementations are normal, however, now… more often than not a real structured plan can be provided to your organization, which adheres to all the required facets you require in the system. Instead of struggling to get your program off and running. Establish the time commitment your organization needs to ready your data for the impending change, collect together your SCORM files and exterior learning objects, extract a first round export of your company’s HRIS, and by all means identify all the components in any legacy LMS software you may be using. The more detailed you are able to be, the more likely you are to be happy with the overall experience.

Topic 4: Successful Implementation – How to be Happy With your LMS

The optimal LMS is the one that takes the least resistance to implementing. As stated previously, the less pain your LMS causes you during the implementation, and the more components that you can verify, get to, and action upon are at your disposal, the higher the likelihood of system satisfaction. Listen to the tips and strategies of your provided implementation expert, as there is a clear and definitive path of least resistance. If a component is holding back the final product from getting set-up you may experience push-back from organizational members who are afraid you may be in too deep. By listening to implementation experts, and extracting the files required to power your program, you can start to sit back and enjoy, as well as investigate some of the finer features which may or may not have been in the full scope of this project.

Topic 5: Setting Proper Permissions within your LMS

Just what exactly should people be able to do within my LMS? “Managers need to see all of their classes, related classes that are taught inter-department, grades of students in certain classes, as well as have access to a few very specific reports in my system. Whereas students in my system need the ability to check themselves into a certain style of an available learning object, a personal report on their activities within the system, as well as a social profile to manage their interaction with peers.” Knowing that these types of things going into your product implementation will go a long way towards crafting an environment where you truly enjoy the capabilities of your application. If you are constantly creating new roles and permissions, and slowly severing emotional ties with the interaction, odds are you will begin losing the user-adoption which you strive so hard to achieve. Establish an LMS team to evaluate all the parameters you would like to assign roles in the system and focus on the LMS offerings that are able to adhere to your stringent guideline.

Topic 6: Cloud-Based LMS and the Security it needs

How secure is your LMS environment? In cloud-based platforms, it is very important to be able to trust the security of your data. Your learning management systems are a wealth of knowledge for external parties, as such it is best to view the safeguards in place to secure the system in the event of any type of external exposure. In order to verify the status of your systems security, there are a few steps you will need to take to identify exactly what they are looking for. Firstly, don’t be afraid to ask the LMS company who you are partnering with to divulge the security measures in place for their hosted environment. Secondly, look up the industry recommended specifications for this practice. Where is the hosted solution physically located? What are the physical security features of the server location? How is it cooled? Powered? And what are the technological security features in place? What is the disaster recovery plan? And what is their documented up-time? These pieces of information can give you the valuable peace of mind that is required to fully trust the system you are about to put in place.

Conclusion

Just like in the Presidential Debate, in the LMS Industry, you will have to make a choice. So, now that you have heard all of my persuasive and rehearsed arguments, just how do you know what LMS to select? The choice is not easy, and it is completely up to your discerning tastes and abilities to match your specific needs with what is being offered.

When selecting a Learning Management System, we like to offer the following advice. Go with what makes you happy, but make sure you consider the following aspects: Select a developer with a Long Standing Company and well-documented history of Innovation. Refer to their track record for outstanding customer service. Do not select the LMS of an organization that demonstrates an unwillingness to adapt to new technologies and accommodate to the needs of their users. In the eyes of the LMS developers,’ the user come first and everything is built experientially around that point. Select what works best for your specific situation and do not be afraid to customize an offering to suit your specific organizational needs.

We hope you have enjoyed this blogger’s unique take on the first Presidential election. Be sure to tune in as we here at Gyrus Systems continue to investigate current events, the state of the learning and development industry, and what type of cool innovations are just on the horizon. Don’t forget to sign-up for our blog subscription on the top right corner of this page, where an automated email is sent to you with information on new posts, up to the minute that they’re released.

Gyrus Systems Selected for TrainingIndustry.com’s 2016 Gamification Watch List

Gyrus Systems Selected for TrainingIndustry.com's 2016 Gamification Watch List

Gyrus Systems Selected for TrainingIndustry.com's 2016 Gamification Watch List

Richmond, VA · September 29, 2016. Gyrus Systems, a leading Learning Management Systems (LMS) developer, announced today it has been selected to be included in the 2016 Gamification Companies Watch List by TrainingIndustry.com.

Companies on this list are leaders and innovators in the learning technologies market and have the potential to further the adult learning and development industry through the advancement in the field of gamification. As part of Training Industry, Inc.’s commitment to the industry and as a service to its community members, TrainingIndustry.com has released their 2016 Gamification Companies Watch List to the public, featuring Gyrus Systems amongst 10 other hand-picked enterprises:

The selected 2016 Gamification Watch List Companies demonstrated excellence in many areas, including:

  • Features and capabilities of the gamification products/services
  • Company size and growth potential
  • Quality and number of clients/users 
  • Geographic reach
  • Awards, recognition, and competitive differentiation

 

“The companies recognized in this year’s Gamification Watch List are focused on improving the impact of corporate training,” said Ken Taylor, President, Training Industry, Inc. “These are innovative companies with a wealth of capabilities to support learning, ranging from immersive and robust games to simulations.

Viren Kapadia, President and CEO of Gyrus Systems shared his excitement about being featured for this new gamification award, stating, “As a Learning Management System developer, we feel it is our responsibility to allow our customers access to all the great features the market has to offer. As we continue to enhance GyrusAim, we look towards the exhilarating aspects of gamification to expand product functionality and create an even more accommodating environment for learning.”

The 2016 Gamifications Companies Watch List is available for viewing here –http://www.trainingindustry.com/top-companies-listing/gamification/2016/2016-gamification-companies-watch-list.aspx

This award means that Gyrus Systems' customers continue to benefit from product innovation. Allowing GyrusAim an environment in which it can continue to flourish and grow. Thanks to all of our customers who have provided feature input in 2016, your comments and suggestions continue to make GyrusAim an industry-leading LMS!

About Gyrus

Headquartered in Richmond, Virginia, Gyrus Systems offers an innovative learning management system that leverages the versatility of technology to enable learning for clients throughout the world. Since 1987, 450+ companies worldwide have used Gyrus Systems’ products to improve training effectiveness, organizational efficiency, and to attain greater success within their respective industries. Gyrus System’s award-winning learning management system, GyrusAim, can be found utilized by such renowned clients as Caterpillar, NOAA, Bethpage Federal Credit Union, Santa Clara Valley Water District, Magna and Bentley Motors. For more information, please visit http://www.gyrus.com/.

xAPI – What it can mean for your learning Program

xAPI – What it can mean for your learning Program

xAPI – What it can mean for your learning Program

In the Learning and Development industry a very buzzworthy topic is xAPI (xAPI is also known as Tin Can API or the Experience API in case you have heard or read additional posts elsewhere, it will herein be referred to solely as xAPI within this blog post). The concept is everywhere… you are reading blogs left and right explaining what it is and its characteristics. Some a lot more easy to understand than others. But in general, you realize that xAPI definitely can go a long way in expanding the capabilities of some of your more cumbersome components within your learning program. But “how exactly can it do that?” And really, “what is it?” According to Tincanapi.com (which also exists as experienceapi.com to suit your fanatical naming convention’s needs), “xAPI is a brand new specification for learning technology that makes it possible to collect data about the wide range of experiences a person has (online and offline). This API captures data in a consistent format about a person or group’s activities from many technologies. Very different systems are able to securely communicate by capturing and sharing this stream of activities using Tin Can’s simple vocabulary.” Why is this important? Well, previously these data points had been collected over various other protocols, specifically focused on E-learning and Instructor Led Training (ILT), while now, this universal type of data encapsulation ensures interoperability between new learning objects within your system and the outside world.

What does that mean to my learning program?

Think of your learning program like it is an amusement park full of intense rides, arcades, and entertainment. In general, you would be satisfied in knowing that the only reason people are there is to ride the most insane breakneck ride in the park, and that is why the queued line is always so long. But, what if I told you that people actually go to the amusement park for a variety of other reasons. Some people really like an excuse to walk around and eat carnival foods, others dislike roller coasters altogether and really enjoy watching live acting, and others are obsessed with video games, but really just need an excuse to get out of the house. In order to identify what motivates people to go to the parks, their overall experience would need to be measured. Experience Tracking (The reason xAPI is also known as the Experience API) is a very real component of the xAPI offering. Objects that begin as strictly online E-learning, do not have to end that way. Interactions throughout the process are carried out on a variety of devices and in an abundance of ways allowing for an all-encompassing view of the learners’ involvements. If there is a social component of the learning mix, if there is a game that aids in the specific development of a particular course, it is now attributable to a single data node. As a whole, the intent of xAPI is to aid the flexibility of the entire system, as well as the way in which we measure our learnings.

What are the benefits?

Learning is no longer confined to typical methodologies, this opens up the avenues towards Social Learning, Mobile Learning, and Gamification. SCORM is not designed to track these learning approaches. SCORM is not going away, you can continue to use your currently established SCORM to track end to end utilization of various learning objects. However, in the xAPI Format, the administrator can view Learning objects from a broader perspective (as well as institute a variety of objects which were not originally considered part of the learning blend). Such as, if the user has asked for help on connected social media, contributed to the learning environment via discussion boards, or if the user photographs or screen captures relative content. This specification should be exciting to industry personnel as it extends the outreach of our user metrics. Further understanding our users and how they interact not only within, but also outside of their learning environment can provide a vital knowledge component that was once missing from our analytics in order to determine courses of action in our programs.

In Conclusion

Try not to be afraid of new technologies, the learning space is continuously evolving and as the tools get better, our abilities expand as well. As your program begins implementing social learning and gamification initiatives make sure the environment in which they are being provided is capable of fully measuring these features and their utilization. You don’t have to take your learning amusement park at face value, use xAPI to learn how users are crafting their own experiences and use this information to further establish methods for success within your implementation. As always, remember to join us here at the Gyrus Systems Blog as we continue to investigate buzzworthy components of the learning and development field multiple times a week; don’t forget to subscribe to our blog (subscription form on top right of this page) to have the latest blogs delivered straight to your email inbox.

 

References

"Tin Can API." Tin Can API. Rustici Software, LLC, n.d. Web. 26 Sept. 2016. https://tincanapi.com/overview/

 

Open Badges – What you need to know

Open Badges – What you need to know

Open Badges – What you need to know

With gamification being such a buzzworthy topic and so many successful manners in which to implement into your program, it is hard to decide what the best manner is. Ideally, the solution that offers the greatest intrinsic motivation for your learners would be the ideal provision of your learning management system. But, which one is that? Instead of getting into the argument of which methodology is best, I will merely select a certain aspect and roll with the punches. Regardless of how you slice it, a very important aspect of the gamified mix is badging. Though there are many beliefs as to the best way to establish a badging program, it is hard to argue the fundamental benefits of OpenBadges.org and the flexibility that an open standards system provides.

Open Badges Capabilities

Badging when it started was a relatively inexact science, sort of like being granted a gold star in class for answering a question, but sometimes not getting a golden star for the same exact behavior. Today, users are rewarded based upon adhering to a particular set of pre-determined guidelines. When a user signs into a system a certain amount of times, when a user completes an assessment for the second time, or even when a user successfully signs into a particular system for the first time. The badging rewards for doing “stuff” can be anywhere we as learning experience providers see fit. Open badges are very good at doing these types of things, and it is very easy to use and digest. When a user completes one of these pre-defined tasks, the badge is issued, and the exact details of the award are encapsulated within the badge itself, then it is entirely capable of being displayed anywhere the user wants. If a user achieves a relatively hard badge to obtain, or the badge itself is directly linked to a certain type of accreditation; the badge itself can be used in a manner to display capabilities to the outside world (effectively extending the reach of your training program).

Open Standard

Get your badges from courses you build, pre-packaged courses purchased for your learning platform, or online courses and e-learnings found via third party programs, all with pre-existing collaborative and universally accepted badging capabilities. Based on the capabilities of Open Badges themselves and the type of data they store, these badges can not only be verified by outside agencies, but they can also be trusted in terms of pathways to success parameters for achieving these awards. Because Openbadges.org is built on an open standard, it can be used by any entity. You can take a quiz put on by your favorite TV show on how well you know the main characters, as well as an examination of the viscosity of certain brands of jet fuel, and they can be hosted on the same general forum! Open badges are cool, and there are plenty of predesigned badges to choose from, or, you can design your own.

Easy Issuing

Open badges work as you tell them to. As such, it is vital that you pre-define success criteria strategically to get the most out of your system. Do not be afraid to search for cool manners in which open badges have been used in the past, as well as scroll up and down your friends and colleagues LinkedIn walls, as there is a strong chance that some of them are already proudly displaying Open Badges curated content. There are many devoted websites that provide pre-existing open badges that can immediately be used by your program, just a quick google search away.

Display Capabilities

As I mentioned earlier, a lot of users are familiar with work completed in Open Badges. We see our friends on social media posting new badges every day, some as simple as scrolling through the end of a blog, to those a little bit more robust, such as adding a quality comment on a peculiar situation.  When these occur, it is very important that we wear our earned badges with pride. Display them everywhere to show your capabilities and success. Stick them on your Facebook Wall, your LinkedIn Profile, or even reference them in tweets. Open Badges are designed to be dynamic and shared. The more you share them, the further the capabilities of Open Badges reaches.

In short, Open Badges is a versatile badging platform that allows a universal capability to assign badges, across a multitude of platforms, and it is available right now, at your immediate disposal. Open Badges is the most recent addition to GyrusAim r16.1 and offers an amazing opportunity for the growth of gamification within Learning Management Systems themselves. For more information on Open Badges and to find out how they can improve your programs capabilities, stay tuned, right here, to the Gyrus Blog. Here at Gyrus, we tackle all the fun topics and further the discussion of key components of the learning industry. Be sure not to miss out on any of our upcoming posts by subscribing to our Blog.

Getting the Most out of your Social Learning Program

Getting the Most out of your Social Learning Program

Getting the Most out of your Social Learning Program

Undoubtedly, you have heard it before. Statements like, “how do we make our learning program work for us?” or “let’s get social with our learning plan.” But, how do you get your learning program up to speed? With so many social elements making their way into our learning programs today, learning professionals are faced with the all too real decision of how many social facets should be included in their learnings before they become a distraction. Just how many mediums are actually needed for our employees to interact with one another? Unfortunately, I cannot answer this question for you. Fortunately, it is entirely answerable. In order to come up with the answer as well as enact a proper social media approach, be sure to reference the steps below:

Don’t Lose Sight of your Current State

Establish your current state before you begin implementing social components. Are there already social components in your current learning mix that you are using? (Such as comments fields, Twitter interactions, or in-platform social profiles). What components are you hoping to add? (Is there a hot new social platform that your entire workforce is adopting? A newer more professional network which needs to be linked to your learning approach?) Will your learner base actually utilize the new proposed functionality? By asking these questions, you can determine whether or not it is time to introduce new social features into your learning program, as well as the amount of effort required to integrate these new sought after social components into your program.

Clear Direction

Don’t just enable social features for the sake of having them. It is important to establish a clear direction as to what you want these new structures to accomplish. If you are hoping to encourage the use of a specific platform, focus solely on that platform and perform the necessary steps to ensure the success of that social entity over time. Consistency is key in fostering user adoption, as well as choosing elements that are not too far displaced from methods your workforce is already familiar with. If you are looking to implement a brand new social platform and it works nothing like what people are already familiar with, there is a chance that the users will forego this feature, or worse yet… have to be trained on the new functionality. The goal of social learning is to expand the reach of the initial learnings, as well as to get the learning core to discuss practices in which they are introduced. If the new social component is non-intuitive, it may serve as a barrier to the social approach to learning as opposed to the intended purpose of its introduction.

Don’t Over Do it

Having social components to the learning program is really cool, and at first, you will see a good amount of buy-in. But it is very important not to rely on the longevity of this initial intrigue. Social platforms are constantly finding ways to evolve and introduce functional change, solely for the purpose of re-engaging users. Ever wonder why Facebook rolls out changes that are deemed so unpopular by their usage base? Well, it is simply an exercise to bring users back to the site and increase activity by complaining about it. These complaints serve as word-of-mouth advertising, in both the new feature itself and the platform.  Focus on ways to maximize user interaction with the learning environment. Revert back to your plan, if you want the users to combine their LinkedIn accounts and grow the learning program externally based on their connections, then try not to introduce a variety of additional features that will muddle that effort; but, do keep them engaged throughout the process.

Migrate legacy information over to new platform

Old comment sections on previous learning exercises are perfect fodder to experiment with social learning. Establish user profiles in your new system and associate those posts with the previous social accounts in question. Then, encourage visitation of past posts and inspire discussion. This, in itself, is a great habit forming technique. In the work world, it is easy to lose sight of things we have done as recently as a few days ago. This habit forming exercise will not only establish an increased learning foundation but also make previous experiences more relevant within your new socially enabled system.

Promote additional materials through social components

Have you found a cool article that perfectly explains a certain work process? Well, don’t just hang on to it! Share it socially with your learning base. Get feedback on what you post, find out if there may be an alternative perception that furthers the agenda of that reading or topic. Establish perceived importance and shape an approach to continue the conversation well beyond the initial formal learning.

Encourage Learners to share/ be active socially

You shouldn’t be the only person contributing to your learning environment. Social learning is a many ways street. Social Learning’s most powerful feature is its diverse inputs from differing opinions and backgrounds. In order to get the most out of social learning, your employees must feel free to share professional stories and posts that directly reflect on their work and their industry segment. Winning over the user base is one of the most important steps to a social program. When people feel comfortable sharing their ideas, the greatest possible output is received.

Assign Group Work

It’s not truly social unless people are working together. Enable discussions that can achieve positive results. Assign work that can only be achieved in a collaborative setting. Follow-up with employees to determine how they are perceiving these new functionalities along the way. By keeping the user base happy, your program can expand and work optimally.

In summary, avoid becoming social just for the sake of the new features. Social learning can be a powerful tool if properly implemented and promoted within an organization. The best manner to establish an effective social learning mix is to first identify where the learning program is, and the social elements already existent in that system, establish a clear roadmap for getting the most out of your social enabled content. Then take advantage of previous social components and enact a clear linkage to legacy efforts while wholly promoting these exciting new features. Be social yourself, before encouraging others to join in with you, and endorse an environment where it is safe to share professional posts. Finally, establish group work that utilizes these features. By undergoing these steps, you are progressing in the correct direction for a long-standing social learning environment. Be sure to subscribe to our blog, and join us as we further investigate learning industry topics.

 

 

Gyrus Systems releases GyrusAim™ r16.- Featuring Badging

Gyrus Systems releases GyrusAim™ r16.- Featuring Badging

Gyrus Systems releases GyrusAim™ r16.- Featuring Badging

Richmond, VA · September 19, 2016. Gyrus Systems, a leading Learning Management Systems (LMS) developer, announced today the release of GyrusAim r16.1 featuring exciting new features such as Badging, an internal maintenance menu, an extensive help module, improved global search capabilities, a more robust analytics module, and the ability to register for courses via email.

Gyrus Systems’ President and CEO, Viren Kapadia announced, “The newest and most exciting feature, badging is an exhilarating proposition for Gyrus Systems, as administrators can now use additional methodologies to motivate their users to complete training within the GyrusAim platform.” GyrusAim r16.1 utilizes Open Badges for its badging needs.

Open Badges is a unique component of the GyrusAim product, as it is an open standards system. GyrusAim is the first and so far only LMS on the market to adopt Open Badges’ open standards. Open badges allow Admins full control of their offerings and provide users intrinsic motivation to progress within their learning environment. The versatility and ease of badge generation from Open Badges itself allows for the lowest possible barriers to entry. Allowing firms to start badging their learning processes immediately and correctly. The Badges themselves can be earned both offline and online and are incredibly versatile; as they can be displayed within GyrusAim, as well as on social networking profiles, job sites, and websites.

By adopting an open standards system and integrating directly into the platform itself; Gyrus Systems has established the groundwork for massive growth in the learning and gamification industry. Whether badges are issued from one organization to many, badges can build upon each other and be stacked to express the full story of a user’s skills and achievements. Gyrus Systems continues to apply its distinctive brand of innovation to the Learning and Development market and is eager to continue growth in the gamification market segment.    

About Gyrus

Headquartered in Richmond, Virginia, Gyrus Systems offers an innovative learning management system that leverages the versatility of technology to enable learning for clients throughout the world. Since 1987, 450+ companies worldwide have used Gyrus Systems’ products to improve training effectiveness, organizational efficiency, and to attain greater success within their respective industries. Gyrus System’s award-winning learning management system, GyrusAim, can be found utilized by such renowned clients as Caterpillar, NOAA, Bethpage Federal Credit Union, Santa Clara Valley Water District, Magna, and Bentley Motors. For more information, please visit http://www.gyrus.com/.

Gyrus Systems included in Vendor Landscape

Gyrus Systems included in Independent Research Firm Vendor Landscape – Top 21 Most Prominent Vendors

Richmond, VA · September 16, 2016. Gyrus Systems, a leading Learning Management Systems (LMS) developer, announced today their inclusion in Forrester’s report, Vendor Landscape: Standalone Learning Management System Vendors: The 21 Most Prominent Vendors in the Standalone LMS Market.

Forrester is one of the most influential research and advisory firms in the world. “It is a true honor to be recognized in this industry reaching research paper. Forrester is a well-known commodity in the business world and are truly capable of identifying meaningful organizations in this space,” exclaims Viren Kapadia.

For more information on the Forrester Vendor Landscape for Standalone Learning Management System Vendors: The 21 Most Prominent Vendors in the Standalone LMS Market, and to purchase the resource, consult the following URL: ​Click Here

About Gyrus

Headquartered in Richmond, Virginia, Gyrus Systems offers an innovative learning management system that leverages the versatility of technology to enable learning for clients throughout the world. Since 1987, 450+ companies worldwide have used Gyrus Systems’ products to improve training effectiveness, organizational efficiency, and to attain greater success within their respective industries. Gyrus System’s award-winning learning management system, GyrusAim, can be found utilized by such renowned clients as Caterpillar, NOAA, Bethpage Federal Credit Union, Santa Clara Valley Water District, Magna, and Bentley Motors. For more information, please visit http://www.gyrus.com/.

 

Fostering User Adoption in your Learning Program

Fostering User Adoption in your Learning Program

Fostering User Adoption in your Learning Program

As you transition from your outdated Learning Management System (LMS) to your new GyrusAim v16.1.0.4 application it is important to keep in mind your users’ perception of the change. Successful implementations hinge on how well the user base accepts the new program and what is has to offer. Below I have compiled a list of change management strategies that can be used specifically in optimizing your experience in migrating your enterprise over to a newer and more robust application.

In order to properly prepare your workforce for the impending change, it is pertinent that you:

  1. Obtain User Input to Specify Requirements

One of the easiest and strongest components of User adoption is making your users feel as if they have a say in what is to be selected. By allowing users’ to specify their unique requirements you can build a pre-qualifications list which can go a long way towards fitting your organization with the optimal application for its needs. Pre-qualifications discussions can also help you identify topics that were not in your initial product scope.  If it turns out that the only reason your users’ dislike their current LMS is due to the lack of one particular feature, the work leading up to a new system could be lighter than you anticipate.

  1. Keep Users involved in the Selection Process

Don’t just stop at obtaining user requirements, invite users to participate in your selection committee. Allowing them to evaluate and discern features of the products which are available to them. This step can go a long way in explaining to other members of the organization why features are exhibited differently than initially scoped or envisioned by the user base during their requirements forming process. This can also help if your requirements are heavily regimented and require an extensive time commitment. By keeping the user group abreast of how the search is going, it will then be easier to explain any type of lull or required extension in the resources required to obtain the perfect application to suit your organization’s needs.

  1. Inform Users of the Changes they will experience in the new program

Encourage communication between the group members who sit on the selection board and members of the organization that will be most heavily impacted by this change. This will establish the groundwork to let them know how the process is going and what requirements may be tough to find specific compliance. Once the product is carefully chosen by the selection committee, it is vital to inform on the positives of the new system.

  1. Know the System Benefits

In order to properly inform the user base on the impending software change. It is best that you take proper notation on exactly what you are getting with this change. Know the gained functionalities and options which you will be offering like the back of your hand. By knowing the cool features you are getting (especially the ones that exceed the original scope of requirements), you can act as an internal sales figure for increased product adoption. In some cases, the manner in which a system approaches a particular challenge can be much better than you originally envision. If one of your students is disheartened by the prospect of losing a particular feature, it would be very beneficial to identify the specific feature that is replacing it. Imagine the ability to be able to say this line, to a troubled individual concerned with the new change: “Though that one specific method of course creation has changed, you now have the ability to further configure multiple aspects which we had never considered, which will not only improve our course offerings and user accessibility, but also our capability to measure impact on our organization.”

  1. Educate on the Interworkings of the New Program

Knowing that a component is achieved in a different manner in the new system can also go a long way in addressing hostility expressed towards a new system offering. Training can be specifically developed for your workforce once you have been educated on the ins and outs of the product you have implemented. Saying the following expression in how it relates to your old system, “In the old system, such and such was achieved by doing this and this, while in the new system this is a simple click, and completion of a form.” Extends the perception of a new application much further than, “This is how you do this now.”

  1. Immediately Utilize the New Application

If you yourself are not buying into the new functionalities of the new application, it will be hard to justify its adoption to the personnel you are administering the application towards. Typically, in organizations where a technological change is suggested, there is a bit of a push back as users have acclimated to the system currently in place. If there is an option to utilize the functionality of the environment of which they are comfortable with, there is a very small chance you will be able to migrate them over to the newly accepted platform. It is best to completely sever utilization of legacy products, in order to gain a complete product buy-in from all applicable professionals.

Using these steps will go a long way in expanding the reception of a new product and the process itself is applicable to many different facets of life. By getting people involved, keeping them involved, and informing yourself, you can close the gap between discontinuing usage and start a new application and recognize its full potential. Please continue to join me as I further investigate the learning industry and things that impact our industry from week to week.