LMS Implementation Strategy tip: key stakeholder buy-in is paramount

dealing-with-difficult-elearning-stakeholders

Any new Learning Management System implementation requires the buy-in from the business key stakeholders, in order for it to be anywhere near a success. If the expectations and understanding of your stakeholders is in sync, you will be way down the line to ensuring the success of your implementation.

Get buy-in from your stakeholders

Making use if the concept of Coalescence of Authority, Power and Influence (CAPI) when planning and executing an LMS implementation can be very rewarding and provide a positive structure for stakeholders.

The concept is that by ensuring all three elements are present during the decision making process, the outcome will be more effectively implemented because of the buy-in achieved.

The elements can be described as follows:

Authority is the vested or formal right of an individual to make a decision. This authority is often described in a job description but, in practical terms, it is the ability to gain acceptance for such authority. The person with authority is the decision maker.

Examples of Authority: Budget Holder, HR Director, Managing Director

Power can be either positive or negative, and can be used to support or damage a decision. It can also be held by those in authority (authorised power) or, importantly, by those with the power to implement or veto decisions. The latter is unauthorised power and is held by employees who carry out the work – the doers. This power is often not taken in to consideration in the problem-solving process. It is the effective input and buy-in from doers that uses the positive element of the “unauthorised” power and helps create effective, easily implemented decisions.

Examples of Power: IT Managers, LMS Administrators

Influence is the ability to guide a decision using knowledge, experience, skill and/or charisma – those people who are fundamentally experts and who affect the decision making process through information and influence shared with the users and decision makers. Experts can be internal or external.

Examples of Influence: Learners, Trainers

CAPICAPI occurs when all three elements are harnessed sufficiently to embrace the problem to be resolved. In simpler matters, it may be achieved by a single person. However, in more complex issues, it invariably requires a team approach to ensure all three elements are included in the problem resolution for effective coalescence of authority, power and influence.

Take some time to identify who the Authority, power and Influence individuals are within your business and get them engaged in the process as early as you can.

Align and communicate expectations

Once you have decided that an LMS and elearning is the right choice for your business and you have successfully matched the training need to your business objectives, you must then ensure that everyone’s expectations of the initiative are in sync.

When elearning starts to get monitored in a company, many people can start to panic. Trainers can begin to believe that their role will become redundant, some people may have had an unsatisfactory experience of elearning in a previous job and some people may never even have heard of elearning so can view this with some trepidation.

Therefore, it is important to involve the key stakeholders as early in the process as possible. Furthermore, a steering committee of other individuals who are key to the implementation’s success, including line and functional managers, will aid the success of the project.

Hold regular meetings with these individuals to keep them up to date on the project progress, decisions that have been made, issues that have come up and how they may have been handled and to ask for their advice. If they have ownership in the project, they are more likely to adopt it and become champions to other individuals within the business.

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