The Importance of Governance for LMS Success

It is a best practice, if you have an LMS, to also have a LMS governing committee. If you are among the majority without one, I want to make the case for why a governing committee is so important to make the best use of your LMS. I also threw in an outline of some of the steps you need to follow for this best practice.

During a recent webinar on LMS trends, which Brandon Hall Group presented Jan. 15, 2014, based on survey results from late 2013, one survey result about LMS governance got everyone’s attention. Here’s the slide:

 In most companies, learning is decentralized and many people have a stake in how well it works every day. That too often leads to a single point of decision by the L&D organization, or many points of decision by different departments. Either choice is a path that will lead to more problems than it will solve. Decision-making can be difficult without any formal structure in place to support a project as far-reaching and complex as your LMS. The answer is a governance board that can make final decisions and resolve issues that arise between departments and groups of users.

The governance model needs to be spelled out and written down. It’s somewhat like an LMS Declaration of Dependence.

An LMS governing committee – there are many names for a decision-making group that focuses on the LMS and meets on a regular basis – is critical to realizing the best use of a company’s LMS. Here are some best practice ideas if you are in this majority and your LMS has been assigned to the IT or L&D Department (you know who you are).

The governance committee includes all the stakeholders:

Every company will have a different set of governance rules and guidelines. The important step is to capture what everyone needs to know and has in common (legal, branding, general communication, etc.). Then make sure that everyone weighs in when they are part of the team making the decisions.

Finally, the measure of effectiveness of your governance board depends on the following:

  • The Right People: Have you chosen the people who can make the best decisions about learning and using the LMS across the enterprise?
  • Across the Board: Is the governance board heavily weighted toward a certain department of organizational level or does it have members from a broader cross-section of the company?
  • Responsive: Can the members get together quickly and make rapid responses to issues or problems that arise?
  • Visible: Are the board’s deliberations and decisions readily visible to the senior level of the enterprise and the departments who are impacted by any decision?
  • Smart: Does the board make good use of the best practices of other companies that may have successfully solved a similar problem?
  • Open: Does the board communicate openly up to the executive stakeholders as well as down to the various departments and training managers?
  • Accountable: Is everyone on the board held to a standard of accountability that measures the outcome of their decisions?

When you can say “Yes!” to the structure and goals of the governing committee, your LMS will provide your company with maximum value and minimum headaches.




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