Good News… You have an LxP! Now What?
Maximizing your LxP Capability
LxPs are all the rage in the world of learning technologies, and, from our perspective, for good reason. The Learning Experience Platform (LxP) can unlock powerful learning experiences that can deliver on business objectives, empower your learners and be instrumental in transforming an organization from a ‘completion culture’ to a ‘learning culture,’ which values learning, skills, and skill-building. However, like any learning technology, the result will only be as good as the processes and governance that surround it. Unfortunately, we see many organizations taking a “ready, fire, aim” approach to the adoption of LxPs and expecting “silver bullet” results.
We understand that task at hand is not an easy one. For teams with decades of experience with a Learning Management System, the transition to an LxP can seem like a daunting task. However, often the LMS is not eliminated. It transitions to the background system, and the LxP becomes the front door to all learning. This transition needs to take into account the L&D technology group, your learners, as well as all L&D roles, e.g., instructional designers, media developers, etc.
New skills need to be identified and grown, legacy processes have to be re-assessed, and the investment in learning, the LxP, and the change strategy has to deliver on the promise of accelerating skills growth and driving innovation throughout the organization.
So how can you capitalize on this new tool? We help teams worldwide with this exciting opportunity. To help guide you, here are some essential considerations for you to maximize your LxP investment and see the results that you envisioned when you made the business case to invest in the technology.
Build the Truck Bigger than the Load – What do you want the LxP to be now, 2-5 years from now, and 6-10 years from now?
Positioning the LxP to fit your organization where it is today can enable a successful transition into the future. It’s good to have this strategy agreed upon before you introduce an LxP to your teams, so be sure to take time to talk through the pros and cons. Below are a few suggestions:
- A front door that is centrally managed – the first place where you send all employees to begin their learning journey, including required learning and skills growth.
- A trusted source that is employee-owned – priming the LXP with learning experiences to grow the skills needed today and into the future, there is little or no mandatory training tracked or completed in the LxP.
You might even want to start with one of these strategies and then transition over time to include both.
Content Remains King! – Selecting Content Providers
Your LxP learner experience is only as good as the content that they can access, whether it is curated or not. Many subscription content providers are available today (see table 1 below for a sample of some of the most commonly used content providers), which includes “freemium”-based (free and premium content) providers too. Each provider has pros and cons, which you’ll need to assess when finding the best fit for your target audience, business needs, etc. However, it is essential to note that even the best content providers won’t offer all of what you need. Therefore, you must begin thinking about how you will effectively curate to meet your specific business needs. We will cover this in our curation strategy discussion later.
As you review and determine which content providers to offer your organization, you’ll need to consider the following:
- Cost per license and license renewal policies
- Reuse of licenses- e.g. if someone was using it but now you want to shift it to someone else.
- Content specializations, be it technical or business skills related.
- Learning delivery modalities: on-demand videos, eLearning or virtual training workshops, etc.
- Extended features that help measure employee competency levels in a given skill area
- Scenario-based learning, practice, and assessment
With so many variables, it’s recommended to build a matrix that highlights the different features and strengths to determine what providers are right for your organization. You’ll also need to keep a regular check on the content provider roadmaps and plans. As well as determine short vs. long term needs and how these might change.
It is all about Skills Now! – Capturing Skills Assessments
Deciding where skills assessments should live is a challenge not just faced by the L&D community but also where the broader IT, HR, and Talent teams are heavily involved. Features and capabilities are now beginning to converge between the Human Capital Management System (HCMS) and the Talent Management System (TMS) as the record of origin for employee skills.
Setting the right expectation for where skills are captured and what they will help the employee achieve is critical. With the LXP, it’s all about personalization and directing the learner to the learning that will enable them to continue to grow. So, in choosing and rating skills, the learner would expect the LXP to be offering the learning experiences that align with their needs. The same can’t be said for the HCMS or TMS, which is focused on understanding skills to direct resource planning or work assignments.
Remember your learner experience when determining what to do with skills. It can be frustrating being asked to enter skills again in any HCMS or TMS or LxP. Depending on your culture, it can also be intimidating, and in some cases, there can be legal ramifications regarding the skill view or who can rate skills, or how they are rated.
Don’t let the platform get stale! – Managing LXP Updates
Most LXP providers are cloud-based, and with that comes frequent release cycles with new features and bug fixes. You will need to establish a relationship with your LxP provider to get insight into how best to apply new features and stay on top of any UI treatment changes. Be sure to get on their distribution list for roadmap updates and book regular check-in sessions with your account or client success manager. Once your LxP is implemented, you will need to determine what team or teams will continue to analyze the roadmap, adjust processes, and enable your organization to optimize your LxP. Ask your particular vendor for help! It is in their best interest for you to be successful and to see your adoption rates grow. Successful adoption is the key to contract renewal. The vendors have a broad line of sight across all their clients. Take advantage of that insight and ask for best practices or to engage with similar clients to network and share ideas.
As new features are released, it’s good to inform employees and your internal stakeholders about the most pertinent features. You’ll need to decide which ones make the most impact and require further exploration and positioning before any release.
It is also essential to enable a communication strategy that provides specific use cases for new features by highlighting them in newsletters or within the LxP or another communication vehicle that your employees regularly review.
Walk Before You Run! – Getting started with Pilot Groups
Learning from your employees through managed pilot groups with a feedback loop is one of the best ways to determine what features will enable a superior learner experience and learning effectiveness.
We have found success with reviewing and setting up pilots for all organizations with these lenses in mind:
- Learner Experience
- Learning Effectiveness
With your pilot group, you can build a set of learning experiences that guide them through growing their skills. Set time-bound milestones to check-in and be sure to gather feedback and track results. We always start with the end in mind, e.g., what will we consider a success, and how will we measure success.
If You Don’t Know Where You’re Going, Any Road Will Take You There – Curation Strategy
Defining a curation strategy means identifying the overall strategy for the learning experiences you will be offering. Often, this starts with a look at your current available learning and the structure of those learning experiences. It would help if you also considered the modalities, how learners are currently accessing these experiences, and how they know what they should or need to take to succeed within their current position and grow within the organization.
As we stated previously, even the best content providers cannot deliver what most organizations need out of the box. That is why a curation strategy is critical to the success of an LxP implementation. There are several components to a curation strategy, and they include the following:
- Objective(s) for your curated experiences.
- Identifying different groups within the organization and their needs and how that might impact your strategy.
- What learning will you continue to custom create?
- How you will determine what is curated vs. created?
- How you will ensure that learners get an opportunity to practice back at work?
- How you will integrate curated or created opportunities to reflect, discuss, and apply?
- How you will leverage the components of the LxP to ensure the following:
- Superior Learner Experiences
- Effective Learning Experiences
- How are you going to know you were successful? What will you track and report to your stakeholders?
That Which is Measured Gets Done – Measuring Success
You can’t grow what you can’t measure. Identifying the Business Objectives for the LXP deployment can start with simple metrics like the number of visits and unique logins. However, very quickly you’ll need to understand which content offerings are being most widely used and which skills are being grown. Below is a table of “starter” metrics to measure and align to business objectives:
Build Learner Awareness & Trust
% Total Population Login
Track Content Consumption
Content Completions (videos, books, articles)
% Completions by Skill
Grow Business Skills
Baseline Competency Levels
Competency Levels by Skill
No. of Employees with Skills growth from Beginner to Advanced Levels
Been There, Done That and We have the T-Shirt
Clearly, we have a strong point of view on how to best achieve the desired results when making a significant investment in LxPs. We formulated our point of view in the trenches. We too have learned over the past several years as work with our vendor partners and clients. We have had our share of learning opportunities and have grown and matured quickly (and we have the scars to prove it). We believe we bring an “outside-in”, objective strategic view that is broader than technology configuration and implementation. Our focus is successful long-term adoption in the context of a holistic learning and talent strategy.
If you found this article provocative or insightful or want to engage in a healthy debate about any of the topics, we would welcome a follow-up. Reach out to us at email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Outlook and Trends Impacting Learning & Development
On today’s episode, we look at Part 2 of the current business landscape for L&D, what are the trends that are driving change, and what are the implications on Learning within organizations.