Empowering Learning Innovation Through Platform Governance

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Julie Archer

Julie Archer is a trusted talent management advisor with over a decade of experience implementing and administering complex software…

While the phrase “platform governance” may not create immediate excitement among learning and talent management professionals…it should.

Establishing effective LMS governance ensures that stakeholders are aligned so your system can respond to challenges and updates, comply with security requirements, foster end user engagement, and keep pace with organizational goals. But it is so much more. Governance is the catalyst for fueling innovation around your learning ecosystem by creating an environment that encourages experimentation, collaboration, and continuous improvement.

Not convinced? Consider the following.

Governance encourages discovery and innovation.

A well-defined governance structure provides clear guidelines and processes for trying out new ideas, features, and teaching methodologies within an LMS. By fostering a culture of discovery, administrators, instructors, and learners feel empowered to explore innovative approaches to teaching and learning.

Governance supports collaboration.

LMS governance facilitates collaboration among stakeholders, including administrators, instructors, instructional designers, IT personnel, and learners. Collaboration enables the sharing of best practices, feedback, and ideas for innovation. By working together, stakeholders can co-create new learning experiences and solutions that push the boundaries of traditional education.

Governance informs the adoption of emerging technologies.

Governance frameworks often include provisions for evaluating and adopting emerging technologies that can enhance the learning ecosystem. Whether it’s integrating virtual reality simulations, artificial intelligence (AI), gamification elements, or social learning features, a governance structure can provide a framework for assessing the viability and impact of new technologies on teaching and learning outcomes.

Governance drives impact measurement and effectiveness.

Governance structures include mechanisms for evaluating the impact and effectiveness of innovations implemented within the learning ecosystem. By collecting data on learning outcomes, user engagement, and satisfaction levels, a governance committee can assess the success of innovative initiatives and identify areas for further improvement.

How to Establish an LMS Platform Governance Committee

Whether implementing new software or navigating the growing pains of a maturing platform, governance is a crucial component of maintaining a healthy learning ecosystem and spurring innovation. Early investment in selecting and designing the governance committee is imperative.  Keep these best practices in mind as you bring your vision to life.

Curate the Committee

An effective governance committee is thoughtfully composed of stakeholders from multiple departments or specialties who contribute unique perspectives and talents. Depending on the industry, representation might include IT, Human Resources, Communications, Change Management, LMS Administration, Compliance, Audit, and/or Cybersecurity. As the committee is chosen, it is important to balance decision-makers and subject matter experts. This balance should allow for creativity and exploration of innovative ideas while grounding them with expertise and resources who can assess feasibility and inform realistic decisions.

Set Expectations

Gauging interests, availability, and areas of desired focus are a great place to start when defining the structure and expectations for the committee. From there, it is important to establish clearly defined roles, responsibilities, decision-making authority, and a sustainable meeting cadence for each committee member. To reduce the risk of becoming too rigid and stifling the transformative opportunity that the committee represents, remember to embrace an emphasis on innovation as these roles and responsibilities are defined.

Provide Training

Some professionals will have never participated in a governance committee before and will appreciate relevant training and resources upon being selected for the role. Empower each member by giving them a clearly defined role, describing role-specific expectations, and providing training resources to help them be successful.

How to Empower the Governance Committee

Empowerment starts with understanding. Ensure governance committee members understand the benefit their participation and time investment have on the broader learning community, and the role they play in driving learning innovation in the organization. While this list is not exhaustive, below are a few benefits to share.

Time Savings through Streamlined Maintenance and Management

As issues arise, the LMS platform governance committee responds to challenges in a timely manner. Having a clearly established governance framework with representation from across the organization ensures the right stakeholders are involved in decision-making, at the right time. This normalizes responsiveness to challenges and allows the learning ecosystem to evolve and optimize more rapidly.

Representation of Functional Area or Departmental Needs

Governance committees foster engagement and collaboration. As a representative for their department, committee members ensure that their functional area’s needs and feedback are considered in the ongoing management of the LMS. This requires proactive communication, cross functional collaboration, and requires members to initiate, own, and drive change, resulting in continued platform adoption.

Ownership for Innovation

The LMS governance committee will be actively engaged in identifying and responding to opportunities for enhancements. Enhancements are often identified as part of product developments/releases, technology advancements across the broader global talent management space (i.e., skills-based technology, AI adoption, etc.), or through feedback or requests from within the organization. The governance committee is the gatekeeper for the organization, responsible for considering the applicability of these functions to the business, and when to make them available within the platform.

Sustaining Alignment with Business Objectives

As organizational goals evolve over time, so should the technology and team that support them. A quarterly review of organizational changes and priorities will increase the likelihood that your talent management technologies will evolve effectively to support these changes.

In summary, platform governance can fuel learning innovation by providing the framework, support, and incentives for stakeholders to experiment, collaborate, and iterate on new ideas and technologies. By creating a culture of innovation, governance committees ensure their organization stays ahead of the curve and adapts to the evolving needs of learners in a rapidly changing technology landscape. Contact us to learn more about how we can help your organization establish effective governance processes.

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