What is Total Enterprise Training System and Who Needs One?
How about we start by flipping that around? Total enterprise training systems are NOT for you, if:
- You’re already meeting and exceeding the learning needs of your organization
- The training reports you produce are clear and relevant to all who read them
- Your LMS/LRS can reach any requested audience, be they employees or contractors or partners or clients
Still reading? Then you are exactly the kind of person who needs one.
A total enterprise training system helps to close the gap between where you are now, and where you will need to be going forward. It is possible to exceed expectations with your training systems, but you won’t get there by incrementally improving the systems you’ve already got.
I need a what now?
The whole entire thing. Not just the parts we can measure and manage easily, all of it.
As in the business enterprise. No Spock ears needed for this one.
Courses, experiences, learnings. Yes, it may be trendy to use words like “Learning & Development” or “Workplace Performance” to describe the industry sector or business service, but when it comes to managing those digital learning assets what we’re managing is really still most accurately called training.
Not a single tool or process. A coordinated body of methods, schemes, plans, and/or procedures that are structured into a functional software ecosystem.
Put it all together and what a Total Enterprise Training System is to you is a way to distribute courses and capture training data from across your organization and leverage it fully.
It’s basically a way of living up to the spirit of the promise that many LMS vendors carelessly made years ago, but managed to wriggle out of due to the fine print. Turns out you can’t realistically accomplish as much off-LMS delivery as everyone had hoped, and the LMS experience is much more painful than anyone wanted.
Or perhaps you’re already familiar with the term “Learning Ecosystem” which was all the rage for a while. Yes, what we’re talking about is something similar. Though learning ecosystems are still too often focused on learning technologies exclusively, instead of placing focus where it needs to be — on the larger enterprise.
What differentiates a Total Enterprise Training System from terms you may have heard before is that this can provide delivery and tracking of training anywhere, not just within learning-specific platforms like LMSs or LXPs.
Why it matters
When we’re asking questions about courses alone, we can get answers that relate to courses. That’s fine, nothing wrong with that.
Here’s your “butts in seats” report for this course, or series of courses.
Here’s how many people came in through their one authenticating door and then got to the end without bailing first. Here’s how many people did bail first.
If we’re lucky, we can make a report that says how many people were supposed to get through this training but never even clicked to start their journey in the first place.
For many years, this was enough. Sometimes this kind of info is still all we need.
…Though those “sometimes” are getting less and less frequent. Right?
None of these reports can show the disparate groups that may be outside of this one LMS — such as partners or customers or even employees needing to reference something in the course content without taking a full course. Maybe this isn’t even possible in your org yet, but…shouldn’t it be? With a Total Enterprise Training System, it can be. With this, we can show not only the course or user perspective that the LMS sees, but the actual utilization of the content itself — even if it’s being distributed in other forms or to other users outside the LMS.
More and more, we all need to show the impacts of the training we make and manage. As you know, “impact” isn’t a number that can be derived from the LMS alone. We can show test scores and pretend they’re a proxy for understanding and therefore behavior, but under close examination every one of those steps fails more often than it succeeds.
Total Enterprise Training Systems give us the underlying learning data we need to pair up against data from other systems to arrive at some more trustworthy answers. If there’s an ongoing digital transformation program or data-centric enterprise information system project that you’ve heard about at work, this is a way to align with that initiative and get on the right side of the changes to come.
How you get one
As of today, there isn’t any one off-the-shelf purchase that will allow you to say “Look, boss! Today I bought a Total Enterprise Training System for us!” Your organizational needs are unique, so your system will be made up of several different integrated systems and elements, likely purchased from different vendors at different times.
There is one important purchase that makes it all work together, though. That’s the underlying hosting/delivery/tracking of the training assets themselves.
You may be accustomed to uploading learning assets on an LMS or creating them in a virtual meeting platform, but then they’re locked in there behind a gate that prevents other use cases as in a total enterprise approach. Changing that part of the workflow is key to making those assets reusable and properly administered across your entire organization, and beyond.
The key to anything that serves the total enterprise is in the integration.
- Does your data have a platform of its own to stand on?
- Are you capable of delivering/restricting training content for any requested audience AND getting meaningful details back about their experience?
- How well can you leverage source-level reporting to match up against other data sources?
One product that gives a good answer to these questions and more is Training Vault by JCA Solutions. With it you get the ability to track not only all the user behaviors and course-level data that your LMS can track, but also everything that Training Vault itself can track — which is a LOT more! Once all your LMSs, LXPs, and even web portals, all draw their learning content from the same place, then gathering and leveraging that enterprise-level source data gets much, much easier.
This is the ground floor of your Total Enterprise Training System. This is where the training needs of your entire enterprise can start to be served. This is where your learning data can grow beyond your learning tech.