Moving From Standalone to Collaborative Content Authoring ? Moving from Standalone to Collaborative

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David Grebow October 2013 Research Brief The Business Case for LCMS: Moving From Standalone to Collaborative Content Authoring 2013 Brandon Hall Group. Not licensed for distribution. Page 2 The Business Case for LCMS Research Brief The Business Case for LCMS: Moving from Standalone to Collaborative Content Authoring By: David Grebow, Principal Learning Analyst October 2013 2013 Brandon Hall Group. Not licensed for distribution. Page 3 The Business Case for LCMS Introduction The widespread adoption of Learning Content Management Systems (LCMS) to author content is changing the way companies operate by changing the cost structure, speed of development, management and communication of content. Perhaps even more profound is the change in the relationship between the content creator and consumer. The once dependent connection between author and reader, in which the author published content and the reader consumed the content, has dramatically changed. Today, LCMS has enabled the readers to easily publish and in turn become the co-contributors and writers. LCMS software collapses authoring, publishing and using content into one activity. In addition, it has enabled the creation and dissemination of content to be easily accomplished on a variety of devices, quickly switching from desktop to laptop to tablet in mid-sentence. This process of disintermediation has enormously increased how fast and accurately content is used, and has resulted in dramatic increases in performance and productivity. The key difference is that the pre-LCMS environment was focused exclusively on the content. In the LCMS world, the learner is the focus. Content is driven by an anytime/anywhere need to access content. It is defined by what end-users of the content need in real-time to perform their work. It is no longer as useful or valuable to provide content focused on a process or procedure with a short shelf-life, or knowledge or know-how that does not help users do their jobs. The LCMS can provide all or any specific part of a course that the learner needs. Relevancy and immediacy are the new bars which need to be cleared for the authoring and delivery of content. The impact on the L&D departments and their training programs has been most powerful. The system brings the people who have the knowledge and know-how into direct contact with the people who need their knowledge. The result is a company that is more agile, adaptive and able to change and adjust to market conditions -- using content that is as current as possible; content that can be delivered in a variety of formats from formal to informal, classroom to eLearning or performance support; able to be more productive, innovative, and responsive. As this report will show, organizations that use their LCMS will be more successful in a rapidly changing, more competitive marketplace. 2013 Brandon Hall Group. Not licensed for distribution. Page 4 The Business Case for LCMS The Adaptive Business Model Defined The traditional business model developed pre-determined content that demanded consensus, often by committee, and absolute compliance. The model was created during an era when the business environment was more stable, and the products and services, and resulting skills and knowledge, often had a shelf life of up to several years. The new, more flexible adaptive business model requires communication and collaboration which creates new content on an as-needed basis. New businesses operate in a flat, hypercompetitive world market and experience a more rapid pace of change. Even the characteristics of change are dramatically different. Change today is dynamic and discontinuous. Change happens with greater frequency and is unpredictable based on real-time events within the company and with their customers, vendors, and suppliers. Organizations need to adapt quickly and correctly to these changes. For example: A software company needs to provide customized upgrades to their clients, who are adapting to rapidly changing market conditions. A healthcare organization is constantly updating their policies and procedures based on rapidly changing guidelines and regulations. Two companies are merging and need to quickly rationalize the different ways of doing business in order to keep moving forward. A multinational fast-food company is constantly bringing in new products to different markets and regions and must provide information and directions about food safety, preparation and marketing. All of these examples result in changes in learning content and in the training based on that content. The adaptive business model means that the company has the tools and culture to be able to quickly adapt to changes in their marketplace. Most organizations today have been built upon a traditional corporate culture with a number of well-known and accepted corporate procedures regarding content and content-sharing. The adaptive business requires new ways of communicating and collaborating. Transitioning into an adaptive business model requires the right tools, a supportive culture, a new mindset, good strategy and high-level commitment. The goal is to find the intersections where the traditional model no longer produces the optimum results, and can be improved using an adaptive model that views content and content-sharing. 2013 Brandon Hall Group. Not licensed for distribution. Page 5 The Business Case for LCMS Traditional Business Model Adaptive Business Model Content has a longer shelf life often measured over a year or longer Content has a shorter shelf life, often measured in months or less Training content can be developed and delivered over longer time periods that can be measured in months Training content needs to be developed and delivered within weeks and occasionally in real time Training materials are delivered using more traditional training approaches (e.g. ILT, VLT) Training materials are delivered using new non-traditional approaches (e.g. mobile, social, videos, performance support (one specific of a course, chapter, check list, etc.) One-size-fits-many, off-the-shelf programs One-size-fits-one personal learning path for one person at a specific point-in-time The adaptive business model is based on the capability to share content instantly, and work collaboratively across the enterprise regardless of the department or division in which you are working. The adaptive business model incorporates several business practices that enable the kind of content creation, communication and collaboration required to respond and move to meet the rapid and discontinuous change. Progressive organizations utilize a content creation and management tool that has the capability of developing content using subject matter experts from across the company and often with the input of customers, suppliers and vendors as well. The content creation and management tool employs a number of social and other collaborative features and functions. The implementation of the new system starts out small and builds on the success of the program it supports. The adaptive organization includes workspaces that cross department and division lines and incorporate. o Company-wide secure access to files o Enterprise-level social network features 2013 Brandon Hall Group. Not licensed for distribution. Page 6 The Business Case for LCMS o Real-time collaboration tools (e.g. virtual meetings and shared editing capabilities). The organization fully embraces methods to facilitate real-time discussion and to reduce unnecessary emails using instant messaging for on-screen and mobile chats between everyone across the enterprise. The Value of an Adaptive Business Model Using an LCMS There are a number of ways the LCMS develops a new mindset that supports an adaptive business model. That new LCMS-based adaptive model produces a number of benefits for the organization: Contextual Learning. No two learners are alike, nor do they usually need the same information at the same time. The content needs to adapt to their needs in order to be most useable and useful. The LCMS takes knowledge objects and places them into a learning path that is proscribed by what the learner needs to know. These learning paths not only provide the learning that is most relevant; it also captures the learning objectives determined by the organization. This approach means that learners will find what they need when they need it instead of waiting for that piece of knowledge to be shared as they patiently wade through lots of content they do not need. Adaptive learners are able to search and find what they need in the same way that a person can search for specific information on Google. The difference is that the information is more focused and linked to additional knowledge learners might need to do their job. Core and Custom Knowledge. In addition to tacit and explicit knowledge, the adaptive organization using an LCMS also recognizes that there is core and custom knowledge. Core knowledge tends to have a longer shelf life and can be used by many people. Custom knowledge often has a very limited shelf life and focuses on a specific audience. Knowledge Objects are Adaptable. The adaptive organization needs to keep up with the way technology impacts on the delivery of content. Mobile is a great example of an emerging technology that once delivered only telephone calls and today, with smartphones, can provide content through a variety of networks and 2013 Brandon Hall Group. Not licensed for distribution. Page 7 The Business Case for LCMS apps. Content developed as an object can be reused and delivered on a mobile device without having to redevelop the content from scratch. As content delivery technology changes, the adaptive organization can change without the time-consuming and expensive effort of re-developing content for mobile. Faster Time-to-Performance. One key goal of any learning content is to speed up the time to performance. This is especially true for new employees. In organizations that need to adapt to high turnover or frequently changing rules and regulations, even the core content that was previously developed can be more readily revised and repurposed than creating new content from scratch. Core legacy content, which might have become obsolete, can still be converted and becomes an asset that reduces the cost of new content development. Self-paced, anytime and anywhere. Another advantage the LCMS affords the adaptive organization is to enable employees to also be as adaptive as possible. This means that employees have the capability to choose small units of content from which to learn. This is useful for new employees who learn what they need to perform a new job and then go back and learn more advanced skills, as well as more experienced employees who simply need a refresher on a single subject. Finally there is another benefit that using an LCMS in an adaptive business environment can produce. Delivering a high-performance learning culture begins by understanding that smart and agile employees, with the tools they need to succeed, are also the most engaged employees. Numerous studies show that providing up-to-date performance support content and learning programs will have a dramatic effect on a companys customer service and satisfaction, productivity and ultimately profitability. The LCMS enables a learning culture that can produce these benefits. Moving from Standalone to Collaborative Content Authoring Until the emergence of the LCMS, standalone authoring was the norm. Standalone authoring meant that the content in a training program was defined, designed, and developed by a single person or single design team with initial input from a Subject Matter Expert (SME). The team or person acted independently of the learners and 2013 Brandon Hall Group. Not licensed for distribution. Page 8 The Business Case for LCMS interpreted and translated the content into learning materials. Content authoring software and tools were designed to support this model. Collaborative content authoring is a relatively new concept and practice. Collaborative content authoring opens the content development to many people outside the development team, traditionally composed of instructional designers, writers, graphic artists and others, as well as the SMEs. The new collaborative content teams are composed of anyone who has knowledge and know-how to contribute to the content. This includes everyone from product developers to customers. The only way this type of wide-ranging collaborative content authoring can be achieved is through an LCMS. Collaborative authoring uses an LCMS to free all the learning that went into the standalone content. LCMS builds a repository of many learning objects that have been created by many people collaborating on the content. These learning objects contain content that is tagged by metadata, for example objects about product overview or product service. These learning objects can be assembled into individual learning paths with the objects in the order needed by the learner. Each object can also be Collaborative Authoring Collaborative authoring is dynamic and produces content containing many elements. Content is organized in a branching fashion. It is designed so learners can assemble their own customized learning paths. The content is assembled on-the-fly as needed and remains open for quick changes or updates. Standalone Authoring Standalone authoring is static and produces content that can be viewed as a single learning element. Content is organized in a linear fashion. The content is also usually designed so the learner is led through the content by an actual or virtual instructor. The content is pre-assembled and closed to quick changes or revisions. 2013 Brandon Hall Group. Not licensed for distribution. Page 9 The Business Case for LCMS revised as needed by anyone who has the new content which needs to be added. A learning path can deliver up-to-the-minute knowledge because it is put together in real-time by the learners who are the most current on what is happening in the workplace and not taken off the shelf with a use by date. The LCMS enables the addition of informal or social content (the 80%) coming from many sources to the more traditional formal standalone content (the 20%) producing learning content that is closer to a 100% solution. Content developed in this fashion allows room for the informal content; it can be stretched or adjusted to fit the needs of informal learning. The LCMS authoring tool, used to create new learning objects, can use everything from PowerPoint presentations to Word documents and memos as content. Many LCMS authoring tools use templates, storyboards, and other forms which enable almost anyone to easily create learning objects without the long and often steep learning curve required by other authoring tools. The most sophisticated LCMS also incorporate version control, multiple authoring capabilities, and learning project management. Relevant Content is a Mission-Critical Business Tool Business today changes faster than ever and needs to have the capability to transfer content for learning at the same speed. The older model of knowledge transfer had the luxury of time. People could queue up for a class that took months to develop, and what was taught over a long period of time was still enough to be relevant. Companies practicing that approach now will be out of business very quickly because the content people need to do their jobs will be no longer relevant. Content that is not current, that is out-of-date, has no real bearing on current business problems, wastes time, prolongs decisions, reduces innovation and increases time-to-performance impacts directly and negatively on the bottom line. Current content does the opposite and enables companies to more quickly meet customer demands, innovate more readily, change processes and procedures more quickly, and improve time-to-performance and productivity and more. 2013 Brandon Hall Group. Not licensed for distribution. Page 10 The Business Case for LCMS Why Todays Workforce Needs to Create and own Their Content Todays workers are increasingly global and mobile. They expect content to be relevant, up-to-date and able to help them perform when needed. Their experience is that the explosion of knowledge has made it impossible for any one person to be The Expert on any subject. For them the team is the new expert. Content in their digital world is a function of disintermediation, which means the content is often developed and published by them, rather than from some distant and centrally controlled location. They are a generation used to blogging, commenting, posting and publishing. Content is not something that is delivered to them; it is created by them. They expect to be a part of rather, than apart from, the conversation about, development of, and dissemination of content. There is also another important reason why they need to own their own content. They do the work and know what is happening with regard to the business, products and services. They live in a world where content is always there, on a PC, a tablet or smartphone. The idea of waiting for content to be drawn from an SME and translated into a course that takes less than 10-20 minutes to learn is unacceptable. Sitting through a lot of content that they do not need is unacceptable. Spending time in a classroom listening to an instructor talk about a lot of content that is not immediately relevant is unacceptable. The bottom line: They want ownership; if not of the actual content then of the way it is developed and delivered. And that means an LCMS needs to be in place to provide the technology to make that happen. Limitations of Desktop Standalone Learning Content Authoring As we previously discussed, desktop standalone authoring was useful when content had a long shelf-life and was being used to transfer knowledge in analog formats. Learners expected the output in the form of an instructor-led course that was carefully developed by professional instructional developers and placed in an LMS catalog. Content created this way worked when there was time to leave the workplace travel was expected. The distinction at a basic level is that the content people needed was explicit and not tacit. Heres the difference between the two types of knowledge: Explicit knowledge is what is externalized and captured as content. Explicit knowledge is at the heart of traditional learning content. Explicit knowledge comes as a rehearsed 2013 Brandon Hall Group. Not licensed for distribution. Page 11 The Business Case for LCMS presentation or off-the-shelf courses. Knowledge transfer is fixed and can transcend the boundaries of time and space. Explicit knowledge can be developed at the desktop of a professional course developer and packaged as a course. Tacit knowledge is internalized and kept by the person with the knowledge or know-how. Tacit knowledge is the basis for informal knowledge sharing. Tacit knowledge has no wrapper, is off-the-cuff and must be transferred in real-time. Instant messages, telephone conversations, and live forums with a Community of Practice are examples of tacit knowledge. Tacit knowledge has no development timeline and cannot be created and later transferred from a desktop. Since tacit knowledge constitutes the largest percentage of the content which todays learners need, then standalone desktop authoring, created to develop content that is by nature explicit, is of limited value in a fast-paced highly mobile world. Content developed using an LCMS has greater value because the content can be developed quickly, provided in focused, discrete learning objects, delivered to any mobile device, revised and corrected in real-time, and created with the input of the people who best know what the content needs to contain. Content: From Centrally Developed to Widely Distributed Organizations today are very different than they were even 10 years ago. They are hiring more temporary workers and it is too expensive to provide the same type of centrally developed formal training that employees used to attend. Any other employees are too busy to spend time in a classroom. Plus, the demand for centrally developed content depended on the Boomer generation, for whom it was originally developed, and those employees will be leaving companies in droves over the next few years. Their knowledge and subject matter expertise will soon no longer be available to even develop content that goes through a central location such as a training department. Its not impossible to imagine a point in the near future when the acronym SME is no longer used. In addition, companies today are more open to sharing content development with all of their supply and value-chains (e.g., suppliers, partners, vendors and customers). The LCMS needs to be used to enable the connections between all these widely distributed and different learners. There is another important reason that widely distributed development and delivery of content is becoming more accepted. In addition to 2013 Brandon Hall Group. Not licensed for distribution. Page 12 The Business Case for LCMS reducing the cost of training, the learning objects provided by the LCMS can be distributed across the enterprise instead of being closely held by the L&D organization. This enables a learning object to be previewed, viewed, reviewed many times and kept as current as possible by people working in other countries. Revising an object about a change in a manufacturing process, for example, can happen the day the change is instituted. In a central repository far away from the source of the change, the revision would take considerably longer. It would not have the value as an asset for the company that a widely distributed learning object can afford. The issue of consistency arises when discussing the ability of almost anyone to develop or revise a widely distributed learning object. The issue is resolved in an LCMS by the use of templates which are branded and vetted by the company. These templates-as-learning-objects can be used to develop an entire course by assembling learning objects in the repository, creating new learning objects, or using a combination of old and new objects. Authors may be subject matter experts, instructional designers, media production artists, or community of practice leaders. The LCMS authoring tool may also be used to rapidly convert libraries of an organizations existing content, typically adding media, customized interfaces, and instructional methodologies. Widely distributed content can mean that an author may work internally or be located at externally. For some companies, authors can today include key customers, vendors and suppliers. Everyone with a contribution to the learning content can be a contributor. The traditional process of identifying subject matter experts, interviewing them and extracting their relevant knowledge is now placed directly into the hands of the people throughout the enterprise who have knowledge and know-how to contribute. This is obviously faster and more effective since it adds in the most current and useable content. Plus, a complex program can be much more readily pieced together when many people who know the content can work together as a team from any device. Case in Point: Allscripts Kenexa LCMS Helps Allscripts Expand Content and Reduce Development Time There are more than 180,000 physicians that rely on Allscripts for healthcare software solutions. Based in Chicago, the company serves 1,500 hospitals and 10,000 post-acute care organizations on four continents. This includes homecare providers and 2013 Brandon Hall Group. Not licensed for distribution. Page 13 The Business Case for LCMS organizations, one of Allscripts fastest growing clients. Allscripts goal is to deliver the most trusted, innovative software programs that enable healthcare providers to use technology to achieve world-class outcomes. Allscripts solutions help these organizations to automate certain aspects of their business such as scheduling and specific administrative and clinical tasks that helps improve the quality of care and operational control. Allscripts Education Services supports internal and external client education requirements for their healthcare software solutions. Each solution is managed by various product owners and teams; timelines and deliverables are developed and negotiated by these respective teams. Education Services represents the single face of Allscripts education offerings, regardless of the product being supported. Its curriculums incorporate various approaches, including formal instructor-led classes, web-based instructor-led classes, and eLearning. To keep pace with the increased demand for solutions, the Homecare Group at Allscripts needed a solution that could update training material in a timely manner and do it in such a way that similar content across many customized programs and learning modules would be revised at the same time. This would not only save Allscripts instructional designers valuable time and resources, it would enable clients to get the most up-to-date training in the fastest and easiest way possible. With at least four new releases each year, and each release requiring up to 20 eLearning courses, that added up to content for 80 or more training programs. The answer for Allscipts was the Learning Content Management System (LCMS) by Kenexa, an IBM company. Allscripts Education Services elected to implement a hosted solution to ensure the collaborative workspace solution is available from all locations via the internet. This approach made it possible for content to be available and reusable when it was needed for Homecare Group Education Services team members at any location. Wanda Clark is a senior education technologist at Allscripts and one of the people responsible for training on the LCMS. According to Wanda, You have to create a perspective of seeing training content as individual business assets with an associated cost of development and maintenance. Eliminating redundancy is where the ROI comes from. She added that with a typical Allscripts curriculum, 30% of the content can be reused when the learning objectives are reviewed. 2013 Brandon Hall Group. Not licensed for distribution. Page 14 The Business Case for LCMS The Learning Content Management System met many of Allscripts immediate requirements right out of the box. By utilizing the Member Management capabilities, instructional designers are able to assign and manage subject matter experts tasked with reviewing course materials. Both internal and external subject matter experts can be assigned to review content. These resources do not have access to any of the content except what is explicitly assigned to them for review. Reviewers are given the ability to make independent comments for each element within the content assigned to them. The system catalogs all of the comments for each element so that updates can be performed quickly and effectively. Shortly after implementing the Kenexa LCMS, Allscripts Homecare group was able to reduce by 66% the time it took to develop content and get it into the hands of the users. This allows the group to develop new content for clients that are taking just-in-time release upgrade training. According to Wanda Clark, The LCMS made me a much better instructional designer. Aligning to the discipline made me very conscious to develop to objectives and more creative in how I presented the information. From a delivery perspective, it provided a means to provide more course offerings through packaging versus development. We are able to grow closer to achieving the J3, just enough, just in time, and just for me. When asked about what the company has learned, she added, At Allscripts, we are just beginning to implement the single sourcing opportunities that the LCMS can provide. The challenge is not the mechanics of how to metadata tag content for single-sourcing, but defining and teaching how to design and develop training keeping multiple outputs in mind. 2013 Brandon Hall Group. Not licensed for distribution. Page 15 The Business Case for LCMS About Brandon Hall Group With more than 10,000 clients globally and 20 years of delivering world class research and advisory services, Brandon Hall Group is the most established and well-known research organization in the performance improvement industry. 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