The French have a saying: Plus ca change, plus c'est la meme chose ("The more things change, the more things remain the same"). I am happy to report that, at least where learning and technology are concerned, nothing could be further from the truth. Learning and technology thrive on change and innovation, the introduction of newer and better systems.
Consider our Learning Management System (LMS). From the time of its inception, it helped bring about changes that we knew to be essential, and it did so with amazing payback in the first financial year. This did not come about easily. A lot of thought and planning went into it, and our team had to proactively address a lot of problems and needs, and find adequate solutions. Making sure that the investments we made yielded a perfect harvest, so to speak, was critical in order to justify the path we had taken. In short, things had to become more streamlined, effective, productive, and efficient.
Getting the monkey off our back
What we had in existence was a bulky, obsolete system that was slowing us down and costing far too much in time and money. What did we need to do? We needed to cut costs, to lose unnecessary baggage and bulk, and to become more time efficient. We had to pare down the system to make it more streamlined. We had to become lean.
The launch of iLearn (our LMS) achieved this for us. Our new LMS was self-sufficient and self-serving, and with that came an 85% reduction in administrative support, with headcount reduced by 10. The previously high hardware cost on servers was reduced substantially. Virtualization, enabled by moving to the Cloud, in turn made us accessible to employees in every nook and corner of the globe connected to the internet. The defect rate on finishing some key programs was reduced by about 20%, to under 10%. Real-time and customized reports were totally digitized. We were managing to do much more with much less. We had, indeed, finally managed to get the monkey off our back!
Today, we are happy to say, we have increased our class quorum from 12 to 15 (and counting, even as I write this...). This has been possible because the new LMS made the training administration process so much more intuitive and user-friendly. The obsolete interface system that had slowed down the entire process was replaced with a faster, easier-to-use interface, resulting in a significantly improved user experience (UX). Additionally, there has been a more focused approach to, and greater investment in, online learning programs, with rates of completion on our online library nearing benchmark levels for large companies. This could not have been achieved but for first-class digital and process improvement using lean.
“The secret of change," Socrates said, "is to focus all of your energy not on fighting the old, but on building the new."
With our new LMS, I'm proud to say, that's precisely what we are doing, and will continue to do for a long time to come.