Thursday, 8 August 2013

Following the Pilot...

Okay this is simple in the case of flying (like I am now) but less straight forward in the world of elearning and particularly your Learning Management System or LMS.  When you fly you go where the pilot takes you and that makes plenty of sense (ever been in a plane without one?).  But when it comes to learning technologies your pilot may go ahead, but that doesn't mean you have to fly the same way.  You may have had a successful launch on a small scale but does that mean you fire straight up the runway into a full launch?

When you are cleared to launch:
  • The first of these is easy, when your pilot was such a rip-roaring success of perfection personified it would be kind of crazy to not follow it as soon as you can with a full launch.
  • When you never make any mistakes of any kind and can be damned sure that you don't need to worry too much about the pilot because you'll get it right when you go live anyway.
  • You have the world's biggest elearning budget so if it's not right you just fix it up along the way flicking open your bottomless cheque book and signing away at will.
  • When you've completed your pilot and it has gone really well without any major issues.  You've conducted a review and it seems your first guess was right and you're ready to move straight on.
  • You were only using the term pilot to push it past the powers that be, you were always launching anyway and this was just a phase along the way of a staggered launch.
When you should carry out plenty of pre-flight checks:
  • The pilot was very small scale with only a few all-too-eager participants that were hand-chosen for the positive attitude - the business as a whole knows very little about this private little study in excellence.
  • The review of the pilot was okay but there was lots of negative feedback.
  • The budget is smaller for the main launch than the pilot.
  • You never really reviewed the effectiveness of the pilot.
Catch a different flight or take your pilot back to training:
  • When the pilot was a disaster of epic proportions, nothing worked, nobody achieved what they were supposed to and you, but you're still determined to make this idea fly.
  • When the key people from the pilot have all changed and the only records you have is that take up was pretty poor and who owns the plane anyway?
  • When you struggled with the vendor or the LMS 'experts'.
Choose a different airline:
  • The vendor was either not present, knew nothing of the system or customer service was completely non-existent.
  • The LMS really fell a looooong way short of expectations and the vendor isn't about to address issues.
  • Your feedback from the pilot is clearly pointing away from your choices that led you to the system you chose!
You were never meant to fly, cancel any further ideas of this notion:
  • You have zero interest in learning or learning technologies and nor does your business.
  • The pilot finished but it didn't matter because no one did anything and no-one is going to ever do anything.
  • IT won't let you do anything ever.  Like, ev-er!
The conclusion is a simple one, if you're sitting in the departure lounge about to get on a plane that's taking you somewhere you don't want to go, or the plane doesn't look like it's capable of getting you there, you should seriously think twice before following the pilot down the runway.  Remember the purpose of a pilot in your LMS is to get you knowing where you want to go and how to get there, whereas once you're on the plane the pilot goes and you follow or else!