Friday, 30 August 2013

Who is your MVP for your LMS?

In the concept of team sports the MVP (or most valuable player) is pretty straight forward, it may not be your most skilled or highest scorer, but it's the person who makes everything work on the field/court/pitch.  For an LMS (learning management system) it's also a team game when we want things to work the best they can and just like a sports team there's a piece of the puzzle that's vital and makes everything together work.  Just like a sports team it isn't necessarily from a set position, but it will come from one of these three key roles:

Your LMS Administrator; the most important piece of the puzzle for an LMS is often the administrator (or sys admin).  What's perverse about this is that typically they are lower-paid and less-well selected than most other roles in your organisation, but you must not underestimate their importance overall.  A decent sys admin will literally be worth their weight in gold for your L&D department and hence your organisation as a whole.  If you have someone here who is computer literate, enthused about what they do and shares a passion for learning then you are on to a winner.  A word of advice here though, truly value them or they will leave!  Who is your admin person for the LMS?  Typically it's often a training or L&D coordinator, but I've filled this role as a manager in my past and the key is more about the individual than the role it comes under.  If you take one thing away from this blog remember this is the pivotal role in the success of an LMS; value your sys admin if you have the right one!

Your LMS 'Owner'; mistake number two is usually a lack of ownership or giving ownership to the wrong person.  If you are the owner then you are potentially the biggest influence on how it all turns out.  If your owner is motivated, learning focused and has great vision for the LMS then it will rarely fail.  If you are the owner then good on you for reading this, because as the LMS owner you should believe in life long learning and really care about the success of your system.  Your owner is normally the L&D lead, but it often ends up in the camp of HR general or even IT.  If no-one wants it and you are passionate about it, then wrestle it away from them and take ownership yourself.  If you own it but don't care about it then delegate the ownership to someone who has the vision and drive to make it succeed.  Lastly if you are the owner and possess all the good stuff above, just remember that you have to share your vision and some of the responsibility with others (remember loving and letting go of your LMS in an earlier blog?!).

Your CEO/GM/Big Boss; if the first shout-out is for the admin at the bottom of the organisational hierarchy then the last is for the top!  If your CEO actually gives a damn about L&D and is a champion for what you do and it can do then you have found your MVP.  Don't try and take control and feel protective of your 'baby', use their power and influence to drive forward the system and follow the leader.  If you have a really passionate chief then you just need to match that yourself and there is literally nothing you can't do with the learning for your organisation.  If your CEO is like this, stay in your current job 'cos it doesn't get any better than this!

As a sort of afterthought I guess that there's always the X-factor out there (no, not that TV thing...) that you can't rule out.  A key stakeholder, a trainer that makes fantastic content and really support or even someone in IT who's really for what you're trying to do (they do exist honest!) - I guess your MVP can pop up anywhere, but ask yourself 'what role do I fill?' and see how easy it would be to move up a notch and be the MVP for your LMS.