Governance Policies For Reporting Within A Learning Management System

LMS Reporting Governance Policies
Summary: This article talks about the different governance policies that are key from a reporting perspective when implementing or maintaining an LMS.

LMS Reporting Governance Policies

Reporting as we all know is a very important part for any organization, anything that can be measured helps in improving it effectively. The senior leaders are always in need of a report, hence it is imperative to have robust reporting within an LMS.

The benefits of effective reporting within an LMS system:

  • Effective Decision Making
    • An accurate report helps a trainer decide how many classes have to be scheduled to meet the compliance metric for their organization.
    • From a manager's perspective, it gives them a snapshot of how many members have completed/not completed the training.
  • Enhance Productivity
    • Accurate reporting within an LMS helps managers focus their time on designing strategies for employee trainings.
    • From a trainer's perspective, it gives them a snapshot of which trainings are increasing employee productivity.
  • Effectual Communication
    • Managers are able to communicate the single message across to the organization with relevant reporting data in terms of compliance, audit, and training needs to everybody—from the learner to the training providers.

Governance provides guidance, structure, and boundaries for a team to operate, communicate and make decisions. It is an evolving living process that should be reviewed at regular intervals to ensure continued alignment with business needs.

The below section talks about the key governance policies for "Reporting" within an LMS under 3 key areas: reporting access; catalog and naming conventions; reporting maintenance, audit, and distribution.

1. Reporting Access

Reporting access ensures that users with reporting privileges have the right permissions that would allow them to create/edit/share/archive reports successfully. The reporting access privileges governance policies can be divided into two heads: (1) requesting access and (2) granting access.

Requesting access should have a help desk ticket submitted with the reason for a reporting privilege access request (i.e., new role, need for a specific report, etc.) along with the manager's approval.

Granting reporting access should be reviewed and appropriate training should be assigned/completed by the requesting member prior to him/her getting privileges. The LMS admin team should validate the request by adding privilege to the users and constraints wherever applicable. The team must update the master list of role permissions/constraints, document the new role details for the requesting member and, finally, the team should provide required communication to the affected stakeholder with details on the new role and permission.

2. Reporting Catalog

Reporting catalog governance policy should be designed to define the repository for all reporting templates created by the reporting team and shared with the different business stakeholders.

Reporting catalog policy can be divided into two heads (i.e., setting up an account and adding templates to the catalog). Setting up an account is a one-time event (i.e., create an account with the role of system admin; access to this account should be restricted). All users having this access should be documented for future audits and maintenance.

Adding report templates should be performed under the system admin role; an appropriate folder labeled “Templates” should be created under the "Report"s section. Within the folder "Templates," the subsection folders can be named corresponding to the business unit/business line. Once the templates are saved, the templates can be shared with the requestor/business units. All reports will be shared with all system admins.

If an existing template does not satisfy the request, a new reporting template should be created within the catalog repository; any report/template created should be validated in a lower environment then production (i.e., QA before publishing it in "Production"). In addition, editing a template should be performed on a needs basis or if there is a request from multiple business stakeholders for the same.

Naming conventions is essential, as proper naming makes the report searchable and user-friendly. There shouldn't be the usage of abbreviations as it makes it difficult for a new user to search. The best practice is to include the business unit and the date with a small description of the report.

3. Reporting Maintenance, Audit, And Distribution

All reports/templates should have routine maintenance. Each report in use may have a different maintenance schedule. Typically, maintenance/audit would occur bi-yearly or when needed. During the maintenance window, the report may become temporarily unavailable for a few hours. Notifications should be sent accordingly.

Any unused reports/templates for more than two years should be presented to the governance council and checked for its validity. If it is not valid anymore, it should be archived. Business feedback needs to be gathered consistently to ensure that their voice is heard and continuous optimization is performed.

Distribution of reports should have a schedule and communication channel (i.e., as and when there is an updated version of a previously shared template/report). The distribution team should circulate the newest version with notes on the updates on the report/template.


Reporting is not just about graphs, metrics, and statistics. It is also about consistently reporting governance right from the creation/updation of reports to the distribution, maintenance, and audit. It is one thing to set the base foundation for a house, but the establishment of a right governance policy will ensure it stays intact for years to come.