Next Generation Learning Infrastructure: 3 Key Roles On Your Learning Team

Why The Next Generation Learning Infrastructure Is About People, Too

Many of the tools and technologies needed for a new, more robust Learning and Development infrastructure require different skill sets than the traditional training team may have. Can you expand the skills and competencies of current roles on your team? Should you be exploring the need for new roles or services?

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Here are some of the core roles for which we think teams need to be preparing and that are outside of our typical Learning and Development scope:

1. Learning Designer

Of course, the role of Learning Designer is not new. But today Learning Designers need to look beyond content and to think more about the overall change journey through which we're leading individuals. In addition, Learning Designers may need to consider the delivery and technology implications of their design as well as the data that will inform their approach and the impact of their solution.

2. Data Analyst

Data analysts work with teams to identify learning and business data that provides insight into performance and outcomes. They design reports and other business tools to assist business managers and executives in making good business decisions about current and future learning interventions [1].

Be sure to read the ELearning Guild’s whitepaper: Data Analytics: A Practical Pathway to Success, which outlines a detailed strategy and approach for data analytics within a learning organization.

3. Technical Consultant

Now that you have a learning strategy that leverages multiple approaches and technologies and a data strategy that provides real-time insight into needs and outcomes, you’ll need to integrate some technology. The Technical Consultant will be an expert in web services and data warehousing and works with your team to put the backend in place to support your vision.

Taking It Forward

As we consider redefining the L&D organization to meet the needs of the modern learner, we should be thinking holistically about the experiences we’re designing and the outcomes we’re after.

For each learning initiative we design, we need to think broadly about not only the event we’re designing, but the before and after support as well. We have laid out a six-step process for a change journey:

  1. Engage
  2. Diagnose
  3. Learn
  4. Apply
  5. Assess
  6. Reinforce

As you design your solution, be sure to ask key questions about each of these steps to help you put the right interventions in place. For instance, does this skill require a lot of practice in the real world? If so, then you’ll need to be sure to build in ample opportunities for real-world practice.

As you design for the modern learner, consider the many new tools and technologies that may liberate you from the traditional locked in the LMS learning experience. These tools may require new technology implementations and additional costs, like video role play tools or curation platforms. Key to building a case for these investments is the understanding you gain of the gap you’re trying to close when architecting the solution as well as the ability to effectively capture and analyze real business metrics and data.

Building the skills and the capacity within your team to measure and manage this data will help you turn the L&D from a cost center to a profit center – proving your value in driving real changes to the business that have an impact on the bottom line.

Change is hard. We’re talking about pushing some real change in our work, introducing new approaches and new technologies. Marketing teams used to be this way. They created pretty ads and then hoped sales would improve. With all the influx of new technologies and measurable data, marketing teams have transformed from costs center into profit center where each activity and click are measured and tracked in order to continually improve on the message and methods. We can do the same in Learning and Development. Are you ready for the ride? Let’s go on this journey together.


  1. HT2 Labs Case Study for IHG

Related Articles:

  1. Free eBook: Next Generation Learning Infrastructure
  2. Next Generation Learning Infrastructure: Goals, Tools, And Learning Measurement
  3. 2 Factors That Affect How We Deliver Learning Experiences