4 Tips To Overcome The Most Common Extended Enterprise LMS Implementation Challenges
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How To Overcome The Most Common Extended Enterprise LMS Implementation Challenges

Good business requires a smooth sales chain. Everyone from your warehouse loaders to your messengers needs to be on the same page. The mistake that many companies make is to focus on your white collar internal team. However, external partners can play just as big a role. In fact, their impact might be bigger. They are the ones that directly engage customers, so they can make or break your reputation. They need to know how to sell and how to represent your brand in the best light. Here’s what NOT to do during extended enterprise LMS implementation.

eBook Release: External Training 101: Everything You Need To Know BEFORE Buying Your Next Extended Enterprise LMS
eBook Release
External Training 101: Everything You Need To Know BEFORE Buying Your Next Extended Enterprise LMS
Learn how external partner training can improve your profit margins and discover how to find the perfect extended enterprise LMS platform and create a more accurate budget.

1. Starting Without A Plan

Organizational politics can be a challenge. Often, it leads to management making ill-advised decisions. They might initiate cosmetic projects without depth, just to tick it off a list. The danger here is that resources get wasted and results are low. It’s very easy to suggest that vendors and distributors should be trained, but without a clear strategy it’s pointless.

While it’s obvious that your external partners require training, break it down first. Segment them and find out the exact skills each category needs. Decide whether you can develop a single online training course to cover them all, or whether they need separate options. Talk to them to see the best way to format and deliver the online training course.

For example, wholesalers may prefer a central teaching terminal inside the warehouse. Staff can use it in shifts to save time and expenditure. Delivery guys and truckers may prefer an audio-based portable structure so they can listen while they drive. You also need to set up your online training course to fit their varying levels of education. Blue and white-collar partners need different approaches, both in content and context.

2. Misaligned Goals And Objectives

What was the thinking behind your extended enterprise LMS? It’s not just about creating a strategy. It’s about developing the right one. Two common mistakes during extended enterprise LMS implementation are to set goals that are too narrow or too vague. For example, "Projects like these are often implemented to ‘raise sales by 37.62%’ ". At the other extreme, they may have a stated objective of "improving distribution channels". The first goal places unrealistic expectations on both online learners and online instructors. It tempts them to "cheat" and "cook figures" in order to fulfill their KPIs. The latter is too broad to be meaningfully evaluated or implemented. Start with practical workable targets.

For example, you could generate a customer questionnaire and teach online learners to address each item. This questionnaire can form the basis of your contents page, and you could build your online training materials around it. You can also offer recognized compliance certification for online learners. If those documents have industry-wide credibility, it motivates your external partners to do the online training course right. It may cost a little extra to get your online training course accredited, but it’s worth it.

3. Ineffective Communication

There’s a difference between speech and communication. Just because you’re talking to someone doesn’t mean you’re getting through to them. They might be hearing you, but they may not understand you. This can become more of an issue for extended enterprise LMS platforms. Analytics can tell you when an online learner has opened a page or document. But did they benefit from it?

Online training courses often feel like one-way communication. Your external partners may be lost, but feel too intimidated to ask for help. In-house instructors and supervisors want to assist, but they don’t know where or how. After all, these are not employees, so you can’t just go to their desks or call them up. Even email could be unreliable.

Ensure good communication by including a chatbot on the extended enterprise LMS platform. Put at least one live supervisor in charge of the bot. This person can monitor it periodically and step in where necessary. This gives both internal teams and external partners a clear channel to feel heard. It doesn’t need to be expensive. You may just use a plug-in or repurpose your current FAQ module.

4. Lack Of Ownership

Extended enterprise LMS implementation is an interesting project. It’s an external arm of an already existing platform, and this can make the chain of command murky. Within your organization, team members may feel it has nothing to do with them. This will minimize their interest and involvement. Meanwhile, your external partners are unfamiliar with how you do things internally, so they don’t know where to go for help. This increases your drop-off rate.

Appoint a small but diverse team within your organization and put them in charge of the project. Give online learners easy access to this team, preferably through a single point-person. This tells both online learners and your company that the "branched-out" LMS is as important as the primary one. It gets everyone involved and invested in the process. A key element of this is extended enterprise LMS implementation. Your in-house "sponsor" needs to take a hands-on approach to dealing with external partners. They need to make sure there are effective channels to ensure online learners get their study materials. They also need to check in, follow up, and actively monitor online learners’ progress.

Investing in an extended enterprise LMS is a good foundation. Correct implementation builds walls and a roof on that foundation. To ensure that this sales structure you’re building is sound, here are a few recommendations. Never start without a solid plan. Set the right goals. Include a clear, simple, effective feedback loop. Put an internal team in charge of external partner training. With these guidelines, you can avoid 4 common extended enterprise LMS implementation mistakes and resolve potential challenges in your external training undertaking.

Want to learn more about the possibilities of an Extended Enterprise LMS? Download our free eBook External Training 101: Everything You Need To Know BEFORE Buying Your Next Extended Enterprise LMS to learn how your organization can benefit from an extended enterprise LMS. It also provides tips on how to choose the right pricing model and deployment option based on your needs, as well as how to get external partners excited about the launch, and questions to help you determine if an extended enterprise LMS is the ideal choice.

eBook Release: Thinkific
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