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How Centralized Training Operations Improve Performance

Thursday, June 9, 2022

Administrate’s own research has found that L&D teams often rely on 9 to 12 unique tools to manage training operations. There are a lot of parts to the typical training operations tech stack—an LMS, shared calendars, learning analytics software, and email solutions. This leads to a decentralized training management system that can result in poorer performance, but because this is how we’ve managed training for so long, we often don’t think about how adding one more tool to our operations can hurt us.

Why Most L&D Teams Use Too Many Tools

There has been a long history of relying on point solutions within enterprise training because an LMS can’t do everything a team needs. These tools each solve one or two problems, and they often solve them very well. As a whole, a team is left with a disconnected collection of software. Take a look at some of the point solutions most L&D teams rely on:

  • Course catalogs
  • Survey tools
  • Registration systems
  • LMS
  • Communication tools
  • VILT and blended learning tools
  • CRM for learner and instructor data
  • Calendar solutions
  • Spreadsheets (to manage data)

Disadvantages of Decentralized Training Operations

Disparate systems place additional burdens on a training team. The most serious problems I encounter are:

Time sunk into manual training operations. Even L&D teams in advanced organizations often lack the same basic automations you find in finance, marketing, and sales. Hours are wasted managing enrollment and registration, communications, and scheduling. Often, data is scattered across the various tools and subsystems within the learning tech stack, adding to the manual effort it takes to perform what should be simple, menial tasks such as sending a survey to the right learner cohort.


Errors from manual operations are bound to happen, and human error rises when teams rely on manual tasks. This creates an additional layer of complexity—checking and double-checking work and possibly repairing errors weeks or months later.

Stuck in a reactive mindset. Decentralized training operations and the additional work it takes to manage them rob teams of valuable time that could be spent on strategic alignment and decision making. Without that focus, teams become stuck in a reactive mindset and are unable to get ahead of challenges. This has the insidious side effect of making it easier to justify yet another point solution to solve an immediate problem, eventually adding to a top-heavy learning technology suite.


How to Evaluate Centralized Learning Technology

So, how do we centralize training operations? Well, it is not as simple as purchasing the best software and implementing it properly. Your team will need to change how you think about training operations, how you prioritize different types of tasks, and how you structure and report on your training. One great place to start is evaluating your current technology to see how much effort you’re spending to keep a decentralized system functioning.

The following questions will help you evaluate your existing learning technology:

  • How many systems or tools have overlapping or duplicate features?
  • What percentage of a tool do you use? Many teams find they use fewer features than are available.
  • How well do your different tools work together, and how do they work together? Do they share data easily? Are they integrated seamlessly, or does the integration require manual workarounds?
  • What software do you use that you dread? Why?

Then, consider how much time, manual effort, and the number of tools or systems it will take to:

  • Resolve communications?
  • Support blended and online learning?
  • Manage training finances, enrollments, and report on costs?
  • Show the impact of your training team to everyone else?
  • Manage multiple training locations?
  • Schedule training?
  • Manage your course catalog?
  • Plan your training for the next quarter?
  • Show your impact against specific goals and targets?

These questions will help your team rethink your tech stack.

About the Author

Pascale Mina s an Enterprise Business Development Team Lead for Administrate. She helps enterprise clients in EMEAA & North America manage training, leverage business intelligence, and analyze the effectiveness of training operations.

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