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Using CMS Technologies for Streamlined L&D Operations, Part 4: Targeting Goals for Implementation

In this continuation of parts 1, 2, and 3 of the “Using CMS Technologies for Streamlined L&D Operations” series, this post covers areas that affect your content management strategies streamlining your organization’s L&D operations.

In previous parts of this series I explained the roles, job functions, and high-level goals that influence the use of content management system (CMS) technologies. The series provides you with a set of questions and key points that align to each high-level goal to help you target the areas that apply to your specific L&D operations. Once you identify your respective target areas, you can use those to create a new or existing CMS implementation to streamline operations.

Expanding on the previously listed high-level goals, there are areas in each that drive your implementation plan. Below is a breakdown of the high-level goals with questions or key points, to answer and rate in order of importance, for your organization. Depending on the urgency of each response, you may be able to adapt your roadmap based on the available resources.

Your Target Market(s), Including Target Audiences

● Who are your end users? Do they require global, multilingual, or localized information?
○ If so, what languages do you need or have as an existing translation solution?
If you have a solution, is the quality what your customers expect?
What financial impact do quality gaps have on revenue or cost savings?
○ What compliance or current practices impact your training product? These could occur at the global, local, or organization level.
■ Consider United States laws and compliance such as ADA.
■ Consider international laws and compliance such as GDP.
■ Consider the issues and challenges that affect diverse end-users, such as preferred learning methodologies or learning formats for various regions.
■ Consider standard or customized needs for training program options that address specific languages and cultural expectations.
○ What learning environments can have a positive effect on your training product?
■ Learning environments can vary depending on the target audience’s needs. One format may not always fit all but various formats can help streamline content development and influence post-production needs.
■ In some cases, content created for one format can be reused either as is or augmented for other delivery formats. For example:
● Manuals for instructor-led courses can be used with little to no adjustments to live online learners.
● The same manuals can serve as the basis for audio-visual scripts used to produce video presentations, scenario-based content, or interactive activities for web-based training.
● Full-length training (instructional material) may be condensed, broken down for microlearning, used as study materials, or used for support resources and FAQs. Consider if you have a market for mobile learning as well.
○ What digital assets versus hard copy materials should be maintained to comply with retention policies?
○ In some cases, it may be necessary to consider learners that study offline or behind firewalled environments or who need resources for on-the-job use.
■ While online content has many benefits as a training product, it is not always an option. Be aware of your learners’ environments, especially for a global training strategy, professional education, or topic-sensitive industries.

Program (Training and Knowledge Collection) Scalability

● What relationships exist within your current and future training content or information?
○ Does any part of the idea, knowledge, or design component already exist?
■ Examples to consider:
● Titles, descriptions, and objectives may be used in a presentation, syllabi, marketing materials, websites, and so on.
● Content may be augmented for use in other instances of topics such as a beginner versus an advanced-level explanation.
○ If relationships exist within content or information, leverage reuse and capabilities of the CMS to streamline your operations.
■ Create single-source content in chunks so it only exists once but can be published to multiple documents, assets, and instructional materials.
■ Single-source content can be updated once, reviewed once, and translated once for publishing to infinite distribution channels.
■ Single-source efforts can address text as well as multimedia content such as graphics, animation, audio, and video files.
○ If relationships do not yet exist, be sure to analyze how to best develop a new scalable solution that may improve course materials, cross-functional information sharing, and multi-channel distribution.
● Consider if any parts of the current or future material improve from standardization with other products, whether training-specific or from outside of the training-unit.
○ If so, leverage the CMS elements such as:
■ Page layouts, output designs, or skins
■ Resources such as images, videos, and so on
■ Defined elements such as variables, terms, and delivery channels
■ Adaptive controls, conditions, and tables of contents

Read part 5 for the continuation of this blog post.

About the Authors

Christina “Christy” Freire is an accomplished project manager, learning systems architect, educational technologist, and instructional designer with over 15 years of experience working in a variety of training and education environments. Christy is currently the Global Program Manager of Curriculum at Cellebrite Inc., digital intelligence and forensic company.

Jessica Johnston is a CMS admin at Cellebrite, a digital intelligence and forensics company. She has an extensive background in technical writing and editing and has designed and implemented Flare projects in the areas of legal technology, public safety, and financial services.

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