02.02.2017

Live #LT17uk Blog: Running L&D successfully across large organisations

Live #LT17uk Blog: Running L&D successfully across large organisations

How do you run L&D successfully across large organisations? Live from Learning Technologies Conference, Richard Owen, Product Manager at long-time Unicorn partners CII explains how they have trebled use of the Broker ASSESS platform in one year.

CII is the world's largest professional body for insurance and financial planning.

Broker ASSESS is effectively a lot of content and an LMS that has 50,000 users. It is bought by companies who range from having 10,000 staff to one, and can be used by business owners to Head of Compliance, Director of Operations to HR and L&D, everyone.

About two-and-a-half years ago CII started on a journey to increase usage of the LMS.

Why?

Usage was really low (4%of all courses on system) and all the content was compliance. It was old and looked old. The challenge was to provide something that was about more than just exams.

CII asked customers why they weren't using it and the main points were:

  • time was challenge - these were people who were doing only one to four courses a year or touching the system once or twice every six months.
  • content tended to be too generic - it didn't suit everyone
  • the way learning presented was just in a long alphabetical list - finding anything was just too hard.
  • the reporting wasn't telling the story it needed to so it wasn't really usable for much.

How did they do it?

They had a plan and it started with sorting the content out. Everything was rewritten from scratch (500+ courses and many thousands of MCQS). It was a huge undertaking but it was the first base from which everything else could move forwards.

This involved getting their hands dirty; not simply employing a research company to do their market research for them but getting out to customers themselves and not just talking to the managers but the people who work for the managers too. First answers weren't accepted either...

"People don't want to offend you," admitted Richard. "They're saying it's great and the best thing they've ever seen but I can see from their MI they're lying and they never use it!"

Making the new content role specific was key too. If people think something isn't relevant to them they gloss over it.

Now learners get a personalised experience. The first thing a learner sees is a diagnostic; they are asked approx 5-10 questions on a topic and exempted from learning if they get the questions right while if not it gets added to their basket.

The new reporting functionality also provides a real time view of knowledge across a business on a subject at any time. The CEO gets this on their desk at the start of each month so does Head of Compliance, which makes this data very powerful.

Through this there has been a distinct change in attitude to the traditional tick box approach. There is a mass of data for senior managers to digest and insights into what people in the business know. The key was for this information not to be used as a stick to beat people with rather understand what people do know and how they can improve.

The navigation and catalogues were fixed to become much more user friendly and all this was only possible by getting buy in from top.

One year in and usage has trebled and is still growing. Use of the new functionality has also increased significantly. CII has also improved the way it communicate about Broker ASSESS, and with more mechanisms still being rolled out on this front growth is expected to expand further still.

"Without having a supplier in Unicorn that was agile enough to adapt to our ideas we would've struggled," Richard continued.

What's next?

With the building blocks now in place CII are starting to look at integrating apps and gamification into the platform. Their first learning game is due to be launched next month.

To help businesses understand how the platform can support them, CII aren't adverse to providing it on a trial basis and frequently find that it's now very quickly embedded into that business.

But Richard revealed the champagne cork popping didn't last long. He added: "Once you've arrived at your destination, don't think you've done it and it's finished as you're already behind and it's out of date. It becomes a constant maintenance process then to keep achieving the desired outcomes so don't spend time too long celebrating it!"

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