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Lessons From The Trench: Reviving A Global LMS

July 10, 2018

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Stevie Trittin

Finance Talent Learning & Development Specialist
World Vision International

A New Reality

You have been tasked, as the Learning & Development staff, to provide a learning platform for staff on a global level, many working in remote corners of the world. All have variable accessibility to the internet and need access to learning to meet annual training goals; and budgets are tight. Although English is widely spoken, a high percentage of staff speak other languages as a first language, with English being the third or fourth language. An internal learning management system is in place and staff know it exists however knowing what is available and how to even find a list, is lacking at best.  How do you shift an organization’s learning culture with over forty thousand staff working in nearly 100 counties and create a learning space that is relevant and easily accessible?

Changing of the Guard

When our small team was asked to take over the Humentum membership for World Vision International, we jumped in with both feet.  Passionate about advocating for our learners and seeing that we had a great resource with Humentum courses, we knew that if our staff could easily access the courses it would open a whole new world of learning.  We asked ourselves simple questions like who do we even talk to? Where do we start? What is the history of our membership with Humentum (then LINGOS)? How do we carefully navigate the many “water ways” of World Vision since our team does not sit in a traditional human resource role?

Our Background

In 2017 our team took over the management of the Humentum membership. At that time, we began to assess the value found in our membership and realized as an organization that we greatly underutilized this great membership that we were paying for. Wanting to be good stewards of the resources entrusted to us we began to embark on the journey to make some changes so that our staff could access these courses.  The U.S. office had a great track record and we wanted our international staff to have the same benefits. The current Moodle based system, that we used to load Humentum courses, houses many of our eLearning modules and it works well for many users. We ran a report to see how many people were currently enrolled in Humentum (prev. LINGOs) courses. Our first report showed a total 8 people who enrolled in Humentum courses between September and November of 2017; 3 of those were currently sitting within our team. Needless to say, we were shocked and couldn’t let this problem go. Knowing the quality of the courses and the needs of our staff around the globe for cost effective, on-demand learning, we knew something had to be done

What Needed to Change

Once we made it through the shock of realizing how underutilized the courses were, we began to evaluate why that might be the case. It became evident that two main factors were involved firstly a major lack of awareness and secondly, for those who were aware, finding courses in the system was a challenge. We needed to raise the awareness around course offerings and we needed to create easy access to training content.

Our team made the decision to leverage our membership resources through Humentum and build out the World Vision International’s version in Net Dimensions; which we called the Learning Zone. We chose this name because our hope is that our LMS can be utilized not just for our own finance courses, or even just the Humentum catalog but that it can become a gateway for various learning methods taking place within World Vision.

What We Learned – The Three “Ps”

When you think you have reached out to every stakeholder; you have not.

Partner, Plan, Player

We learned that having a strong Partner is critical, internal, external, and immediate partners.  Our World Vision US office partner was key in our learning the system and taking on this project. The partnership we had with Humentum staff to guide us every step of the way played a critical role in our success to launch the site by our target date. Put a Plan in place for timelines, communications, and identifying existing and future stakeholders. Knowing who the Players are, will, or could be is essential.  We discovered that when we thought we were thinking about everyone we found more players to consider.  The biggest key to a successful launch is to have the support of leadership and to utilize the different gifts each member on your team has.

Current Status

With nearly 700 users on the site since January and over 1,200 courses already completed to date the evidence speaks for itself. The journey is worth it, our people are worth it, and their learning matters. We are immensely thankful for all the support we received from our colleagues within the learning and development sphere and could not have done it without the constant support and encouragement from Humentum staff such as Gus, Ross, Judith, Lourdes, and others.

We look forward to the further integration of the LearningZone into our organizational culture.

Stevie will be presenting at the 2018 Humentum Annual Conference: Lessons From The Trench: Reviving A Global LMS.