e-learning is unquestionably without limits. An LMS can be connected to from around the globe, but, nonetheless, organizing an international rollout requires some organization and strategy. What criteria should be taken into account and what pitfalls should be avoided for a successful international rollout?
Global vs. local
If how learners connect is a criterion to be taken into account in the way you organize your LMS, managerial organization, local strategies and political elements within the company are just as important. All countries and training divisions possess specific characteristics, meaning e-learning content that you can use across the globe is very rare, thus confining you to translation work. Operating globally is therefore very unlikely to work on its own.
However, by not defining your global LMS policy, you are passing up the chance to take advantage of economies of scale and synergies within an international company; indeed this is how international groups remain so strong.
If organization is neither global nor local, we call this “glocal”. This is an internationally centralized IT solution, but is flexible enough to be adjusted and piloted in each country. Such is the power of SaaS LMS platforms that you can benefit from flexible configuration, thus providing functional coverage, adapted to the local environment.
Main “glocal” pitfalls
This strategy that links management centralization of the software with its utilization by local teams often results in failure not due to technical reasons related to the LMS, but due to two internal reasons. The first reason concerns quality control. In this regard, the country leading the project of LMS integration (usually head office but not always) time and again wishes to maintain quality control of content imported to the platform. This, therefore, slows down the process considerably and as a result, the provision of training courses. Due to this, there will be a delay between the end of content production in a country and its availability for learners in that same country. The second cause involves internal rebilling. This rebilling, charged due to various actions at head office, very often costs a lot more than the cost of accessing a local LMS in the country.
Should the LMS or LCMS be pooled?
The direct consequence of the problems mentioned previously is the development of several LMS that exist side by side in big groups, countries, BUs and subsidiaries, etc. Any space that remains free will enable the potential creation of a training platform. Is this a problem that should be removed? Not entirely. Pooling and collaborating should be, without question, centered more on education than delivery. It is clear to see that training managers benefit much more from synergy within their teams in terms of resource and tool creation than from a possible common delivery channel. If you do not consider implementing a “glocal” strategy for your LMS, you can however place an LCMS at the center of the star, with each LMS representing a branch.