During the Implementation / Execution phase of your architecture, you need to keep track of two things:
- The projects you started to execute your architecture.
- The OTHER projects that will impact your architecture.
Tracking the projects you started is the easier part. At least – I hope it is.
And that you have systems in place to track those projects as they move through the project lifecycle.
The harder part is figuring out what OTHER projects you need to keep track of that might impact your architecture.
Then – getting access to that information so you can, actually, keep track.
Particularly if you are not involved in that project in any substantive way.
This is where being either IN the IT department, or at least really tight with them helps.
Barring that – see whether you can get the IT project report every month and/or access to the client portal for your IT department’s project management system (if one exists).
Types of projects to look for:
Video Conferencing Systems – Recent updates provide for integrating whatever web meeting tool you are using with the video conferencing system.
Phones – Why the phones? Because many of these projects often have VoIP soft phone clients or Unified Communications functionality. ie – people will have phones on their computers and you can use them as a tool to deliver training.
These clients also have video functionality in the phones. The phones themselves do too.
That video functionality opens up lots of instructional design possibilities.
Phone system projects also have the potential for impacting your conference bridges – so if your team is highly reliant on conference bridges, you will want to keep an eye on that.
You may want to seriously consider better leveraging the (often) free Voice over IP functionality within your webmeeting tool anyway. How many teleconferences have you been in where the person on the phone says something like “now, for those of you on the phone, if you could see the screen….”
I’m on a personal quest to eliminate that experience in my world.
Identity Management or Access Management – Not all of these projects require a lot of attention. What you are looking for are projects that change how people are grouped. Are they adding a group type (such as people who have access to x system?) Are they re-defining job categories? Is there a change to how they update people? Those groups will impact how you can assign people to courses.
You also want to keep an eye out for any Single Sign-on project or update. These projects potentially break access to your LMS and other systems if you have any form of automated access and user creation on your solution.
Related – keep an eye on the HRIS (Human Resources Information System) space as well, if you are not already part of the HR Department or the area within which this function is housed. These are the folks who can mess with how people are defined and have a huge impact on your assignment groups.
Your learning ecosystem is (hopefully) well integrated into that space anyway.
Mobile Device Management – If your organization does a lot of work with mobile apps (create their own, leverage apps from vendors), keep an eye on any Mobile Device Management projects. Especially if you have a program where your users are accessing your materials or learning systems using company-provided (or approved, for organizations with BYOD policies). Implementations or updates to Mobile Device Management programs could potentially keep your users from accessing your stuff.
Document / File / Multimedia Content Management – Implementations and updates to this area impact where you stash your stuff, how much stuff you can stash, what type of stuff you can stash and people’s ability to access your stuff.
Related – you will also want to keep an eye on any Data Security Policy changes. Both from the IT department and from your Compliance / Legal departments. Any changes here may force re-writes / updates to your existing materials OR change where you are hosting and/or accessing those materials.
Web Services – If your team leverages your organizations web tools, you should keep an eye on updates in this space. You are likely keeping an eye on whatever is happening with browsers anyway if your organization is highly reliant on eLearning for delivery. The systems I’m considering here are enterprise level web content management systems and changes to those systems (or even wholesale replacements). The team will likely perform outreach if you have one of their web services as a central part of your ecosystem.
As you get more familiar with the activities of your IT Department and how your ecosystem fits into the greater enterprise ecosystem, you may find yourself keeping an eye on other areas – such as Business Intelligence.
The key here is to look for anything that could potentially impact your systems and plans.