I had talked a while back about a common Evaluation trigger – the end of the LMS contract.
There are other triggers I’ve noticed:
- New technology in the environment (internal and external to your organization) – xAPI is one of those technologies. I’d also consider things like the growth of Human Capital Management solutions, major shifts in enterprise application strategy within your org, the emergence of big data (measure ALL THE THINGS!) to be pretty good triggers.
- Major changes to your leadership – New CIO? New CEO? New boss? Be prepared to re-evaluate your architecture.
- Major changes to your organization’s strategy – Are they looking to retain and re-skill their current employees? Hire “new” skills from outside? Downsize? The answer to that question will inform how important they see training and the learning architecture.
- Major shifts in your organization’s financial picture – Negative changes to the financial picture are a lot more likely to force re-evaluation of your architecture than positive shifts. I’m seeing this manifest in a couple of ways:
- Every single unimplemented item in the architecture will be questioned. Especially if that item is going to cost money. You may be forced to improvise with what you have. Or at least, spend LOTS of time demonstrating how the status quo will cost more money or be unsustainable in a fairly short time frame. Good luck.
- If your current state has a lot of overlapping pieces, there is more pressure on people to cooperate with each other to reduce costs. I personally see this as a good thing.
Even without those triggers, it is good to regularly ask “How is it going?”
Are you moving closer to the objectives you set in the design of the architecture?
Is what you have implemented to date moving you closer to your definition of success?
Is it working?
What are you hearing?
I tend to do this every semester. (about 3 times per year) Mostly because I hate surprises.
I do a quick analysis even if nothing is happening or no changes have been made – because that provides information as well.
- Why have certain efforts not been prioritized? What is the explanation?
- What is the political environment like? Has it changed?
- What are the relationships like between teams?
- How stable is everyone feeling?
- Is training more or less important to the upper management? By words AND by actions?
- Are the success criteria we defined still valid? Or even important to anyone?
- Has the system (as a whole) become easier or harder for people to use?
- How are your utilization numbers?
- What does the ROI look like on the changes you have made so far?
- Are the assumptions we made during the Vision step accurate?
Depending on the answers, you may be triggering re-architecting efforts a LOT sooner than planned.
And that’s OK.
Ecosystems are living / breathing / morphing things.