The first example I want to flesh out is the capability matrix I am using for determining where to host my training materials.
Doesn’t your organization have a content strategy?
Thankfully, we are starting these discussions again – since the applications we are using for hosting have changed and multiplied.
2 years ago – it was pretty straightforward.
- Any training content that needed tracking went into the LMS/CMS
- Anything that needed to be external facing to our audience and didn’t require tracking went to our web site
- Working files, base files, anything that needed sharing among the project team etc went to a shared drive
Now – we have:
- The LMS (for stuff that needs tracking)
- The web site (internal – mostly a server we upload files to)
- Google Apps (currently replacing our shared drive)
- A document management system (secure)
- External-facing web site CMS
- A Knowledge Management system
- A Project Management system with document-hosting capabilities (that is also currently being switched out)
- and…at some point…a Digital Asset Management system
I still have projects where I need to have my materials tracked (occasionally) and visible (often).
Plus – I still need to be able to find my own stuff.
So in this example – I am using the capability matrix to help make decisions regarding where to host content.
Rows: each of the applications I have access to where I can store content.
- At some point, I will flesh this out to other applications that are in the environment. Right now, I am more concerned about what I can do TODAY.
Columns: The “requirements”
- Section 1: What file types each application can handle.
- eLearning has some file types and packaging that are not used by the rest of the organization. I have also discovered the hard way that some applications handle these packages a LOT more gracefully than others.
- Some applications also handle certain file types “awkwardly” (please see Google Apps and MS Office)
- Section 2: Other desirable features
- I am using wiki, blog and real-time collaboration
- Section 3: Who has approvals over content
- When I make a decision over where I want to host my stuff – the less approval overhead the better.
- If I need to go through layers of approval – I always warn the project team that they will need to tack weeks onto a project and to not expect that materials will be updated quickly.
- Since many of the projects I have been on recently have been Agile (though I haven’t been on an implementation project in my entire career that hasn’t had development occurring in parallel with training) – approval processes get very unwieldy very quickly.
The link below is an Excel version of a capability matrix for content hosting I developed in a previous job.