Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Resistance from Inside

Sid and I had a lengthy chat / therapy session yesterday. Mostly about the LMS.

My team is stalling. They just don't get how this could help. Just sign-ups alone! Right now, we get an e-mail, that we then type into an Excel spreadsheet, which we then have to transfer to a template for the sign in sheet, which we then type into a spreadsheet, which we then have to transfer to another spreadsheet to run any requested reports. They don't see what the problem is here!

Maybe it's because they don't have to actually do it.

One person wants to make sure everything is "perfectly organized" and won't budge until it is. And yet she can't find anything on her computer!!!!

No folders?

What folders?

Does she use the search function?

Her idea of search is asking me to resend whatever it is she is looking for.

Okay.....

And they are concerned that people won't find their classes.

Um....people can't remember which department teaches which classes now.

I KNOW! Why can't everyone see how this can help us ALL?
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I've been thinking about the informal feedback I've been getting from other training groups.

On the one hand, they DO see that the ability to see a snapshot of a staffer's entire training history would be incredibly useful.

And, with prodding, they also see why forcing a new employee (or even an existing employee) to search for training across multiple websites is inefficient (at best).

The hiccup lies with issues of control.

What if it shows that I am teaching the same course as another group? Who then teaches the course? Especially when my course is so obviously superior to the other department's?

What if it shows that my courses aren't as popular as the others?

We already have all of our reports / processes exactly how we want them. Now you are asking me to give up control of that?!? Change the processes that work now?!?!

Then there is always the "I don't want to make someone log into something if they don't have to. What if it means they won't take my course?" issue.

(That "my value = # of people in seats" assumption runs very deep and is a whole 'nother discussion.)
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One thing the informal feedback tells me is that I haven't done a particularly good job of demonstrating that the LMS (which was here before I came here BTW):

a) ...solves at least one major problem for the University at large - the ability to see a staff member's training history AND prove that he or she has taken at least all of the required Compliance courses. I personally thinks it solves a couple other major problems too (like the "where do I find X training" problem), but not all of our stakeholders see the same problems I do.

b) ....is not just "Wendy's baby" but is "everyone's baby" and can be used for the good of all stakeholders. Not just my immediate group.

Part of that failure is circumstance. We just haven't had the resources to really concentrate on the change management required to get the LMS fully implemented as a functional tool. I've had informal conversations with individual stakeholders.

We're just now getting organized enough to get all of the stakeholders in a room together to talk. Those conversations will be very informative for all parties and are long overdue.

Part of that failure is probably a result of my underlying feeling that yes....this thing really is my baby. I don't want anyone else to screw it up.

Before we get moving on this project, Wendy needs to have another conversation with her inner control freak.

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