7 Ways to Maximize the Value of Your SumTotal Learn Investment

May 23, 2017

7 Ways to Maximize the Value of Your SumTotal Learn Investment

SumTotal Learn is a flexible, robust learning management system. Its main strengths are that you can configure it for multiple audiences inside and outside your organization, and you can deliver any learning experience at the point of need.

Like any enterprise technology platform, it takes expert administrators and power users to realize its full value. The quality of the individual user experience depends on how well you use this versatile tool to meet your learners’ needs.

We encourage you to take advantage of the wealth of resources available to help you master SumTotal Learn. Ask yourself these seven questions to gauge whether you are getting the full value of the resources available to you.

Do we have continuous training programs for our administrators, power users, and learners?

SumTotal LMS provides complete training designed to help administrators, learners, managers and instructors get up to speed on how to use the platform’s features. While it is easy to navigate, using it to the best advantage to meet your business goals requires deeper knowledge. SumTotal training takes you beyond the basics and helps you teach other users to do the same.

Relying only on user-to-user training will cause deterioration in skills in your organization. We recommend creating an online learning path for every user and tracking it as you would do for any other training is essential to your business objectives.

Are we active on SumTotal Connect?

The customer community is more than a place to get training and product information. The best information on improving your enterprise learning delivery is conversations with people who are experienced and resolved challenges like yours. You can get information and advice from customers, SumTotal partners, and product experts. SumTotal Forums and communities help you learn from the experience of other customers in your industry. Forums and communities are organized by product line, so you have easy access to your focus areas.

One of the best ways to learn is to help someone else solve a problem. Take advantage of the opportunity to network with others to improve both your users’ experience and theirs. It’s a nice way to “pay it forward.”

Do we attend live events?

Attend “Ask the Experts” webinars, to learn how to optimize your application and to get advice on best practices. You can register for them or watch recorded sessions from the Ask the Experts online tab on your SumTotal community. This is your opportunity get information and advice from the top experts.

SumTotal also organizes regional user groups and meet-ups. Join them to be part of the community and grow your team’s skills. Regional Skillsoft-SumTotal Perspectives events provide in-person workshops and the opportunity for in-depth conversations with other users that will expand your knowledge and your network. Keep up with event schedules on SumTotal Connect and take advantage of the opportunity to extend your support system.

There is also a public community on LinkedIn for all SumTotal LMS users and Administrators. Use this community to connect with other users and share your journey.

Do we have a well-governed process for managing product updates?

Managing product updates requires more than attending a webinar and reading the release notes. We recommend creating a team to evaluate each release. Assess the impact on your practices and the opportunities to improve the user experience and the impact on your business. Test each version so you know what to expect.

SumTotal Learn is a robust application. Testing the whole application takes a lot of resources and can add a significant burden to your regular load. If you need more information on how to make it easier and more impactful, let us know.

If you have let several updates slip by without planning and testing each one, it will be worth the effort to develop a catch-up plan. Leverage the new functionality to see how you might enhance your overall experience of the application and get maximum ROI.

Do we ask for help?

Don’t be reluctant to use your SumTotal support resources. Call when you need help. Don’t spend hours trying to solve a problem when you have an answer available in minutes.

If you subscribe to SumTotal Technical Support, capitalize on the knowledge base, guides, and tutorials available to you.

Are we optimizing the power of landing and news pages?

Landing pages or news pages offer unlimited opportunity for customizing the user experience, and SumTotal has made this much easier by introducing widgets in the 2017 release. You can customize and build widgets that align with your business needs and deliver them to your users.

These tools enable you to deliver company news, documents, videos, popular courses, learner statistics and KPIs, and advanced analytics directly to the user’s home page without deep programming skills. Since these pages are standard HTML, they can be a launch point for any application or activity.

Are we investing in reporting and analytics?

SumTotal Advanced Reporting is a powerful tool, but you need not jump headlong into advanced analytics to create value. Start with the standard reports and build your reporting portfolio over time.

Your power users and analysts will know how to use advanced tools, but ordinary business users will not. The reporting system enables experts to create the reports and dashboards your users need.

If you have a skilled analyst on your team, you have a head start. If you don’t, you can engage analytics providers like us or an analytics consulting firm at minimal cost to help you get started while you build your team.

For more advanced reporting functionality and dashboards, you can use Jaspersoft Studio for your analytics team. Use the self-paced online training to build your team’s skills.

If you are reviewing more cross-functional areas of SumTotal and thinking of using your enterprise data management capabilities and reporting, SumTotal Workforce Analytics, could be of great value. SumTotal App also has analytics solutions powered by IBM Cognos that provides deep analytic capabilities that can align with your enterprise analytics strategy.

Join the Conversation

We are trying to collate topics for our future blogs and webinars on how to optimize your SumTotal Learn application. If you have a challenge or topic you would like to cover, please comment below and we can include them in our calendar and notify you of the schedule.

Pixentia is a full-service technology company dedicated to helping clients solve business problems, improve the capability of their people, and achieve better results.

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