8 Tips for Getting Started with Digital Transformation in L&D

digital transformation

Digital transformation has become one of the most urgent and critical business strategies for organizations big and small across all industries. But only 21% of North American and European businesses say that their digital transformation is “done.”

Learning and development plays a critical role in supporting digital transformation across the organization. But what about the digital transformation of L&D itself?

Taking on a digital revolution of your team’s processes, data collection and analysis, learning development, and learning delivery can seem like a mammoth task. But while there’s a lot to consider, there are some tactics you can take to ensure a smooth and effective digital transformation for L&D.

For a practical approach to digital transformation in L&D, register for this upcoming webinar with senior learning strategist, Bianca Baumann:
Digitize This: Your Essential Framework for Digital Transformation in L&D

1. Get buy-in from the top down.

In one study, 37% of respondents said that the CEO and board of directors were holding back digital transformation in their organization. A further 32% said that the senior executive team in general were holding back transformation initiatives

When those who make budgetary decisions don’t get behind a digital transformation strategy, it’s safe to say that the strategy is dead in the water from the start.

So it’s essential to earn buy-in from the top for your transformation strategy. With their support, you can begin implementation. But with their championship, you’ll be even more likely to achieve a successful digital transformation of L&D. This downloadable toolkit is built to help you achieve executive buy-in for new learning technology in your organization. 

2. Focus on culture, too.

While achieving executive buy-in is important, they’re not the only people you need on board. Digital transformation requires a fundamental shift towards a more agile and adaptable approach to training development and delivery.

So, when current processes and technology are deeply embedded in the way things are done, it’s important to achieve a cultural shift towards a more agile approach and get the entire team on board. Find more tips on this in the ebook The Beginner’s Guide to Agile Learning.

3. Divide and conquer.

It’s easy to get overwhelmed when it comes to digital transformation. It incorporates every element of the way your team operates to produce learning experiences. By breaking it out into different areas and specific items/processes, digital transformation can be achieved at a steady, manageable pace.

With that in mind, taking the small wins right in front of you is a great way to get things off the ground. Whether that means taking instructor-led training to webinar sessions or introducing a new piece of software to make a process more efficient, you can gradually introduce your team and your learners to the digital transformation of L&D.

4. Be selective about your tech stack.

Sometimes, a knee-jerk reaction to digital transformation involves taking on lots of technology to replace old processes and outdated tools.

But, if you’re not careful, you can end up with a similarly disparate set of tools with only minimal improvements to productivity and digital agility. 

Analysis of your current processes, bottlenecks, and where technology can truly help to consolidate scattered documents and collaboration ensures that your tech stack is as streamlined and efficient as possible.

5. Cast a wider net.

Learning and development processes involve more people than the L&D team itself. Consider processes that involve contributions from stakeholders, whether that means business partners, subject matter experts, or learners. 

Not only will your team establish itself as a leader of digital transformation, agility, and efficiency in the organization, but you’ll ensure a more holistic approach to the transformation of all things learning.

6. Dedicate the necessary budget to digital transformation.

The research, analysis, planning, and implementation of digital transformation for L&D requires resources. If digital transformation isn’t made a priority for your department, it’s easy for initiatives to fall off the radar and lag  behind.

Dedicating a portion of your budget specifically to digital transformation and any related initiatives ensures you can keep up the pace and begin to see the benefits sooner.

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7. Be ambitious but realistic.

There’s no getting away from the fact that digital transformation is a big undertaking. Starting small and creating a systematic strategy is important, but so is being realistic about what you can achieve in a given timeframe.

When creating a timeline for your strategy, be ambitious about the change you can achieve while balancing that ambition against what is realistic for your resource availability.

8. Engage champions of change on your team

Once you’ve got executive management on board with your plan and you have a green light to get started with implementation, it’s a good time to identify champions of change within your L&D team.

These are the people who believe in the benefits of digital transformation and who can evangelize the approach within your department and across any processes that involve stakeholders, both internal and external. 

When the time comes to appoint project managers for specific initiatives, you’ll know exactly who the best people are to put at the helm and ensure digital transformation success.

Digital transformation in L&D can’t be done in one fell swoop, but with these tips, you’ll be on the road to transformation in no time. 

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