Have you been guilty of saying the words ‘I’ve got this under control’ when it comes to document version control only to eat your words later? This is a common occurrence when what seems manageable in the beginning becomes a thorn in your side later on.
When it comes to creating content and courses for training it isn’t a ‘set it and forget it’ situation. With changing regulations and scenarios, it’s not a matter of if but when they will need updating.
If you’re not prepared, managing versions can get messy fast and the consequences steep.
For any given piece of content, there can be multiple experts contributing to the creation of it. And, as a result, this makes it very likely that multiple versions of the same document end up on multiple computers and different locations.
In this case, how can you know for certain that the correct version is being used for training?
This is a very big problem when it comes to compliance as auditors are demanding documentation that employees are up to speed on the latest regulations.
If you don’t know which version was used for training or who was the last person to make edits, get ready to be slapped with monetary fines or worse!
Losing money is not the only thing that can happen. Don’t forget about all the lost time you’ll be faced with as well.
Who wants to spend all afternoon looking for a specific version of a document when you could be more productive and focus on other tasks?
If you’re sick of the headache of trying to get versioning under control, consider a learning management system (LMS).
So, What Makes Versioning Easier with an LMS?
1. Centralized Content Management. Working with content when it’s under one unified umbrella helps immensely when it comes to getting versioning under control. All contributors work from the same document so there is never the possibility of multiple versions floating around again.
2. Integration. Integration is also an important feature to have. When the two systems (Content Management System (CMS) /LMS) ‘talk’ it makes it easier and seamless to update the correct version into all learning pathways.
3. Automation. Updating content and courses is very time-consuming if done manually. So, having the ability to automate saves time but also lessens the possibility of human error happening.
4. Reporting and Auditing. When it comes to compliance the ability to provide details is priceless. So, if you need to quickly demonstrate the correct version of a training course was implemented, the reporting and auditing features of an LMS can solve this problem.
The Selection Process
It should be clear at this point that,
A. Versioning that runs amok is not a good thing for training and
B. The right LMS can help significantly
But, not all LMSs are created equal.
You might discover that one vendor might be able to do certain aspects of versioning well but completely drop the ball somewhere else.
For instance, maybe the centralized document management feature is great and multiple people are able to work on a document simultaneously. You can quickly see what version is the most up-to-date but then run into problems loading it into the LMS and having it update all learning pathways with that specific document.
The goal, of course, is to find an LMS that can perform in all areas well – from updating content to modifying across learning pathways to reporting.
• Is your business highly regulated?
• Do you have a high volume of eLearning that changes consistently?
These are just a couple of questions you need to ask yourself during the selection process.
Versioning is critical for all businesses but especially for compliance-driven sectors (e.g., manufacturing, aviation, pharma). These companies also have a larger than average amount of content that is being changed all the time.
So, be sure to inquire about the vendor’s ability to scale.
Before heading into the LMS selection process, jot down all the areas that are problematic so you can provide vendors with specific use cases to address.
In addition, some vendors specialize in niche markets, like compliance
, so they will also be able to provide tips and suggestions regarding versioning and other topics that you might not have thought about.
When choosing an LMS, versioning shouldn’t be an afterthought. Content plays such a vital role in training that it’s important to put it as a priority. When you do, you’ll experience streamlined processes and better efficiencies. And, while the LMS is doing all the hard work you’re left to focus on other important tasks.