Making the right choice for a learning management solution goes beyond the feature set of applications, learn considerations for choosing the right technology.
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Hi everyone. Kent Malmros here, Senior Director Vault Training at Veeva Systems. Once again joined by my good friend, John Constantine, SVP at Orchestrall for our virtual fireside chats on key topics in life sciences learning. John, this one is near and dear to our heart. I feel like we’ve probably run the circuit on this in some respects, having spoken together about it a few key times. Today, we’re talking about implementing learning technology, and I think we’re going to cover a few key topics starting with, I think your sweet spot, which is helping emerging companies identify key learning technologies, certainly when they’re trying to implement an LMS or a training management system the first time. Let’s start with that. What are some of the key considerations that those companies should be looking at thinking about when making the first LMS selection as they grow?
Well, there’s quite a few. We could touch on a couple of really important ones. First, I see with a lot of companies over the years that there tends to be an implementation of a system for various different types of content. You have one system for GXP, one for non GXP. That sort of the most basic one, but then you have some companies that have multiple LMSs for different types of content. I’ve seen some for GXP, one for non GXP. Then there’s HR content, there’s IT content, then there’s CIA that comes into place. And there’s another one for that.
The tendency to promulgate multiple systems is a strategy that is probably too expensive and too complex to sustain over the long term. That’s why you see companies over the years, integrating those systems or going to one. My opinion, and it’s probably better to start with one that will grow with your company and with your needs. There are quite a few out there that you could select that do that.
Yeah. You just said a lot there that we probably could unpack over the course of two hours. But we’re trying to keep these to a few short minutes of video. I think we’ve both been in situations where we know that selection process is deemed to be inexpensive at first and leads to, no joke, we’ve both seen scenarios of 90 plus LMSs as companies scale. Of course, that’s when it becomes too expensive. You’ve referenced the selection process in GXP versus non GXP. Most organizations have an immediate training need as they’re growing around GXP specific training. That’s typically where that problem, that fragmentation starts. What are some of the key considerations that companies might be able to think about as they’re selecting that GXP oriented platform that can help them scale without them buying other products to do other things?
Yeah, you’re right. The temptation is to implement spot solutions for needs that are arising in a reactive manner, but there are a lot of ways that you can pick a training system that will meet multiple needs across the enterprise. I’ve seen many very large companies go with one. It’s doable. A lot of the impetus for doing separate learning management systems comes from the fact that it starts with GXP content need. The other parts of the enterprise don’t want to be locked down like a GXP system needs to be. A lot of times that lockdown feel of a regulated training system is self-imposed. If you configure your systems the right way, you can have a system that’s flexible for all parts of the organization.
Yeah. I’m going to really hone in on two things you said because I think they’re really critical. One is oftentimes that restriction around GXP is misconstrued. You need to have a validated computer system with audit trails and [inaudible 00:04:22] compliance signatures to demonstrate records to an inspector. That creates rigidity. But you’re right, if you preplan and with more modern systems, you can create content flexibility as well as operational flexibility in how to use those systems for everyone in a company. It’s really important for people to remember that and not feel restricted.
The other thing you mentioned, and we should touch on this just a bit, but I think we just found another topic for future chat is content. I often like to say it’s a mistake to select a delivery technology because that company also offers a training content library. The analogy I use, and people at Veeva laugh at me is it’s like buying a car because you like the stereo system inside. People forget what the purpose of the car is. Maybe give one tip before we part ways in this particular topic on how to think about those two things separately, so trainers out there who are facing those problem can really separate those selection processes and make the right decisions.
Yeah. Really any learning management system out there, actually, all of them are designed to load launch, give the user the ability to take a course and then track a training record. They all do the same thing. The fact that you need to have a lockdown process in the GXP area doesn’t mean that that should prevent other parts of the organization that may not be as rigidly regulated as a clinical quality area. Doesn’t mean they can’t use that system. It’s primarily in the configuration. It’s in how you set up your business process. It really depends on communication between the groups, but you’re right. There are quite a few example out in the marketplace of training catalogs that come with learning management capabilities sort of on the side, and you really should be thinking the other way around. You should be thinking about the system capability you need and then plug the content in where you need it.
Right. Because in terms of validation or GXP compliance, the way you configure that system to deliver content is going to be the same regardless of where that content comes from, as long as you preplan for that. And I think [inaudible 00:06:42].
One of the common misconceptions is that in, say HR or commercial space that you don’t need to be worried about somebody prying into your training records. Well, that’s not the case. An inspection or legal action can happen in life sciences, no matter what part of the organization you’re in. To have separate processes for different types of content is inviting issues.
That’s right. I think we’ve shown the audience that we could talk about this particular topic forever. Let’s part ways there again. Thank you, John, for joining us. I’m really enjoying these virtual fireside chats. I think next time we’re going to actually talk about incorporating that standard content into a training program, maybe a slightly shorter topic, but a good one at that. Look forward to everyone joining us and thanks for watching.