A unit of KeyCorp, KeyBank is a regional bank headquartered in Key Tower within Cleveland, Ohio's Public Square. As of 2007, it is the 16th largest bank in the United States based on total deposits, and the 12th largest by total assets. That same year, the company decided to make a strategic investment in learning with the implementation of a new enterprise-class learning management system (LMS). Prior to then, the company had no real capacity to report on learning activities due to the limited capabilities of its current solution. Ultimately, Learn.com was chosen to ensure the success of the KeyBank initiatives.
Metrics - a must for assessing performance
KeyBank's chief learning officer promised the company's executive leadership team that one important benefit of the new LMS would be access to real-time data, which would make it easier to align learning with the enterprise's strategic business goals and tell the story of learning successes. This was the way for learning managers to help business leaders understand the context of learning and to view learning as a valued business partner. Replacing its basic training registration system with an industry-leading LMS delivered on-demand by a software-as-a-service provider, the company's learning organization had an opportunity to build management dashboards that would provide near-real-time data on strategic training initiatives.
As a financial services company, KeyCorp is particularly focused on cost cutting and efficiency these days, so its leaders need information to make hard decisions about learning programs. An important goal of the LMS and custom dashboard implementation is to provide the executive leadership team with information about the strategic alignment, effectiveness, and prioritization of learning programs across the enterprise, to help answer questions like, "where should I do more e-learning?" or "where should I invest in different blends of learning?"
The learning organization identified several key requirements for the executive dashboards. The first was to provide training information aligned against the overall organizational hierarchy. This required the critical step of leveraging an HR information system (HRIS) integration to capture information relevant to specific business lines.
The next step was to utilize a color scheme for business line managers at KeyBank to categorize project status. Learning managers wanted the training dashboards to replicate the methods used by the business units, and thus align the language of learning with the overall business culture and vernacular of the enterprise.
Next, learning managers provided an integrated view of learning based on real-time data. They settled on daily data refreshes as a reasonable compromise between instantaneous data updates and weeks-old stale data.
Finally, they designed the entire LMS implementation and end-user experience, from the initial to the final logout, with the use of executive management dashboards in mind.
The organization decided to implement Learn.com as its LMS by focusing on what kind of output learning managers needed to tell the right story to their business management counterparts. In a sense, KeyBank implemented the LMS "backwards" by always keeping its end output goals in mind from the very beginning of the project.
All of today's LMS platforms include some level of database reporting functionality, but KeyBank opted to build custom reporting and user interfaces for executive information systems, or dashboards. The company wanted its dashboards to display overall trends in training, including the mix of curricula being consumed, how content is offered and organized, learning levels, efficiencies, flags, demand and use, and budgeting.
The basic concepts for the dashboards were literally sketched out during a series of brainstorming sessions that joined Learn.com's custom integration team with KeyBank's business training directors and managers.
Initially, the learning technology managers had to gain a deeper understanding of the HR data category mapping in the company's HRIS. One of the most significant challenges of the development effort was the need to reconcile inconsistencies that existed in the hierarchies across different business groups. The heart of the problem was that some business units had more levels than others.
The learning technology team painstakingly worked out the hierarchical inconsistencies. Now, each night, Learn.com pulls HRIS data, which goes through the designed mapping scheme and is then translated into the LMS organizational hierarchy.
The "training activity dashboard" is a "rearview" dashboard that shows where KeyBank has already been in terms of learning and training. The user starts by selecting a time period and continues by selecting an organization path, which offers two ways to look at KeyCorp. The first choice is to look at the enterprise, with all major and primary lines of business. The second choice is to drill deep into a specific business unit.
The dashboard results screen offers four visual indicators. The "modality mix" indicator looks not only at total training activities, but also at how they were distributed across the organization. The "topic categories" indicator allows management to quickly see which areas are getting the most attention, funding, and resources. The "learning-level categories" indicator shows management how people in the organization are moving up the curve to higher-order learning and acquiring more complex skills sets. The "organizational breakdown" indicator lets management quickly see training activities across each major business unit.
Taken together, the indicators on the training activity dashboard facilitate a deeper conversation with executive management by answering questions such as
- Do the numbers match with the learning strategies put into place?
- Where is the "energy" of learning being directed in the organization?
- Are the courses being built and deployed finding an audience?
- Why are there sometimes large swings in numbers from quarter to quarter?
The strategic dashboard gives KeyCorp executives and learning managers a "windshield" view that helps them see where learning is headed in the future. It's initiated by selecting a time period, a set of users, and business unit(s). What makes this dashboard different from the first is the ability to bundle learning activities together into a learning solution.
The first indicator in the strategic dashboard results screen shows the percent completion for all integrated modules. This quickly shows management how far along the organization is on a roll-out schedule. One of the most powerful dashboard indicators for KeyCorp is a map of the United States that highlights the states in which groups of employees are training and then color codes their status in connection with timelines for completion based on selected dates. The green, yellow, or red color coding is crisp and clear, and it visually links geographies to learning strategy, enabling management to proactively head off shortfalls and keep strategic initiatives on track.
Because the data is updated daily, training directors can use the dashboards to guide their interactions with local managers and employees in "town hall" meetings. Executives use the dashboard information to know which messages to send. If the indicator for Colorado is red, the district president might say, "Your group is behind and needs to stay focused on this initiative." If the indicator is green, the president might say, "You're doing a great job; please share some case studies at the next town hall meeting."
For the first time, there exists a consulting opportunity between training and business line executives at KeyCorp (related to strategic information about learning at their fingertips) for conducting trend analyses against strategic learning initiatives. Additionally, the dashboards help the training organization feel empowered to shape and share their stories in a way that replicates the language of business leaders at KeyCorp.
KeyBank is in the process of constructing two new dashboards in partnership with Learn.com. One dashboard will provide year-over-year trend analysis for planning and timing the release of new learning initiatives, which will help leaders identify the peaks and valleys in the learning cycle of the company and more strategically plan for meeting learning demands. The second dashboard focuses on compliance training by helping senior leaders see in real-time how the organization is progressing during a major compliance training rollout, instead of waiting days or weeks for reports.
The windshield and rearview dashboards, created by KeyBank and Learn.com, help company leaders understand both what has happened in the past, as well as the trends that will shape what lies around the corner.
Read the rest of the story: www.Learn.com/KeyBank