Allie Tscheulin By Allie Tscheulin • March 1, 2018

So You're xAPI Ready. What's Next?

“Alright we’re bought in. We get it. xAPI is the way that the industry is moving. xAPI is not next-generation SCORM, xAPI will replace SCORM. We know that we want to become xAPI adopters, we want to modernize our learning ecosystem. We’re xAPI ready!”

In the last few months we’ve seen a big shift in the starting point of our conversations with L&D leaders. Rather than a conversation starting with “What is xAPI and why do I need an LRS?,” managers are coming to us with a vision. They know why and how xAPI data and learning analytics will benefit them. They understand the performance improvements that will come with modernizing their learning ecosystem. Often they even have target goals for the next 18 months.

But they are getting stuck in the same place — “What is our next step?”

The Three Steps You Can Take Today

Most organizations would agree that today they see themselves operating across a fragmented mashup of tools with a confusing learner experience. What they want is a system that provides data to the right people at the right time in a way that empowers their employees through a seamless experience.

To get from where we are to what we want, we have to take some strategic planning steps:

1. Hold a data assessment.

Convene your stakeholders. Define your business objectives. Inventory your current technology infrastructure. Identify desired system improvements and gaps in process or reporting. Prioritize your platforms and tools. As a group, identify the answers to these questions:

  • What tools are in your current ecosystem?
  • What contributes most to your business objectives?
  • What are your most used platforms?
  • What are your least used platforms?
  • Which platforms and tools are most important?
  • What do you want to do with the data once you have it?
  • What do you want other people to do with the data once they have it?
  • How do people use data now?
  • Where are your blind spots?
  • What is the best part of your learner experience today?
  • What is the worst part of your learner experience today?
  • What is the most important change you want to see?

2. Define projects that are tied to business objectives.

From the findings uncovered in your data assessment, create categories of improvement with defined measurable outcomes. These become not only your phases to total integration but allow you to identify your first project for creating your hybrid ecosystem. For example, each of the follow projects are aligned directly with a business objective:

  • Content Optimization: Understand what content is used for informal learning
  • Management Training: Measure and improve engagement with required manager training to ensure compliance
  • Employee Readiness: Evaluate how utilization of training content prepares employees for promotion
  • Compliance Training: Measure resource usage and time spend to identify optimization opportunities in compliance training

3. Choose a high priority project for your phase one.

Once you and your team of stakeholders determine a project that holds shared value, you’ll need to:

  • Define the relevant data sources to connect.
  • Identify critical experience data sources and activity types that are accessible as evidence to support the business objective.
  • Gather design and usability input from each type of end user or stakeholder.

While you may not know the answer to all of these questions, the answers you do get to will help you decide where to focus your efforts.

Whether you’re planning for a fully integrated learning ecosystem in the next 18 months or a hybrid ecosystem achievable in the next 6 months, after working through these three steps you’ll be ready to decide what your implementation process is going to consist of. You’ll be ready to leverage internal resources or add external guidance to your team and you’ll have the strategic foundation needed and the development resources identified to complete integrations, stand up your LRS, create or leverage end user dashboards, and even develop an organization specific xAPI Profile for future iteration and ecosystem build-out.

And most importantly, you’ll have made tangible progress toward a learning ecosystem where learning data is accessible and useful for leadership and learning experiences are unified and empowering for employees.

Interested in seeing case studies of clients the Yet team has helped navigate through this process? Watch the recording of our “A Business User’s Guide to Getting Started with xAPI” webinar:

If this sounds like the right next steps for your team and you’re ready to have a deeper conversation to plan your project phases, let’s schedule a conversation.

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