One of the first things companies want to know about a learning management system (LMS) is: Can I use it for management of change and document management, and how will it work with my existing management of change and document management systems?
First, let’s define our terms.
Management of Change (MOC) is a process in which key company documents, such as standard operating procedures (SOPs), are created by some people, reviewed and edited by others, and then saved in a final format.
A Document Management System is a system that stores documents and gives some people the right to edit them and others the right only to view and read them. Microsoft SharePoint is a commonly used document management system.
Got that? Now that our terms are straight, let’s see how the Convergence Server Enterprise LMS works with these systems.
The good news is we designed our LMS to give you unlimited flexibility for working alongside existing MOC processes and document management systems. Or, if you’d prefer, you can use the LMS itself for management of change and document management.
Let’s look at each scenario in more detail.
Management of Change
First, let’s take a look at management of change processes. You can always continue to use your MOC process, and then store your final version of key documents on your network, in a document management system, or within the Convergence LMS. That’s easy enough. (We’ll explain how to have key documents saved on your network or in a document management system and in your LMS shortly).
On the other hand, you can use our LMS to implement a MOC process too. When training content is created in our LMS, you must first save a file and then publish the activity. The file includes all the content that will eventually be assigned, but it cannot be assigned until it is published to create an activity. By assigning some employees to security roles that allow them to create files but not publish activities, and assigning other employees to security roles that allow them to take a saved file and publish it as an activity, you can effectively create an MOC process incorporating content creation and content review phases all inside your LMS.
Now, let’s consider document management systems. In their simplest form, they are used to store key documents in a final form, give a small number of people the ability to edit a document, and give a larger number of people the ability to read the document. More robust systems can include multiple versions of a document, allowing a company to complete the management of change process within the document management system.
If your company current uses a document management system, there’s no need to stop. Your final version of key documents can be stored in your document management system and then imported into the Convergence LMS by creating a link between the LMS and the file in the document management system. When you assign the activity to an employee, and he or she launches the activity, the linked document opens within the LMS just as if the employee had opened the document directly from the document management system, and when the employee completes the document, he or she is given a completion record. Employees always see only the most recent version of the linked document, ensuring that only the most up-to-date information is presented. There’s even a way to notify employees if a document they have already completed has been updated so they can review the changed material.
On the other hand, maybe you don’t have a document management system at your work. That’s OK, too—you can use the Convergence LMS for your document management needs.
In the most basic sense, you can store your key documents inside the LMS and assign only certain personnel the ability to edit different documents (while allowing any assigned employee the right to view the document, of course).
But, you can use the Convergence LMS as a more robust document management system as well. Over time, you’ll probably revised and update your key documents and training materials. Our LMS always presents only the most recent version of an activity to employees, but it keeps a copy of every historical version of every activity. This way you can always see the materials you were using to train 5 years ago; you can even open an earlier version of an activity, edit it, and make it the most recent version.
At Convergence, we know that management of change and document management are key needs at many companies. And we also know that a one-size-fits-all approach doesn’t cut it. That’s why we’ve created a system that will work in so many different ways for you: you just choose the one that’s right for you and let us help you get your training program working optimally.