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Learning Portals: Supporting Corporate Objectives
What About ROI?
A quantifiable ROI for portal development is an ongoing struggle for both chief learning officers and corporate finance — two groups that don’t always speak the same language. Time savings, efficiency and productivity are among the benchmarks for successful portals, but these do not always translate into easily quantified figures.
For example, a CLO can show extensive time savings from single sign-on and dramatic reductions of e-mail, but it might be more difficult to prove the freed-up time has been used to the company’s betterment. The same problem exists in calculating the value of knowledgeable human capital, one of the best resources a company can have. Unfortunately for CLOs, these examples might not be sufficient for those who view ROI only in terms of the tangible: the bottom line.
The challenge, then, must be to emphasize the value of the intangible. A case can be made that the true value of the investment in user-controlled portals should be judged on its positive business impact in developing smarter and more efficient employees while establishing more connectivity with people through networks and online communities. These take resources, investment and time.
At the end of the day, however, portals make the company more productive, communicative and accessible. To some, those might be intangibles. They should be considered assets.
Portals: Not a Spectator Sport
Jakob Nielsen, called the “guru of Web page usability” by The New York Times, says the key to a successful intranet portal is one in which “a company’s content and services work together instead of undermining each other.” For Nielsen, the issue is very basic: “Companies ought to prefer that employees spend time working on business issues, talking to customers or performing other productive tasks rather than navigating a confusing intranet or struggling to make a computer do as it’s told.”
Consider your portals an endangered species if they don’t meet Nielsen’s criterion. Look for such warning signs as associates who lack interest, access that is too complex, users reduced to roles of spectators instead of participants and, most important, the inability to determine tangible or intangible improvements in productivity.
The Next Generation of HR: Whatâ€™s Wrong? Whatâ€™s Right?
May 23rd 1:00pm - 2:00pm CT
2013 CLO Breakfast Club, Boston
September 12th - 12th, 2013The Westin Copley Place
Fall 2013 CLO Symposium
September 30th - October 2nd, 2013Rancho Las Palmas Resort & Spa
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