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SJ Jay

West Bromwich Building Society

E-Learning Developer

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Online site for Management Development


Hi everyone.  As part of a new Management Development Programme within our organisation, we're hoping to develop an online site, where our managers could learn more about relevant subjects.  We're planning to include learning material such as articles, bitesize e-learning modules, expert interview videos and user forums. I would appreciate thoughts from people who have been involved in developing this kind of a site (or have used this type of sites as an end-user), with regards to how succesfull it was of achieving its objectives. In particular the following questions:

- Would you make the reading material mandatory/self serve? (the fear of self serve type learning might get ignored totally)

- How do you encourage managers to keep using the site?

- Does features like open forums work within organisations to improve management development?

- What type of evaluation have you used in assessing the success of such a site?

And ofcourse any other tips which you can share with me would be more than welcome.


5 Responses

  1. Online site for management development: do you need one
    Hi Susith. My first question would be: does your organisation need to set up its own site or are there enough external sites which you could point people towards? And no, I don’t work for a provider but do dislike duplication. Simon

  2. Why use just one external provider, when you can use them all?

    Hi Simon. You asked a good question.  We will be using few external services to provide us with material, however we decided to go for an in-house built site because most of the content on this site is going to be about internal processes and practices. 

    We did also look into external companies who were able provide us customised sites so that we could upload our own material and use their material too, but this comes with quite a price tag (on top of their normal subscription fees).  And also they were not happy when we asked the question  "Can we bring in resources from other providers?".

    So we decided to build and manage the site in house (our SMEs creating internal material and sourcing generic material from external providers). 



  3. Online management development portal

    Hello Susith

    I am an external provider similar to the ones you mention but not looking to sell you anything! I can offer a little insight from my experience of setting up an online support portal for training providers and practitioners for soft skills and experiential learning. Our membership is free btw

    It’s true there are a lot of other sources out there that they could be tapping into but I think it’s great that you want to provide something just for them – it’s going to make their lives a lot easier

    But onto a few tips on making sure they use it:

    • It will need to be updated regularly with interesting tidbits, news, stuff that is really going to interest them and make them want to use it!
    • The learning should definitely be in bite-size chunks – also include routes for professional qualifications
    • Discussion forums are a great idea and do work but they take time to set up and get going – again it’s just about having really good stuff that makes them want to contribute, ask questions and be involved. Sharing best practice is a great way of developing.
    • lots of flexibility and listening is important on your part – so find out what they want and how they would use this resource and make sure you have that there. What’s going to be of most interest and value to them during their busy day
    • may require more resource than you think as in time spent on uploading interesting things, responding, being available and so on. Also, if the reading is interesting enough, up-to-date and relevant, they’ll read it!
    • word of mouth is everything – also, not sure if you were going to do this or not but having them register for it is a good idea so then you can keep better track of who is using it and so on

    Hope this is a little bit helpful – do get in touch if I can help more – [email protected]

  4. Very useful

    Hi Emma,

    Thanks for your reply and sorry for the delay in getting back to you.

    What a great list of tips you’ve described there!  I’m defenitely going to forward that to our content writers. I also had a quick browse through the unimenta site, which is defenitely worth a return visit to go through all the material they’ve got.

    I noticed a key message throughout most of the points you’ve mentioned – "Do not under estimate the resource required to keep such a site updated and interesting".  That is so true!  It must be the main reason why so many sites/portals fail after the "big bang" opening.

    Thanks again for your valuable input Emma.  At the moment, we’re trying to iron out some technical issues about the portal, so I’ll keep your contact (and share it with our content owners – hope that’s okay) when we get to the content planning time.


  5. Happy to help

    You’re very welcome, Susith. I am glad my comments were helpful – do get in touch any time if I can be of any further support. And if there is a way of involving Unimenta, even better!


    Emma Sue


    [email protected]

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SJ Jay

E-Learning Developer

Read more from SJ Jay

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