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Learning Requirements Planning - LRP

Understanding of Learning Requirements Planning A. INTRODUCTION Learning Requirements Planning (LRP) is a formal, enterprise-wide ... thumbnail 1 summary

Understanding of Learning Requirements Planning


Learning Requirements Planning (LRP) is a formal, enterprise-wide e-technology (ERP,e-commerce, e-supply chain, e-learning) implementation process that is time-phased to meet the long and short-term learning objectives of an organization. LRP uses the concepts of “explosions”, Bills of Learning, Master Learning Schedules, and Gross-to-Net Logic. The six steps of the model consist of Analysis, Diagnosis, Design, Implementation, Evaluation and Continuation. The LRP logic is simple and the results are dramatic. Providing a model upon which to base an implementation is an important element to ERP success often overlooked in the literature. The majority of ERP implementation literature focuses upon a “task list” orientation to implementation success. The concept seems to be that if an ERP implementation team can list every single item or task required for the implementation and then simply follow the list, the implementation will be a success.

Unfortunately, a task list approach fails on a number of levels. First, the tasks may not directly feed into one another. It is difficult to visualize how one task relates to another by simply viewing a semi-chronological list. Although many project management software packages have a “roll-up” functionality, the ability to visualize the “big picture” of the implementation is difficult since a “diagram” of the implementation process does not exist.

Secondly, it is nearly impossible to correctly identify each task in the proper order. Inevitably complications arise. These complications are typically not listed on the task list and then a re-organization of the task list becomes necessary. Also certain resources may become available before a task is to be performed. If the learning and ERP training is not in-line with the tasks to be performed, complications arise.

Third, the task list approach makes it difficult to see priorities. In an ERP implementation, a number of tasks are more important than others. Without a clear prioritization methodology, less important tasks may receive higher priority and more resources than critical tasks.

The fourth problem is that the task lists are rarely revisited once they are established. This means that any new task or item creeping into the implementation process can replace existing tasks in importance but never be recorded or officially scheduled. This causes problems because the implementation team is not working from an updated task list or, in a worst-case scenario, different team members are using different task lists.

The fifth, and perhaps the most critical problem, is that the learning needs of the organization are not clearly defined with a task list. It becomes extremely difficult to tie the learning needs of the employees within the organization to the long list of tasks. Some of the training needs overlap, others are not obvious, and some are simply not even listed. The ability of an organization to learn during the ERP implementation is critical to the organization’s success. A task list of items to accomplish will not identify learning priorities or establish learning criteria for the organization.

In sharp contrast, the LRP process provides a model for ERP implementations that naturally identify priorities and establish criteria by which individuals involved with the implementation project can measure their actions and available resources. The LRP process has built-in feedback mechanisms to ensure that employee learning is constantly evaluated and updated.

An implementation model is an important tool for moving the current ERP implementation philosophy from a “task list” focus to an integrated enterprise-wide learning focus. To be effective, an implementation model must be both flexible and adaptable. No two organizations will approach an ERP implementation in exactly the same way. The LRP model has been developed using a modular approach in which each element of the model can be approached separately and then combined for maximum effectiveness as well as adapted to various situations. The model is most effective when viewed as a holistic, integrated approach to an ERP implementation.

An ERP system is an integrated set of procedures for running an organization which itself is a highly integrated set of process and procedures. An integrated system must be implemented to maximize the integrated nature of the organization it supports. Application of the LRP model strengthens the integrated nature of the organization.

LRP provides the integrated approach demanded by today’s sophisticated ERP software packages and by the integrated nature of business in the global economy. Approaching the implementation based on a model of Learning Requirements Planning provides a large probability that the ERP system, based on the model of effective inventory planning and prediction will achieve success.

The model-based approach to ERP implementations provides a visualization and prioritization methodology that simply does not exist with a task list approach. The elements of education, evaluation, and continuous improvement that are emphasized in the LRP model are not necessarily new. However, the learning-focused approach of LRP is new. LRP will revolutionize ERP implementations.

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