Slack as a Modern LMS

Travis Good
August 6, 2020
A learning management system (LMS) is a software application for the administration, documentation, tracking, reporting, automation and delivery of educational courses, training programs, or learning and development programs (source).

The advent of the LMS coincided with the emergence of digital learning. As the world took advantage of technology to facilitate training, the LMS became the software platform to manage that digital training. This was over 20 years ago, in the 1990s.

Modern workflows are increasingly driven through integrated tooling

Despite the multiple paradigm shifts in technology and the nature of work since the advent of the LMS, the LMS has remained largely the same. The largest LMS’s are bulky, standalone enterprise platforms that allow for content creation and management of learners. The cost is high. The onboarding time is long. And the onus is typically on the customer to create, organize, and manage the content that they need; this requires dedicated training staff.

Additionally, the types of training content that the LMS manages are traditional, video, and slide-based courses that take hours to days to complete.

For these reasons, the current LMS does not meet the needs of technology companies. Many technology companies either use homegrown tooling for training or other, non-LMS training tools (ex: powerpoint, confluence, etc.). Those technology companies that use an LMS are not happy customers. Those that use homegrown tools have to keep them up to date and organized.

As work has moved from disconnected systems and silos to integrated workflows anchored on open, continuous communication (think Slack and Teams), training has not kept pace. Modern workflows are anchored on integrations between apps, often SaaS apps, and Slack and Teams are used to monitor, manage, and communicate about these workflows. Slack is the modern company operating system.

The LMS, at best, has integrated alerting into workflow platforms like Slack. However, training content in 2020 is not created, delivered, administered, or tracked as a workflow in these platforms. The LMS, and its associated workflows for admins and learners, is not incorporated into the tools people use to manage work today.

This is why we chose to launch Haekka with Slack-native training, specifically Slack-native training for security and privacy. By fully integrating with Slack, all the features of an LMS can be delivered as workflows. Create and assign training, complete training, view training results, and access evidence — all without leaving your Slack instance. In under 5 minutes, you can onboard and have your entire company learning.

Slack is the modern company operating system

In order to make this work, it was not simply a matter of porting over available training to Slack. Training that takes hours or days to complete doesn’t make sense for Slack. The content needs to be short and continuous. Micro-training, or training that can be completed in a short amount of time (think minutes for lessons, not hours), elevates learning — it leverages the Slack platform, makes training a part of work, builds learning into the culture of your company, and has been proven to boost comprehension.

Training today is more important than ever. Employees expect it. Remote workers require it on a continual basis. Additionally, the stakes around security and privacy have never been higher. Companies need to ensure all of their employees and contractors understand their responsibilities and best practices in order to make the right decisions every day.

Delivering security awareness micro-training in Slack is the fastest way to solve these challenges.