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This article describes how Aventis Pharmaceuticals, in partnership with IBM, is implementing a learning management system (LMS) globally both in the Research and Development organization and in clinical groups within the Commercial Operations organization. It also discusses how Aventis is applying an innovative change management approach that meets challenges to this implementation globally across its matrix organization. The LMS relies on strong business involvement to keep the system current and relevant. Two critical organizational solutions in this effort involved establishing (1) a two-tiered governance structure to globally manage the system's consistency on business and technical levels and (2) a network of LMS contacts to provide the necessary business support and material content to keep the LMS relevant and current across geographical regions. Governance boards and LMS contacts enable global communication and coordination, creating a robust learning environment. After only one year, the LMS has achieved widespread acceptance within the organization and has been implemented in three target regions, allowing rapid response to organizational change and new business requirements, and placing the company in a strong competitive position. Aventis is currently exploring extension of the LMS to external partners.
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