LMS: do you have the right one for your organisation?

A robust learning management system (LMS) should help learning professionals manage a wide range of learning functions: it will be a depository for course catalogues, schedules, certifications. It can also manage curricula, courses, tests, and surveys delivered via e-learning and online classroom environments.

But with over hundreds of LMS solutions choose, how do you pick the right one for your organisation? We share some key considerations to help manage the selection process.

Defining learning management systems

An LMS is a software application for the administration, documentation, tracking, reporting, and delivery of E-learning education courses or training programs. It should also integrate with other enterprise applications used by HR in order to measure impact and effectiveness as well as the overall cost of training initiatives.

Consider these five steps when choosing which LMS product your organisation should purchase:

Conduct a Needs Analysis

If your intention is to replace your current LMS then focus groups will help you locate what is working and what isn’t and what users would like to improve. If you are a first-time LMS buyer consulting your stakeholders on what their strategic vision is and how the LMS would align itself with it. Remember to ask questions about operation, financial and IT concerns.

Define your organisation’s requirements

Your requirements are the selection criteria for choosing your LMS; organise them into three categories:

  • Functional: describes what the system should be able to do from a learning management perspective
  • Technical: describes how the system adapts wihin the broader IT infrastructure of your organisation
  • Financial: describes cost requirements and how the LMS will reconcile with your budget considerations

Tip: Approach writing your requirements as you would when writing instructional objectives; make them clear. Requirements should express what learners and learning professionals can do with the LMS.

Assess the product

Your requirements should help you create a set of vetting criteria; choose a few to help you create a short list that will focus your research on product websites.

Test the product

Contact vendors and ask them for information that will describe how their product may meet your requirements. Narrow it down to vendors whose product meets your overall LMS requirements. Most vendors offer a trial version of their product; trying out the product will give you a better feel of the software’s interface design and functionality.

Choose your LMS

Ask the vendor for a quote, implementation timeframes and support options. If you have selected one or more vendors, your organisation’s procuring team will be able to negotiate the best price for your purchase.

The product you choose should align with your organisation’s strategic vision in order for it to succeed. The process of selecting the right LMS for your organisation requires research, time, and consultation with your stakeholders and focus groups. Following these simple steps will make it worthwhile to your organisation in the long run and ensure a chance of success and user satisfaction.

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