6 ways to jump start finding an LMS in 2016
Learning Management Systems, or LMS, have become a rather efficient and popular platform for corporate training and eLearning. With this need, an overwhelming amount of learning management systems have popped up. They’re very complex, and it may not be apparent which one is going to work out the best for you. If you need an LMS for company training, you want to make sure you get the right one the first time. You can’t afford to bargain with training that may be subpar, and you’re not working with an unlimited budget. If you know the things you need to look at, finding the right LMS is less mysterious than it seems.
1. Brainstorm LMS with your training crew
Someone needs to be responsible for your educational system, and you need to decide who that will be. These people need to assess the educational needs of different types of employees, and create outlines for tailored programs that will effectively deliver the necessary information. It might be worthwhile consulting with an employee training professional for their recommendations about what should be presented and how it should be delivered.
2. Know what you require
After your training crew has made their assessment, you need to figure out how that information translates into what you’ll require from an LMS. How do you want your employees to interact with the LMS? What is crucial to making your plan work? The LMS you select should be cohesive with the way you apply your educational information. In the event that what you want may not be possible, you need to have a plan for downsizing and modifying the requirements you started with.
3. Narrow the playing field
There’s a chance not every LMS is going to do what you want it to do. There’s no such thing as a one-size-fits-all solution in the world of learning management systems. Research the features required to make your plan become a reality. You’ll immediately be able to eliminate some systems and select a select few favorites. This is the point where you should be considering your budget for implementation and any additional support you may require to get things going.
4. Finding and Interacting with your top choices
You may not know which one is the best until you see the LMS in action. See who will offer you a trial, detailed screen shots, and examples of their versatility. It may be necessary to email the LMS developers a list of questions that are imperative in your decision making process. Read testimonials and look at examples of their past products. You should always thoroughly research before making a serious investment. You may spend more or less than you thought, but what’s most important is that the LMS is right for your company.
5. Consider technical limitations and preferences
Choosing a LMS, you’ll obviously need to evaluate how it will integrate with the software and technologies you’re currently using. Ease of access is an important consideration. How will you want your learners to access information? Should your LMS extend to mobile devices and if so, perhaps mobile could become your principal learning platform? These questions can be answered by taking a look at the technological habits of your employees and the technology your enterprise can access. If you see your employees frequently using their mobile devices for completing work-related tasks, it’s a good idea to look for a LMS which is mobile-friendly. This is yet another smart technique that will help you to narrow down your choices and ensure that the LMS you choose really fits the working reality of your business.
6. Make your final decision
If you’re left with two or three viable candidates, it’s time to start weighing the pros and cons. This process may involve some negotiation, and you may receive offers of competitive pricing. Don’t look solely at the LMS – there are other things that can make or break the offer. How much support are you going to get? How fast will you be able to implement the LMS? Compare information, and go with the LMS that offers the most pros and the fewest cons.
The good thing about finding the right LMS is you’ll only need to do it once. Take the time vetting and researching providers. Worst case scenario, you can always switch, but if you’re slow and steady in your decision making process, you can find an LMS that will work for you long term.
Zoe Anderson is a marketing assistant at StudySelect. She’s keen on learning about new branding strategies and eLearning tools.