The 4 Steps In The Selection Process When Choosing An LMS

The Right Selection Process To Follow When Choosing An LMS

In today’s business environment, an LMS is the backbone for training and development and continues to gain in popularity. One of the biggest advantages of a Learning Management System is efficiency. In fact, many companies report a 50-70% cost savings just by switching from instructor-based training to eLearning. Once you decide on the right LMS for your business needs, you’ll reap the benefits for many years to come:

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  • More knowledgeable workforce.
  • Reduced training costs.
  • Track regulatory compliance training.
  • Prepare future leaders.

Market research shows that the LMS industry will expect a year-over-year growth rate of about 25% for the next five years. Choosing a Learning Management System can be overwhelming, but armed with a plan of action with specific goals can alleviate the frustration that can come with it. The following tips will allow any trainer to confidently choose an LMS and avoid walking away with “10 features they didn’t need”.

1. Create A Requirements List

The first thing to do is to create a high-level features/requirements list in order to understand what’s crucial, what’s important, and what’s just nice to have: Think about your organization’s goals, what tasks you are going to perform with the new system, what kind of reports the LMS needs to provide, whether there are any certification / compliance / security requirements, and so on.

However, be cautious of generic feature lists and LMS comparison sites, because most vendors have very similar feature sets. A good tip when you get to the demo process is to ask them to address how they would handle specific scenarios instead of just going down a checklist of features that the LMS has. This you can do by providing the vendor with a list of specific use cases, so they can demonstrate how their system will do the job.

2. Vet Available Products

Now you have your complete requirements list and you know what is important, along with some “nice to haves”. The next step is to narrow your choices of LMS providers. Right off the bat, you’ll seek out those vendors that can offer you the features you need. For instance, if you would like an LMS that will leverage your investment in SharePoint, then this would be a good vetting criterion.

3. Product Evaluation

Request For Information

An RFI contains a list of all your requirements with a few questions per requirement for vendors to answer. Evaluate the vendor responses with a scorecard that allows scorers to rate how well the vendor meets each requirement on a 5-point scale. After scoring the responses to the RFI, you can rule out some of the lower-scoring vendors and continue evaluating the top contenders.

Online Demonstrations

This is a great way to see your top vendors in action. A good approach is to give them all the same use cases ahead of time so you can compare them equally. The more prepared you are, the better. Bring any questions your team has to the demo and make sure to write down any additional questions you may have during the presentation. To really help narrow down the best LMS, create a score card that each team member can fill out with a rating of 1-5 stars. It can be as simple or as complex as you’d like with use cases, features, price, etc.

Trial Version

As you continue to evaluate the finalists, you may ask for a trial version of the LMS software where you can explore the finalist products. Hands-on exploration will give you a better sense of the user-interface design, features, and capabilities of the product. Be sure to ask if the vendor will guide you through initially before you set off on your own.

4. Product Selection

The final step is to select a product. Send a Request for Proposal (RFP) to each of your finalists asking for pricing quotes, implementation timeframes, and support options.

If you followed the above guidelines, you should feel very confident in your choice of Learning Management System software. For more about choosing the right Learning Management System for your needs, download the free eBook What Everybody Ought To Know About Choosing An LMS.

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eBook Release: ShareKnowledge
ShareKnowledge is an enterprise LMS that integrates with existing technologies while automating training, reporting and other business processes.