As you may be aware a learning management system (LMS) can help you manage the administration, delivery, tracking and reporting of your e-learning programs or online courses.
Here I have listed down some of the main features of an LMS.
1.Tracking of learners progress and generating of user reports.
2 Adequate and scalable LMS content storage.
3. Support of the popular publishing formats and standards.
While I was just exploring the different LMS available in the market, I felt that the number of options available to the users is huge as the market is flooded with lots of options.and it becomes a nightmare for the organizations to choose an appropriate LMS. If you are one among those organizations, who are still on the hunt for an LMS ,this blog can definitely help you in choosing the right LMS.
Below is a checklist of steps to be followed while choosing an LMS.
1.Define the objective first
Before choosing an LMS , the organisations need to start, considering the business objectives that an LMS is going to fulfill.
The organisation should consider answers to these questions:
1.What business problems are we trying to solve?
2.What strategic goals will it address?
3.Is LMS the best solution to address the business problem?
In this way, the organisation is able to clearly identify the objectives first before they set out to select the appropriate LMS.
For example a manufacturing organization might be having plants located at various places across the country or an FMCG company will be having sales depots across various locations and to reach out all the employees with the latest learning or training updates may be one of the business objective.
Another business objective could be to re skill your employees on a new skill which the business demands like agile methodology or GDPR etc so nail down the business objectives, which you want your learning to accomplish and then think whether LMS is an appropriate solution for meeting the business objective.
2.Document what you want from your LMS
You will need to identify, very specifically, what you want the LMS to do for your organisation. The present day market for LMS gives you a lot of options and hence there is a high chance that you may get blinded by the features without really understanding the benefits and the advantages and whether you really require all those features.
Hence it is recommended to document the exact requirements and need for choosing an LMS. For example, should LMS support only hosting of the content or does the LMS also need to have the option to generate detailed user reports capturing the entire learning footprint of the learner or author the e-learning content for you or create assessments etc
It is also recommended to take the considerations from the IT team as they are the ones who are likely to implement the system and you need to understand the things from the perspective of technological requirements.
3.Float a Request for Information
Once you document the requirements, you should now request for information from the different vendors. The purpose of this is to get enough information from the vendors, with the documented requirements already in your hand, you can compare and see how are the vendors able to manage and satisfy the requirements from one another.
This should be a detailed document seeking information of all sorts from basic to technical requirements, the terms and conditions and even implementation. Also get an indicative pricing from the vendors at this stage. Shortlist vendors who meet the technical criteria and initiate discussions with them.
4.Present the requirements to stakeholders
At this stage, it is important to involve the stakeholders, who are going to be decision makers as well as influencers. Present a crips 10-12 slides PPT to the management about the objectives, benefits and indicative resources required to implement LMS in the organization. Get a sign off at this stage so that you can move on to the next stage of a detailed evaluation of shortlisted vendors.
5.Evaluate LMS vendors and call for proposals
Once you receive a green signal from your management, initiate discussions with the shortlisted LMS vendors and call for individual presentations from them.
Once you are able to shortlist the vendors, you can now request for the proposals from them. Proposals can have both technical and commercial evaluation criteria.
6.Get approval for the budget
Once you have shortlisted at least three vendors on the basis of the proposals submitted, then get the budgetary approvals on the terms of implementation, payments etc.
7.Choose an LMS Vendor and implement
This is the final stage, where after evaluating all the proposals you choose the best one which could satisfy your requirements the most and matches your budget.
While choosing an LMS is a complex task, following the above mentioned steps can help you simplify the complex tasks.