Choosing a learning management system (LMS) can be a tricky task if it’s not something you’ve ever had to muddle through before.
But we’re here to make it easier for you.
In fact, it doesn’t have to be difficult at all, as long as you’ve nailed down these top five things before you get started.
Essentially? It’s about making sure you have everything you need to choose the right LMS for your business before you start throwing money around on something that might not work.
So, let’s get started.
1) Map out your learning and development goals
This is probably the most important thing you can do when it comes to choosing an LMS, and it comes down to how much you want to get out of the system you’re investing in.
So, think about what the L&D aims are for your business; what skills are your learners expecting to take away from this? How much do they need to learn to take your business forward?
Having a clear sense of what you want to achieve will help you differentiate between the various types of systems on offer, whether it’s a basic one-size-fits-all approach or something that is more fluid and allows users to grow based on their own strengths.
2) Think about your budget
Next, it’s a good idea to consider your budget. After all, you might want all the bells and whistles, but you need to be realistic about what you can afford.
And it works the other way, too. Investing in an LMS is about investing in (and future-proofing) your business – if you’re going to scrimp on the groundwork, you’re not going to see results. Take IBM, for example; they noticed a return of $30 dollars for every $1 spent on eLearning, all because they invested in a state-of-the-art LMS.
So, while a quality LMS might put a dent in your L&D budget, the return will deliver time and time again.
3) Create an LMS brief
Creating an LMS brief can give you a real head start when it comes when it comes to explaining all the fine details of your dream LMS to a developer. It can help them understand exactly what you need from the get-go and give you clear options on how to move forward.
So, what does that include? Well, essentially this is a mapping exercise, so, to get started, things you should outline are:
- Your audience (who is the system being created for? What is their technical expertise?)
- Your L&D goals as a business (as outlined above)
- What the system needs to do (will there be different types of courses? Should it include multimedia content?)
- How it should integrate with current systems in place (such as a CRM or calendar)
The good news is that you can check out our complete guide to writing an LMS brief right here if you’re not sure what to do.
4) Consider the technical requirements
Technical considerations are something you should outline in the brief, but it’s a good idea to reiterate it so you have an idea of what to think about when you’re doing it.
For example, if your staff are based remotely, you probably want a system that is cloud-based and can be accessed from any device. This would also be useful if office-based staff want to study from home in their own time, and you don’t want to restrict their training to office hours.
And, if your business is actually a skill-based course offering, or you’re moving your in-person training business online, you may also want to ensure your LMS includes an integrated payment system, too.
Essentially, this is all part of the infrastructure (perhaps the most important part of your LMS), so make sure you get it right before you face the costly issues of fixing it.
Don’t worry if you’re not tech savvy, though. Here at BuildEmpire, we’re always here to listen if you’re unsure and can suggest ways technical elements could help you smash your L&D goals.
5) Book consultations with companies directly
Signing up to a programme online without talking to the company themselves is never a good idea, especially if it’s the first time you’ve looked into building an LMS.
Speaking to a rep directly will allow you to really flesh out the things you need to know about the system you want to buy into.
- Is training offered with the LMS?
- What is the back-end support like?
- Do you need to pay annual hosting fees?
- Is this package right for your business or is something else better?
- How innovative is the software?
The more of these questions you can answer, the better placed you’ll be when it comes to choosing the right LMS for your business.
To book your own consultation with BuildEmpire, drop the team a line right here.