Having a reliable learning management system is currently believed to be a crucial element of running a successful company, particularly for big enterprises that need an all-round training and development of its staff. One of entrepreneurs, Richard, realized that selecting a solid LMS will significanlty improve the performance and efficiency of his staff. However, with a wide range of options to choose from finding the best LMS for his company may be somwhat complicated. Richard asked us for some tips on how he can evaluate learning management system vendors to help him with the selection task.
“Hi! Reading tons of articles on learning management systems can be quite stressful for someone like me who is not that knowledgeable on the subject. I have gone through several reviews on several LMS and managed to read some tips as well. Still, I find picking the right choice among the long list of learning management system vendors taxing and exhaustive. Can you help me out? I need to know how to discern which LMS vendor has the best solution for me and my business. I appreciate your help on this.”
Hello Richard! The proliferation of learning management systems, even at the small business level, indicates that its has indeed become a vital element in keeping a business organization highly competitive in terms of learning and development of its employees. But like you said, making a choice among a vast selection of learning management platforms is not that easy.
I have listed some tips that I believe will help you in how to assess learning management system vendors. Happy hunting!
Before you go out and evaluate every LMS software vendor that comes your way, it is best that you start by defining the needs of your business. You can begin by listing both short-term and long-term goals, finalize your target audience, and the type of content you wish to implement and deliver and so on. Identifying these things as well as looking over other considerations will give you a clear picture of where you want your business to be and what kind of LMS features and tools will suit to help you realize those goals.
It needs to be stressed that you can filter LMS software vendors faster if you categorize your requirements. It is a simple process really. You can try looking at features and functions of probably LMS software into separate categories such as ‘must-have’, ‘nice to have’ and ‘not mandatory’. This will allow you to see which vendors have the features and functions that you require, enabling you to shortlist your probables faster and eliminate those that do not satisfy your specifications and preferences.
While common sense will dictate that sharing some information about your project is a no-no when dealing with third parties, it is advisable when you are looking for a choice among your list of potential learning management system vendors. Tell them what your plans are as well as your business goals and they will likely provide you with their own pitches of how they can help you achieve your ambitions. Some would probably even make special exceptions and modifications so they can have you on board. That said, don’t divulge everything but rather just what they need to know.
Once you have a shortlist of strong LMS candidates, it is best that you ask them for a demo and a free trial. Meet the vendors and tag along your stakeholders and provide them with your specifications as well as your evaluation sheet. This step will enable you to see how the software performs and allows you to spot gaps in the system which you will want to be addressed in the future. Simply put, a free trial will give you a preview of the software, its strengths and weaknesses, including issues that you might experience in the future.
Your IT team will bear the brunt of the technical issues that will arise once you have installed and deployed your LMS. Thus, it is often better to tag them along and get them involved in the selection process. They will also see to it that the software that you shortlisted are aligned with the IT policies that are in placed within your organization. If possible, get them involved right at the beginning to maximize their expertise as well as hasten the selection task.
There are still other things that you need to look out for but the five tips mentioned above will help you a great deal in finding the perfect learning management solutions for your business.
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