Acquiring a Learning Managment System (LMS)
14 October, 2010
It is surprising to see companies that acquire a Learning Management System (LMS) without identifying their needs or even establishing specifications first.
Online training (e-learning) has now proved its worth, and several organizations turn to LMS solutions.
With all the available solutions, how can I make sure to choose right? How can I be sure that the chosen solution will meet my needs? Can this solution (the LMS) be customized based on my company’s needs and growth? Does it comply with industry standards? Do I have to buy it or can I simply rent it? Finally, can the provider offer me appropriate assistance for the implementation of my project?
All these essential questions are part of the “shopping” process when you are looking for a solution for your organization. You must compare apples with apples and avoid buying the first solution you find. In addition, you must ensure that all the previous questions are addressed diligently.
It can be very useful to seek external advice from an independent consultant or firm in order to ensure objectivity when identifying your needs and choosing your solution.
Regarding the acquisition mode, the Software as a Service (SaaS) model, which was initially used mainly for Customer Relationship Management (CRM) solutions, has been extended to learning management solutions. This type of outsourcing or rental allows companies to use the solution without buying it. Since software solutions are already offered in SaaS mode, this method not only reduces the cost, but also allows an extremely quick rollout.
Many organizations make the mistake of prioritizing technology over pedagogy. Educational efficacy and easy access for learners must come first when you choose your solution. Organizations often don’t realize that their project is focused on technology, whereas it should be guided by educational (training) needs.
The implementation of an LMS will not solve everything by itself – it must be linked to an effective communication strategy so that the culture change generated by this new method is well understood and accepted, and that your employees or learners adhere to it.