How to choose a Learning Management System?
Do you have to choose your first LMS or do you want to change it because you’re not satisfied? Here is a list of the main aspects to consider for this important choice.
The usual check list of comparison between features of different systems is almost never the best way to make this choice. What is essential is to ask, “What are the requirements that are really necessary for my business?” Being clear about one’s goals is essential to making the right choice and then being able to compare different solutions. What is the use of having so many features that we may not need? Even the price is not a fundamental element to choose well. Paying a cheap price for something that doesn’t apply to our situation is completely useless.
Having more ticks on a list and a very advantageous price are not necessarily traits of a preferable product or traits of a product is suited to your needs.
A successful project must satisfy all its users. It is useless to choose based on the opinion of a project manager without having adequately involved all the other stakeholders. An LMS potentially involves many users: the real end users (who will profitably only use a system that they really like), the IT office, the trainers, the managers, the actual administrators of the system, the sales offices, the human resources development and regulatory compliance offices, even marketing.
Usually what is needed today is not what will be needed tomorrow and indeed today it is not always easy to clearly identify in a complete way all the needs of the project. Preserving flexibility is therefore a very important element to make a choice, so as not to be stuck in front of a changed scenario. But how to measure the flexibility of an LMS solution? These are some aspects to keep in mind: high possibility of graphics and user experience customization, easy integration with other systems, compatibility with different devices, total cost of the solution.
The ability to easily scale, in the event of growth or even downsizing of needs, is a very important element to take into consideration when choosing an LMS. But the scalability of a system should go even further, being able to expand outside the organization itself (for example to customers and suppliers) and above all easily supporting new needs and functionalities that can easily intervene in the life of an organization.
The freedom to change on the part of the organization must be supported by an LMS that does not force the client into long-term and rigid contracts and above all without the possibility of intervening by controlling the direction of development. It is important for an LMS to support the dynamic needs of its customers in a “tailor-made solution”, following an open and shared roadmap to address their needs, taking them into account in the evolution of the system.
Each organization has its own unique combination of elements that can guide the choice: time, price, quality … Understanding which is the set of one’s own priorities, with the relative weights, must be a reference in the choice to be able to understand, in hindsight, if one has made the right choice by verifying if the adopted solution has really succeeded in satisfying the motivations for which it was selected. In short, it must be clear where we start from and how the chosen platform can and must help us reach our goal.
Flexibility, adaptability and scalability are key elements for choosing an LMS. In a world driven by the rapidity of technological change, increasing the knowledge, skills and performance of its resources is essential for maintaining market competitiveness. The chosen training solution must reflect and adequately support rapid and proactive change, so as to become a true strategic asset for the organization, helping to guarantee not only its existence, but its development.