Choosing one of the numerous Learning Management Systems available can seem like a daunting task. It doesn’t have to be though. When you’re shopping and comparing Learning Management System options, use this as a guideline to look for at least six characteristics the system you choose should contain.
Meets Company Objectives
Before you launch into a shopping extravaganza, sit down with each department in your organization. Determine the goals and objectives for each department. These are overall business goals, not necessarily learning and training goals. Use the objectives as a checklist for evaluating each of the Learning Management Systems that are in the running.
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Fits Learning Objectives
With your list of company objectives in hand, translate the overall objectives of the departments and the business as a whole into learning objectives. In other words, determine what type of training and development is necessary to help each area of the company meet and exceed their objectives and goals.
Contains Industry/Business Knowledge
Look for Learning Management Systems developed by companies with knowledge and experience in your industry. It is a bonus if the Learning Management System focuses on your specific type of business. Business and industry knowledge and experience helps to ensure that the system contains training and development modules that directly fit the learning needs of your employees. Without the need to customize and personalize a more generic system, investing in a Learning Management System with this type of knowledge can reduce the costs in personalizing the content prior to launching it. By the way, don’t forget about your content needs. Having a platform which also provides ready-to-go content is a net plus. Make sure to preview some of the courses from the content library to make sure they actually meet your needs.
It Passes a Test Drive
As you start to narrow down systems using the other characteristics, the next step is to test out the system. The only way of knowing whether the system works the way you need it to operate is to use the Learning Management Systems the same way training attendees would use it if you decide to purchase it. Learning Management Systems that pass your trial runs should make the final-cut list.
It Fits in Your Budget
While cost is not the only factor that sways your decision, cost is one of the factors you have to consider when choosing a Learning Management System. Can you afford the price tag on the Learning Management Systems that are on your list? If no, how far out of your budget is the system? Do the benefits the system offers outweigh the added cost or not?
Meets the Majority or All of Your Needs
In the end, the training and development system you choose should meet all of the needs on your list. At a minimum, the
system you choose should meet the majority of the needs on your list. If you do not choose the right system for your business as it is now and anticipate the future needs of your business, you can easily invest in a system that is soon out of date and needs upgrading.
Avoid allowing shopping for Learning Management Systems to daunt you. When you know what to look for in a training system, you can easily narrow down the options by the characteristics the systems possess.