Workplace learning has evolved a lot over the years. Once largely ignored, it moved to hardcopy workbooks, and classroom-based learning. However, the digital revolution that has overtaken the other areas of our lives has also had an impact here – the modern learning management system, or LMS, bears little resemblance to the workplace training methods once used, or even the systems in use just a few years ago.

What’s an LMS?

LMS stands for learning management system. It’s sort of a centralized system that offers multiple functionalities. First, it delivers learning content to your employees. That might be mandatory corporate training, professional CE, or even voluntary training to upskill or close a skills gap.

Second, an LMS also provides you with the ability to manage and track the learning process. It’s not just about content delivery. You’ll find that the right LMS can allow you to track individual training, determine where learners are struggling, pinpoint areas where they do well, and even automatically handle things like transmitting CE credits to governing bodies to handle professional licensure issues.

What is LMS?

Common Pitfalls with Today’s LMS Options

While learning management systems have evolved a lot, that doesn’t mean that all of them are wonderful. There are many, many systems on the market. These range from open-source, free options to costly proprietary systems to flexible web-based platforms. Each has something different to offer, but many of them have their downsides, as well. Some of the more common pitfalls include the following:

Don’t Neglect the Content

The LMS itself is just part of the equation. You can think of it like the chassis of a car. It might look sporty, but the chassis is only half of what’s necessary. You also need an engine and transmission – that’s the content in the system.

If your content is low-quality, it’s like putting a tiny engine in a racecar. The chassis still looks great, and the car might be a joy to sit in, but it’s not going to drive very well. You have a couple of options when it comes to the content in the LMS, including the following:

Finding the Right LMS for You

Whether you have an existing LMS that’s not living up to your expectations or you’re interested in using one for the first time, there are a few things you’ll need to consider. The following tips will help ensure that you make the most informed decision when it comes to your learning management system:


Today’s LMS bears very little resemblance to the generations that have come before. They’re far more advanced and capable. With that being said, they’re not all the same and you cannot afford to choose blindly. Whether you’re replacing a system that no longer works for you or you’re getting your first learning management system, use the tips above to ensure that you make an informed decision.

And yes, you might just find out your learning management system features and benefits simply aren’t good enough, which might make you want to switch. If that’s the direction in which you’re heading, be sure to check out eLeaP’s 7-part series on how to implement an LMS:

  1. How to Implement an LMSPart 1: Laying the Groundwork
  2. How to Implement an LMSPart 2: The Analysis Phase
  3. How to Implement an LMSPart 3: Analysis Questions to Ask
  4. How to Implement an LMSPart 4: The Vendor Search
  5. How To Implement an LMSPart 5: Contract Review
  6. How to Implement an LMSPart 6: Roll-out Planning and Configuration
  7. How to Implement an LMSPart 7: Final Steps

It’s chock full of advice on everything you need to keep in mind and look for when shopping for a new learning management system. You might even run across an open source LMS for business that is attractive because it acts as a free cloud based LMS – but free doesn’t necessarily mean better, so put it through the paces first.