If you’re someone in your organization who has decided there is a need to introduce a learning management system, it’s then up to you to create a business case for it. It can be tough to get buy-in for new technology in a business for a number of reasons.
Anyone who’s making a case for a new learning management system or any new technology or software can feel like they’re facing an uphill battle. There’s a tendency, especially among executives, to see new technology as adding unnecessary complications to an organization, as opposed to what technology really does which is simplify and streamline workflows and processes.
To make a business case for an LMS or any new technology, you have to be prepared for the objections you’re going to hear, and you have to be ready to answer them.
The best thing you can do, in a general sense, is show relevant decision-makers and stakeholders the value of a learning management system. To do this, you have to not only be ready to combat objections, but you have to know the pain points of your business, how much those pain points are costing, and you need to be able to lay out how the learning management system addresses them specifically.
So, beyond the general considerations, the following are some common objections that may arise with regard to a new learning management system, and ways to respond to them.
“The Current Employee Training Is Fine, and There’s No Need for a Learning Management System”
Decision-makers may think that while the idea of a learning management system seems fine, there’s no need for them. Their point is likely based on the fact that to this point, you’ve made it without one just fine. Unless there have been glaring training and development gaps, a learning management system can seem like something that’s just not necessary.
So how do you combat a logical objection like that?
First, even though training gaps might not seem glaring, they very likely can be. As you’re building a business case for implementing new LMS technology, you need to find specific examples of why your current training program isn’t cutting it.
Also, what about safety and compliance? Are there potential issues here? These can be some of the most costly problems that arise from an outdated training system.
If you want to help yourself gather some of the numbers, use the OSHA $Safety Pays Program tool. You can go to the website, and you can look at how much injuries can affect profitability. The program uses the profit margin of a company and the sales that would be needed to cover costs of an injury. The program lets you choose injuries from a list, or enter workers’ compensation costs. Then, you can put in the rest of the information to generate a cost report, and see the sales that you would need to cover those costs.
“eLearning Isn’t Effective”
An objection you might hear can be as simple as the fact that eLearning or a learning management system to deliver training isn’t effective. There’s a tendency, especially in more traditional organizations, to see the older ways of doing things as more effective.
However, you can gather the research showing transference rates are improved significantly when a learning management system or eLearning is used. With more transference and retention, it increases business performance and also makes sure that training budgets are being used as effectively as possible.
“You Can’t Measure the Effectiveness of Training and Development”
The people you’re trying to sell on a new learning management system are more than likely all about the numbers. They want to see the simple facts, and they may have the idea in their head that it’s impossible to measure the ROI for training and development initiatives, so why put too much effort into it.
What’s important to note here is that it is possible to measure the ROI of training and development, if you have the right measurement technology and tools in place. Sure, you likely can’t precisely measure the ROI of training and development when it’s done the old-fashioned way, but the ability to measure initiatives is one of the biggest advantages of an LMS over other forms of employee training.
“It’s Too Expensive”
There’s a chance you’re going to hear that a new learning management system is too expensive, and not in the budget of the company. That’s the most common objection to just about everything.
However, in almost all cases a cloud-based, scalable or subscription-based learning management system is going to be cheaper than classroom instruction, and also bring better returns.
Some of the areas where costs can actually be lowered or eliminated with the use of an LMS include on instructor fees, the need to travel to training facilities, and on the cost of physical training materials. These are costs that are very easy to see.
Other ways an LMS can lower overall costs for a business includes because workers can be more productive when they’re well-trained and not taking large amounts of time away from their job. It can also reduce the monetary risks of non-compliance.
“Lack of Necessary IT Resources”
When a lot of executives and decision-makers hear that there’s an interest in introducing new technology, they have a vision that it’s going to require extensive investments in not only software but also hardware. Executives might feel like they don’t have the necessary resources to support this kind of large-scale rollout, but this is easy to combat.
Most learning management systems are cloud-based, and there are very few LMS platforms that require deployment on-site.
“We Don’t Have the Time or Resources to Develop Customized Training”
Finally, while you might be singing the praises of the level of customized training that can be offered through a learning management system, stakeholders might be asking who exactly is going to be creating this custom eLearning.
First, it’s possible to use eLearning that’s already developed, but beyond that once those training materials are developed, they’re always there. Sure, it takes some initial time upfront to create courses, but then they’re stored in a repository of information and intellectual capital that can always be accessed. Once training content is created, it’s also extremely easy to make changes as they arise, or update it when necessary and it doesn’t require that the entire course or all of the content be changed to do so.