Choosing an LMS can be like choosing any other software for your business….it can take up a good amount of resources and money, there are dozens of factors that go into the decision, it’s a long process, and there can be a lot of worry that you might not make the right choice.
First…what is an LMS and do you really need it? As we learned in our CPTM course, sometimes a training manager needs to know when ‘no’ is the right answer. If the way you manage your training works for you, then maybe a large project (and budget hit) isn’t the right thing for you at this time. But, if you are struggling to keep track of information, looking for a place to store different type of learning documents, or want a place where you can create new learning opportunities, an LMS is the way to go.
An LMS is a Learning Management System that is used to manage how you train your employees. From taking attendance, to hosting a course catalog, to storing post-class evaluations, to creating mobile training…a good LMS will be able to do everything on your list. If that’s what you need, then an LMS is right for you.
So, what is on your list? As with any project, you need clear directions. What will you use the LMS for? How will this impact your budget? What is your timeline? Who is on your core team and who will administer and use the system? Each of these questions -and more- need to be answered to point yourself and your team in the right direction. There are hundreds of options out there and the more you know beforehand, the more you can narrow your search.
Some other things to consider:
- Are you just keeping track of classes, or will you use this LMS to create courses?
- How big is your course catalog and will you be moving it all over?
- Will you need this to administer remote webinars or e-learnings or is everything in-house?
- Is gamification or mobile learning a priority, or are you just focused on ILT?
- How many internal users do you have and how much customer support do you anticipate?
- Are you fairly certain something “off-the-shelf” will work for you, or is customization a priority?
Luckily, LMS’s come in all shapes and sizes so even if the answers to the above questions were ‘yes, maybe, or both’, you can find something that fits.
Wouldn’t it be great if you could try it out beforehand? Most companies offer a testing phase, which can be insightful, but not everyone gets to use it so there’s still a risk it might not work as you hoped when you purchase. It’s also tough to estimate how you will use this system far in the future, so mergers, growth, downsizing or management changes can all throw a wrench in your carefully crafted plan.
AXIOM knows this can be a big commitment. We are working on a solution for you… what if there was a way you could rent an LMS and try it out or use it for as long as it worked for you? Wouldn’t that ease the burden of a large budget hit or a long term contract? We think so.
Stay tuned, AXIOM may just have some news for you soon… 🙂
-Have a thought on our blog post? Please comment below, we love to start new discussions!