In the current landscape of Learning Management Systems, it is not easy to determine which LMS fits the demands of your company in the best possible way. When you start looking around on the web, it seems as if every LMS vendor can provide you with all the functionalities you need or would like to have. Some platforms are using open-source software, whilst others are not. Some vendors are targeting smaller companies, while others are targeting multinationals. A vendor might even be more or less ‘specialized’ in a specific line of business (e.g. finance, education, pharmacy…).
So, how can one make an informed choice about which LMS can offer you the best solution?
What does your company need?
First, it is important to know what the needs of your company are. Within the company you will need to discuss how an LMS can benefit the company’s talent development, customer relations and training operations. You will also need to decide who is going to use the LMS. Will managers use it, as well as people on the floor? Would you like external guests (e.g. partners or clients) to have a restricted access to the LMS? What are the main objectives for each of the key audiences who will use the LMS? The scope of users will need to be defined, as well as the high level business objectives.
It is important that the end result of each target group (e.g. sales representatives, new hires…) has been defined. It could be that new hires automatically need to be enrolled for certain courses, for example, while more experienced users might need to qualify for a certification. Determining the key audiences and which objectives they should reach by using the LMS is crucial when considering which one to use. The structure and hierarchy within the company should be reflected in the structure used for the LMS.
Designing a RFI or RFP
When designing a Request For Information (RFI) or Proposal (RFP), it is important that the questions within the RFI or RFP inquire about the functionalities and features a specific category of users will need. I.e. a teacher will have to be able to add content to a course and book rooms, while learners might not need these features. The RFI or RFP needs to challenge the vendors in such a way that it will become clear whether they can provide you with a learning management system that has the functionalities you need.
Total Cost of Ownership
Finally, try to get a view on the Total Cost of Ownership (TCO). The TCO can be influenced by license costs, support, implementation and custom development. What budget will you need? Over which time period can the costs be spread? A higher cost does not always imply that the users will be more satisfied with the platform.
The consultants of The Learning Hub are happy to help your organization or company through every step of this process!