Selecting the Right LMS

By: Rajesh Rastogi
Selecting the Right LMS

24% of LMS buyers are satisfied 25% are not satisfied Nearly1/4 of all LMS buyers plan to switch vendors ? The above statistics confirm the need to be careful while selecting a LMS for your company. . Purchasing a LMS is a major investment and it is nearly impossible to replace one without significant additional costs.

Evaluating LMS

In evaluating an LMS, you should consider whether you want to outsource or purchase a solution. Every business has different requirements. Determine your requirement keeping in mind affordability without compromising on competency. Compare different vendors and assess their solution in terms of suitability to your enterprise. Many companies make the mistake of choosing vendors based on past performances; these do not guarantee the success of your venture. As mentioned earlier each enterprise has unique requirements needing unique solutions.

Essential Features Ideally, a LMS will merge mixed-media training automate the selection plus administration of courses, collect and distribute learning content, measure learning effectiveness and amalgamate with other enterprise applications. Thus the following features are a must in any good LMS-- Availability-The LMS must serve the diverse needs of learners, administrators, content builders and instructors simultaneously. Expansion-The LMS should be able to develop to meet future growth Accessibility The access, delivery and presentation of material must be easy-to-use Integration- The LMS should support the key learning standards such as AICC, SCORM, IMS and IEEE. Reliability The LMS infrastructure must be reliable and able to handle a large enterprise implementation around the clock Security- The LMS must be able to selectively control access to online content both internally and externally.

The Vendor In evaluating an LMS, you should also assess the vendor. He will be your business partner and must have the resources and reach to support your requirements. Financial Viability- A financially stable vendor will be able and more likely to support you in the future growth and expansion of your enterprise. Customer service- It is necessary to determine how responsive a vendor will be in case of. technical snags or any other LMS related problem. In case of trouble, support is needed. Having backup will help a lot when faced with irritated customers. Price- When considering the price, also judge the quality of the product. A few features may be traded in for a lower price, finally the price is always open to discussion, and it depends on the kind of functionality you are looking for.

The selection process There are no shortcuts to the selection process, the following areas of focus are recommended for functional requirements: the following process may not work for everyone, but consider it a guideline Learning strategy- A clear learning strategy should be in place. If not develop one, judge the target audience—their learning preferences, locations, their resources etc. Corporate goals should be defined and the strategy planned accordingly. Take into account budget constraints, ROI etc. List Requirements -Specific requirements should be defined in each area. The right selection matches an organizations requirement to an LMS not the other way around. Prioritize your requirements core(very important)to low.The right LMS must meet your core and medium requirements in the initial phases. Research LMS Companies- In order to make the best decision, it will be essential to research profiles of potential LMS vendors. The focal point should be on key areas of core requirements. LMS vendors will generally work with a client to achieve lower-priority requirements through customization or partnerships etc. ?Request for Proposal (RFP) - In the RFP, it is not essential to specify priorities of requirements, or list them in order, so that each requirement is treated equally. Each requirement must be extremely specific so that the vendor can respond directly to the requirement. Review the Proposals- Once more the focus will need to be on the core requirements. These are typically the requirements that must be met in order to consider the LMS. If even one of the core requirements cannot be straight away met by the LMS, it should not be considered. Hence, only core requirements that represent imperative functionality should be included. Meetings and Demos- After the proposal review personally meet the vendors and discuss specifications. Ask for live demos of proposed scenarios. The Selection Now, a selection can be made after careful reviewing each vendor This is a long-term investmentPsychology Articles, so it is important to give consideration to all the facts before coming to a decision.

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