L&D professionals are fortunate enough to have an extremely wide selection of learning management systems to choose from on the market today.
Capterra, the well-known business software directory, currently lists 324 LMS software tools!
However, with so much choice and with so many features to evaluate it can feel like a bit of a jungle, and working through the choices can be a project in itself.
Well, try this simple road-map we’ve set out below to guide you through the complex process of LMS software selection:
Establish your learning and development goals first:
Clearly establish what your L&D objectives are.
What skills and competencies are you expecting to deliver via the training system?
Do this in detail, making sure to clearly establish the ‘must have’ versus ‘desirable’ features.
Set Your Budget
It’s really not worth entering the market-place without at least a ball-park budget or else you may waste valuable time investigating online learning platform options that you have no chance of being able to contract with.
Go To The Market
By now you should have a budget and a detailed set of requirements that make you perfectly prepared to go to the market place
There are hundreds of LMS software comparison articles, but one of the most efficient ways to investigate software and develop a short-list is Capterra.com, perhaps the leading software comparison tool.
They have 324 LMS listed and have around 20 search filters, making it easy for you to quickly create a short-list of LMS with the right features and that matches your requirements.
There are also plenty of really useful LMS articles on the internet for you to review.
Create A Selection Matrix
It can help to create a selection matrix at this point in excel which will make it much easier for you to compare system features and functionality and make a final decision.
Include some kind of scoring system to help you evaluate and grade systems.
Making Your Decision
Sites like Capterra are great for developing your initial short-list of about 4 to 6 systems, but to start making your selection you’ll need to make direct contact with each vendor to find out which one really is the best fit.
This deeper analysis is ideally broken down into about 3 areas:
Check to what extent each LMS on your short-list offers the ‘must have’ and ‘desirable’ features of your system and update your selection matrix. You will find that if you have built a scoring system as suggested in step 5, you can quickly rank your LMS in terms of how well they fit your needs.
Look at the level of support that is offered by the vendor, e.g. is it phone, e-mail or face to face support? Is it a free-phone, standard or premium phone line for support? How many hours support do you get a year? What are response times ..? Favour systems with good support.
Future development. Ask to look at their product development road-map as you ideally want a vendor who will be automatically updating their functionality so you always have a cutting edge system. You should now be ready to make a selection decision.