How to Develop a Game Plan for Finding The Right LMS​

Get help choosing the right LMS

Today we are going to develop a game plan for finding, selecting, implementing, launching and post-launch an LMS, LEP/LXP or any other type of
learning system.

The biggest mistake people make when seeking a system is failing at the game plan. 

They fail to see potential obstacles including technical (at the company), fail to understand the change that will be coming (and never buy into the “we love change” – yeah sure you do) and fail to see the bigger picture, let alone the  smaller picture at hand.

Hold off on drafting those requirements or blasting out that RFP.  First, let’s put together a game plan that
will lead to victory.

Asking the Right Questions About Choosing the Right LMS

A strong game plan includes asking the right questions, which allows you (or if you are
in a committee – everyone) to see the where you want to go. 

Where do you want to be in three years?  (Explanation in a second here – no seriously, you will have an explanation on why you want to list three years)

What are your objectives with your LMS?

Why do you want a LMS or an LEP/LXP or some other type of learning system?  Seems to be a no-brainer here, but many times, people do not know – rather they were told to get one.  If you don’t know why you want or need one, than you can’t put together a game plan, because you don’t know – do you?

What do you want to accomplish with the LMS?

What are the requirements that for that LMS?  

Training requirements? Technical requirements? If you have HR involved or plan to have some form a talent/performance management – what about those requirements?

Who is going to use the system – employees, customers, both?

How are people going to access the system?  (From an employee standpoint, most folks access out of the workplace, unless they are hourly or union.  In regards to this question, if you use require your employees to use a VPN – then that should be part of your answer.  From a customer standpoint – you won’t know – but the usual areas – home, work, on the road).

Go one step further on accessing – Will people be accessing with mobile devices?  The answer by the way is yes.

Who is going to be involved in the process?

If the system is going to be accessed at the workplace, whether once in a while or often (maybe the company sets aside time for people to take online courses during the day) – it is important to ask these questions:

  1. Currently what is your operating system?  If you are using Microsoft 2002, you might be out of luck.  Many vendors no longer support 2002, even in some cases 2007.
  2. What browser are you using?  If you are using anything less than IE7, be forewarned that more and more vendors are no longer supporting it for use with their LMS.   The same with an old version of Flash.   Equally, if you are using an alternative browser such as Firefox or Chrome, find out what is the minimum version that will work with their LMS.  Oh, and if you are using Safari – again, inquire.
  3. Does your computers have audio cards installed and are they turned on?  Some companies turn them off – why?  Good question – have no answer.
  4. Does your company use mobile devices at the workplace OR do employees use mobile devices at the workplace?  If yes, are any Blackberrys?  Nowadays very few vendors support Blackberry.  The same with Windows when it comes to mobile devices, however that is slowly starting to change due to Windows 10 and the increased growth of the 2to1 tablet/laptop, which uses Windows OS (Example: Microsoft Surface Pro 3). 
  5. If you have an ERP, HRIS or some other technical solution what is it?  Will the LMS vendor need to interface the LMS with it?  If not now, what about the next three years? 

Based on experience you want to devise a three-year plan.  Three years. That is three years as a contract for the LMS (you can renew afterwards if you want).  That is three years for your strategy to build and sustain mass (it takes usually three years).