Your LMS: How to Plan, Review and Select a LMS for Your Business
Step 1: Create Your Business Case for the LMS
Before you consider purchasing or implementing a LMS for your organisation it is good practice to develop a business case to support the project.
The business case will be specific to your organisation but developing a ROI (Return on Investment) as part of your business case is valid.
As a guide you may want to consider including the following factors as part of your project ROI:
- Saves time
- Saves money
- Minimises time away from the job
- Cost effective
- Highly flexible
- Maintains consistency
- Delivers personalised learning
- Greater information retention
- Greater customer satisfaction
- Lower employee turnover
As an overview, deploying an LMS to manage your staff induction and training provides you with a scalable platform where your team will can complete the same quality courses without senior staff having to dedicate their time to face to face training.
A leading-practice approach is to create a story that illustrates how the investment will add value and pay off over time. The story will allow senior management to visualise the direct connection to the business. This type of business case should include both direct benefits (the outcomes aligned to specific measures) and indirect benefits (other business measures and descriptions of the user experience).
Step 2: LMS Data Gathering
Once your organisation has developed the LMS business case, the next step is to commence process design and data requirements gathering. You will need to identify what you want the system to do for your company.
As a guide, meet with different stakeholders to identify and collect data that will be the DNA for your Business and Functional Requirements. Consider the role of the LMS to deliver:
- Online welcome from your CEO and/or senior management
- Induction training for staff
- Induction registration and training for contractors
- Induction and on-boarding of visitors
- Learning and development of staff
- The ability to publish new news and alerts to training groups
- The ability to publish policies and key documents to the groups
- The ability to track acceptance and acknowledgement of policies
- The ability to track external training session
- Recording and managing face to face training
- Recording and managing webinar training
- The ability for staff and contractors to upload key documents and complete forms
This documentation and appreciation of the current state will help the team assigned to design the process to leverage existing work—and to identify gaps in supporting a more integrated approach to data, process, and analytics.
Any process design effort should begin with the end in mind. The business goals identified should determine the process and data outcomes, as well as the overall user experience.
You should try to involve representatives from key stakeholder groups (such as employees, managers, and business leaders) to provide additional perspectives—thus beginning your change management efforts.
You should consider and research new technologies such as cloud technologies, SaaS (Software as a Service) and PaaS (Platform as a Service), as these solutions are secure, enterprise and mean that your IT team do not have to manage the implementation of the program. There is a role however for IT to discuss the need for:
- Integration with your payroll, talent system or staff CRM
- Identify the need for API synergy to connect systems
- Identify need for custom webservices to deliver your dataset integration
- Identify the need for Single Sign-on with existing systems such as Intranets or web portals
Step 3: Create Your LMS Business and Functional Requirements Document
Once you have collected your data, it is important to craft the Business and Functional Requirements that you require from your LMS
You can interview the stakeholders or ask them to respond to a list of options in a requirements document. The requirements document should include as much detail as you need to communicate what you require the system to do. Also remember to include budget, IT standards and implementation timeframe
Your high-level requirements statements should include both your mission-critical functional requirements, as well as any technical requirements. It is suggested that you include four requirements that are deal-breakers for your organisation— meaning that you would not select a provider which did not support these requirements. For example, the “top six big rocks