If you browse the web, you’ll find there are over 600 Learning Management Systems (LMS). The sheer volume of these platforms alone makes it overwhelming to choose just one. To also have to make sure it’s the best option for your business is even more stressful. But don’t start sweating just yet!
Here are 5 steps that’ll take the stress out of finding the best LMS for your company.
What’s a Learning Management System (LMS)?
An LMS is an education system that helps businesses track their employees’ training. You can use an LMS to build customized courses and observe progress toward goals. An LMS is also a great tool for managing your employee certifications.
Once you’ve acknowledged your need for an LMS, you’re ready for the first step in your search!
Step One: Figure Out Your Training Map
Your training map is the route you need to take so your business can reach its goals. The first question you should ask yourself is, “What do I want to achieve from my LMS?” When determining your goal, think about the purpose your LMS will serve for your business. If you don’t know the ideal outcome, it’ll be tough to make any decisions about training needs.
It’s important to examine the content you’ll want to upload to your LMS. Will you need to upload PowerPoint presentations, videos, or recorded webinars? Will you develop short, one-time courses? Or administer a longer, macro-learning approach? You might want to customize online course examinations that offer certifications. Tackling this first step is all about figuring out what features you need your LMS to have.
Step Two: Survey Your Employees
To find what the best LMS is for your team, you need to understand who you’ll be training. Consider your employees’ strengths and level of experience. You’ll most likely need to develop different materials based on their skills and interests.
You’ll also need to think about how tech-savvy your team is. Chances are that not every employee is a digital expert. One option is to make a plan that allows for extra time to learn how to navigate the LMS. But, it’d be easier to pick an LMS that’s already user-friendly.
Once you know your ideal training map and your employees’ skills, you can figure out your budget.
Step Three: Determine Your Budget
Small to medium-sized businesses know the critical role that budget plays in achieving their goals. Here are a few things to think about when determining your budget for your LMS:
- Make sure if you choose an LMS that offers a free version, it includes all the features you need.
- Think about your company’s future. Will the LMS support your business’ training needs five years from now?
- Look for hidden costs. These could include hosting, extra plugins, updates, installation, etc.
It’s important to note that you can monetize your LMS by selling your courses online. This is a great way to make passive income and can help offset your setup or subscription costs.
Step Four: Browse The Market
Now that you know what your budget is– you’re almost there! Time to browse the market to find the best learning management system for your business.
There are four main factors to consider when looking at different vendors for your LMS.
- Does the LMS have all the features you’ll need to support your training map and your employees?
- Is the total cost of the LMS (including hidden fees!) within your budget?
- Is there a wide knowledge base on the LMS? Make sure there are tutorials and articles online that support the learning system. The more information and learning content you can find about the LMS, the more likely you’ll be set up for success.
- Can you find social proof? Make sure to read reviews from businesses who have used the LMS you’re considering.
Don’t panic if you get stuck narrowing down your search to a few vendors that meet your criteria. You can visit Capterra, which is a website that helps you compare systems.
On to the last step…take your LMS for a test drive!
Step Five: Test Your LMS
A majority of learning management systems will offer you a free 2-week trial. This will give you a chance to see if the LMS has everything you need and can help your business reach its goals. A free trial is also a great way to determine how user-friendly the system is for you and your employees.
Choosing the best learning management system for your business can be intimidating. But, following these steps will make your search much easier.
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