Avoid LMS Purchasing Pitfalls
a Learning Management System (LMS) will
impact every employee in your organization, not to mention your external
customers, as online training touches everyone. To ensure your e-learning
software will meet training needs and match business objectives, be careful to
avoid these seven common mistakes.
1. Dodge senior management. Make
sure top managers understand that training creates smarter, more informed
employees and gives you a competitive advantage for sales and service. Without
proper buy-in, your purchase order will linger without the necessary
2. Failure to identify your needs.
Clarify your existing technical and training environments so your chosen
product will do what you need, when you need it.
3. Compare apples and oranges. Some Human
Resources Information Systems have learning modules but do not launch and track
e-learning or manage courses, instructors, gradebooks,
skills, certifications, and so on. Be certain that the LMS is a
true knowledge management system.
4. Exclude IT from the process. Your IT team will ask the right questions to help make cost-effective decisions and to ensure
the product is compatible with your technical milieu.
5. Focus on price, not value. An
deserves a proper cost-benefit analysis to make sure the purchase meets the
scale of learning initiatives in one fully inclusive product. Lower prices may
mean additional purchases in the future.
6. Ignore interoperability. Your learning content is
probably in a variety of formats, including Word, PowerPoint, HTML,
spreadsheets and Flash, to name a few. Your LMS should
allow you to include content in its original format, plus offer an integrated
authoring tool, for quick and easy course building.
7. Choose customization over configurability. Custom
code impedes flexibility, scalability and efficiency. Your LMS should
be easily configurable to your strategic business processes and adaptable to
your changing objectives. Hard-coded, ad hoc customizations require extensive
programming every time business conditions change.
should assume that your learning objectives will cycle and your learner
population will expand over time. Donít make the mistake of selecting an LMS to automate dated business
processes. Rather, choose an online training system that will significantly
improve the way your company does business.
purchasing process for your LMS should be given the requisite time,
resources and budget since all LMS products are not created equal. Look
for an LMS that can meet your immediate
needs and help you migrate toward new and improved processes that grow with
your business needs.