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How to Build a Learning Management Program

Did you know that only 8% of respondents to a 2012 survey say they love their learning management system (LMS)? This shouldn’t come as a surprise. Many companies are unhappy with their LMS due to outdated interfaces, lack of customization, or incomplete reporting. Doing thorough research and identifying your team’s main objectives before installing an LMS can save your company lots of time and money in the long run.

Learning Management programs help businesses and educational institutions track, administer, and report on educational courses or training programs. These programs are often used when onboarding new employees, but they can also be used for external customer-facing training sessions as well.

If you’re wondering how to build a learning management program for your company, you’ve come to the right place. Choosing the right software for your company is no easy task, and there’s a lot of research to sift through before making a decision. We’ve provided some of the most important considerations for you and your key stakeholders when evaluating an LMS solution.

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Determine Use Cases

The first thing to consider when looking for a learning management program is the necessary use cases and learning strategy that you hope to provide. To do so, ask yourself these questions, and share them with stakeholders:

Select Important Features

Learning management programs can have a wide variety of features ranging from critical to “nice-to-have”. Sit down with your key stakeholders and figure out what features are most important when looking for a learning management program. Once you have your short list of prioritized features, you can refer to it when demoing different vendors.

Common LMS Features

Demo Your Options

You wouldn’t buy a car before test driving it, would you? The same principle applies to building a learning management program.  You should never leap into building a learning management program before demoing the different options.

During a demo period, be sure to have your list of prioritized features at hand and ask questions like:

Get Buy-In

Remember that a significant software purchase like a LMS affects people across the company. You’ll want to get buy-in from IT, administrators, and learners (your employees or students). Since these are three completely different audiences with different goals, be prepared to answer different types of questions for each group.

IT Professionals

IT professionals are most often interested in the technical requirements for integration and the support required to maintain the system. You can ask these questions to evaluate the technical feasibility of the learning management program:

Administrators

Administrators want a system that is easy to maintain and has robust reporting capabilities so they can measure user progress and engagement. When speaking to administrators (these may be your training leaders or teachers), ask them these questions to get a feel for how the LMS will suit their needs:

Learners (Employees)

For your learners (either in-house employees or external customers), you’ll want to focus on the user friendliness and experience. If possible, include some of your target users in the demo and be sure to get feedback from them as well as key decision makers.

Many companies end up cycling through multiple learning management programs before finding the one that suits them best, so doing your research and getting buy-in upfront can save a lot of money.

Ask your target users these questions to evaluate the user-friendliness of the product:

Implement Your Solution

Once you’ve settled on a solution, work with IT and management to ensure it rolls out smoothly across the company. Now is the time to track employee engagement, learning progress and other metrics to assess your curriculum’s success. The right LMS can help you do all of that, and ensure the success of your learning management program for years to come.