You visit the website of a company that offers a Learning Management System and it looks terrific. There are screenshots of menus and reports, images of people who are happily learning, and quotes from delighted users. It looks good.
But should that level of information convince you that you have found the LMS that meets your needs? Not really. And if you start using that LMS and it doesn’t work for you, how much time and money will you lose?
You can prevent mistakes by applying a process of due diligence when you select an LMS. Here are eight critical questions to ask.
1) Does the LMS support the training you currently offer . . . and that you will offer in the future?
If you are currently providing just one training program for 15 call-center employees and only need to track enrollments and course completions, that is one thing. If you offer six courses to 100 product installers and you want to know how well they scored on embedded quizzes and monitor other data, that is another.
So in addition to reviewing the LMS as it is described online, speak with a representative of the company that offers the LMS to be sure you are buying one with features that can expand to meet your needs.
2) Does the LMS pass a road test?
Test the fundamental functions you will use. Try to enroll some employees – how easy is that to do? Try to upload and organize your course content – again, how easy is that to do? Try to generate the reports you will need after you are using the LMS – again, is it easy to do that? If an LMS is difficult to use, the time to learn that is before you sign up and start paying for it.
3) Do your people like it?
Be sure to get evaluation and feedback from the people who will actually use the LMS. Does it meet their needs? Those people should include the members of your training team, managers who supervise the employees who will be trained, and a cross-section of people who will take the training.
4) How easy is it to find answers and get help if problems arise?
Are there FAQs and information resources that users can access on their own? If a user needs help with a problem, how quickly can they get support? Because your training operation can stop while you wait for a service ticket to be handled, test drive support by posting a question, or call the service number, and see what happens. If you can’t get immediate or prompt help, it’s best to move on and consider other LMS systems.
5) Can the LMS grow with your future training needs?
The system that is right for you today might not be right tomorrow. So in addition to speaking with someone from the LMS provider about your current courses, be sure to discuss new courses you will offer in the future and other possible changes in your training. If you plan to double the number of your training programs or the size of your workforce, will the LMS accommodate those changes?
6) Can you see a live, complete demonstration of product features?
It is tempting to pick an LMS quickly, by watching three-minute videos that are on the LMS provider’s website. But because you are investing in a product that you will be using for years, you are entitled to experience a personalized product demonstration, either face-to-face with a company representative or in a video meeting. If a company is unwilling to spend that time with you, how willing will it be to provide support when you need it later on? Not very.
7) Can you talk with no fewer than three current users?
They can provide you with a greater depth of information than the “we love it!” quotes that the LMS provider put on its website. So be sure to speak with no fewer than three current users and ask them:
- Why did you choose this LMS?
- How many steps were required to set up your training before you could fully use it?
- Did the LMS meet all your needs? If not, what was missing?
- When you have a problem or a question, how do you request help, and how long does it typically take before your issue is resolved?
- Do you expect to keep using this LMS in the future?
8) How experienced is the provider?
You don’t want to be only the second or third client who has used the company’s LMS product. You want a training development company that has extensive experience setting up and supporting its LMS product. Here are some questions to ask:
- How many companies are currently using your LMS?
- Do you have clients who have set up training that is similar to ours?
- Based on your experience, what do you think the steps will be to get us up and running?
- Do you foresee any obstacles or special challenges in getting us up and running, and how do you think you can overcome them?
And be sure to check out the company’s reviews online!
Want to learn more about the Tortal LMS, the full-featured, supported, flexible LMS that can grow with you in the years ahead? Then it is time to speak with a Tortal Training expert. Call (704) 323-8953 today.