What are your needs?
First things first. You need to take a close look inside your organization and reconsider the reasons behind your need for a new learning management system. Do you need to constantly train employees, new hires, and test their knowledge? What level of importance does this training have in your organization?
Next, it’s important to consider why your current solution is not working. Many companies are dissatisfied with their current provider. Notably, a Brandon Hall LMS Trends survey in 2014 found that nearly 50% of companies wanted to their leave current LMS for another software. The main features of most e-learning solutions are similar, so it is easy to get overwhelmed and frustrated when trying to choose the best software for your business.
Most organizations that are looking for a new LMS want to alleviate the following pain points:
› Your current LMS is too difficult to use, has many useless features, and it is strenuous to train others on how to use it.
› Your current LMS is too expensive, and the costs will increase if your company grows as you'll need to add more users to it.
› You run a small to medium-sized business and don't want to pay so much for an LMS, so you plan on switching it to another solution or giving training using tools other than an LMS.
› Your current training consists of a mix of PDF and PPT files, videos, and hands-on training for each new employee. Now, your trainings are getting disorganized and unmanageable as your company grows.
What is the best solution for you?
As previously stated, there are many options when choosing a new LMS. So much so that the e-learning expert Charles Severance stated: “There’s a lot of parity between the systems. You can almost throw a dart at a dartboard and pick an LMS, and it won’t be that bad.”
Nevertheless, a system that simply “won’t be that bad” could also require replacement in the near future, which is what you are trying to avoid in the first place.
So, what can you consider when choosing an LMS? Since most systems have similar features, perhaps you could look at the main differentiators between them to make a decision. Besides features, what sets an LMS apart from others? Things you can consider:
› Ease of use – Is the system only for the tech savvy? By the looks of it, can you get it up and running with your team without too much of a hassle (since that’s what you are trying to get away from in the first place)? Is it accessible? Can you picture yourself working with this program for long hours, if needed?
› Support – What kind of support do they offer? When you talk with their support team, what is their tone of voice? Are they helpful and friendly or do they make you regret even asking for help? These are important aspects to think about if you are considering a long-term commitment with a new LMS.
› Pricing – What is their pricing model? Does it look fairly priced with a good return on investment? Do they charge per the number of users (that is an important thing to take notice if you plan on adding new users to the platform on an ongoing basis)? Is it overpriced? Do you have to pay for many features you don’t plan on using anytime soon?
› Reviews – Not only you should look for an LMS with good reviews, but, when reading the reviews, consider the common thread between them. What are the clients that are using this tool mainly saying about it? What are they mainly complaining about? You can then have a better idea of what to expect when you start using this system.
How to find the best solution
Finding the best solution might take some digging on your part. The best way to do this is by trying to learn about different systems as much as possible when weighing your options. You can do that by signing up for a free trial, asking for a live demo, joining a webinar, and reading software reviews.
Once you choose your new LMS, you'll need to transfer your current content to the new system. This step comes with new considerations. Is there a way to re-use the materials and documents you already have, such as PDFs, images and videos (perhaps even content created using another LMS)? Is it worth it to transfer old content to the new platform or is it best to create fresh content from scratch?