Selecting a Learning Management System for Your Company

August 02, 2011 | Dennis Martinek
Selecting a Learning Management System for Your Company

A file cabinet without files…is just a filing cabinet. Recite this mantra as you search for an LMS.

Having spent nearly nine-years in the Talent Management industry (Softscape and then SumTotal when they acquired Softscape), I know quite a bit about the reasons why companies select a Learning Management System. For some, it’s the ease of having a data repository in which to place all of their training materials so that they’re easily accessible to those who need them.

For others, it’s a matter of having a formalized training process in place which shows the complete picture of employee development. From the day of hire to the day of retire, this training process needs to work in tandem with their HRMS system so that they can track progress, as well as with their employee development programs to truly get the full picture.

Performance management, succession planning, and career development tend to be the hot button issues.

There are many great companies in the LMS field, but don’t forget that an LMS is just a really sophisticated file cabinet – without a variety of content, you’re LMS is just a…well, a repository.

The best LMS’s draw from many sources:

Instructor led training;

External training;

Webinars;

Reading materials;

Video on demand.

With such a variety of information serving so many different divisions within an organization, it can be a challenge to create the content across the organization’s enterprise. Some LMS’s come with content creation, but they are primarily geared towards a limited number of authors, who spend a good deal of time learning how to best use the products.

Simplicity. The other key component to a great LMS.

Too many features can make the learning process difficult and actually scare users away. The best systems make the experience as easy as possible. For example, the average author using Brainshark can be trained in a matter of hours, and be an expert within a week.

Which brings us back to the main point:

Any system that is not used is a file cabinet without files, or with old files that are never looked at. Making an investment in an LMS is often a long, tiring and costly proposition. Make sure you invest in something that makes achieving your goals as easy as possible. Once you do, find a system that helps you keep the file cabinet stocked. All Brainsharks are SCORM compliant, which in simple terms means that any LMS system that accepts SCORM compliant materials (mostly all do) can be enhanced by leveraging the power of Brainshark.

You’ve made the investment—now make it better!

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