“Failing to prepare is preparing to fail.” It’s cliché, but there’s a truth behind every iteration of this statement. Preparing yourself for the conversations you’ll have with potential LMS vendors is a critical part of the selection process; it’s where you’ll gain important insights into the suitability of the relationship, software, and functionality. If you want to ensure you’re choosing the best LMS, you need to know the right questions to ask.
Ask your learning management system vendors these 10 questions
1. Is the learning management system scalable?
It’s important to know that your LMS can scale with the growing needs of your organisation – simply, flexibly, and affordably. This might be necessary as you take on more employees, choose to extend learning to a wider network, or implement robust succession planning strategies to support your L&D plans.
2. Can it support virtual and classroom-based blended learning?
Blended learning, also known as hybrid learning, allows organisations to deliver multiple learning content formats tailored to employees’ needs. From classroom-based bookings, to eLearning and coaching and mentoring, an LMS should be able to deliver personalised learning opportunities to every learner.
3. What type of reporting and data can I extract?
Every stakeholder – learners, line managers, L&D teams, HR teams, and executives – will want relevant data and insights into subsets of your LMS’s performance. To continue offering relevant learning opportunities that satisfy both the employee and the organisation, reporting and analytics dashboards (coupled with tailored access levels for each stakeholder) can provide 360-degree reviews when integrated with your HR software.
4. Are automated workflows part-and-parcel of the LMS?
Automation of repetitive tasks can boost organisational productivity by freeing up valuable resources (ie your people) to better spend their time on strategic tasks. Can your potential LMS facilitate automation, and if so, to what extent? Also consider whether automations are an in-built functionality, or if you’d need customisation.
5. Is the LMS mobile learning (mLearning) compatible?
Employees will want to access their learning content on demand, usually from a smartphone or tablet when they’re away from their desks, and your LMS needs to be able to deliver a memorable experience every time they log in. Ask your prospective LMS vendor if the platform supports mobile learning; are there specific operating system requirements, does the system display content consistently across all devices (and in line with mobile learning best practices), and does it match up to the ‘desktop experience’? As more teams move to a remote and hybrid way of working, this is an important aspect to pay attention to.
6. Can I see some (relevant) client feedback?
What better way to determine if the LMS vendor is a good fit than to ask for client feedback from people in your industry? As an enterprise LMS user, for example, you might be interested to know that similar-sized businesses with large project scopes are something your LMS provider has experience in and can deliver on. Similarly, SMEs will want to ensure they’re not wasting budget on a corporate LMS solution with features they’d never use. Encourage your LMS vendor to share testimonials that are most relevant to you and your business’s needs.
7. Setting expectations: can you supply a detailed implementation process?
Implementing an LMS can sometimes be a long process, especially if there are unanticipated challenges that usually come with complex or highly customised system setups. Your LMS vendor should, however, be able to provide you with an overview of the implementation process they follow, and, based on your requirements, advise on you on an expected timeline. This will help manage expectations from both sides, secure stakeholder buy-in, and flag any potential additional needs, such as having an internal resource on call to manage urgent tasks.
8. What level of customer care is on offer?
Whether your prospective LMS vendor calls it customer care, support services, or any other iteration – it’s important to understand what you can (and can’t) expect in terms of aftersales service. Some providers offer a set number of hours each month post implementation, others offer specific or limited services, and some providers offer a service package as an additional feature to support organisations that need additional care.
9. What is your pricing structure?
LMS pricing points are vast and varied, but you should be able to get a good estimate once your prospective vendor knows the scope of your requirements. The pricing will typically involve setup and training fees, based on the number of users. A pricing breakdown could also be helpful to highlight inclusions that might not add value, allowing you to re-allocate the budget to a more practical service (or additional support). This is also a good time to ask for annual price increase brackets to help you financially plan for the duration of your contract, and to assess if, financially, the LMS provider is a good fit for you.
10. Beyond client testimonials: what does the market say?
A less direct approach, but important nonetheless, is to assess the market feedback of your potential LMS provider. Take a look at trusted review sites, including Capterra, eLearning Industry and Fosway, for unbiased reviews. Many established LMS providers share case studies which offer insights into how they’ve helped similar organisations and industries.
We’re here to answer your questions
If you have any questions about learning management systems, you can download our brochure, request a demo of our award-winning platform, Digits LMS, or contact us to speak to one of our friendly experts.