If your company is considering implementing a Learning Management System (LMS) to deliver training, finding one that best meets your company’s needs may not be that easy. Why you might ask – because there are literally hundreds of learning management systems available in the corporate learning market today. Furthermore, there are typically many people involved in the purchasing decision and you’ll need to gain approval from each and every one of them. Although the investment in time and energy to find the right solution is significant, given what’s at stake, it’s well worth the effort. You stand a much better chance of being successful if you follow these best practices for making your case to implement an LMS.
Top 3 Benefits of Building Your Business Case to Implement an LMS
Gathering the information to present your case is probably the most important part of your journey. It’s this information that drives the criteria to help you make your final LMS decision. Although this can be a very time-consuming process; the benefits you’ll gain far outweigh the detailed approach.
- Gain valuable information and insight into your organization’s goals and objectives.
- Gain buy-in from key stakeholders that will support your efforts and help make your case for implementing an LMS far more compelling.
- Generate new ideas for training and development plans that are aligned with your company’s departmental goals.
Now that you understand the benefits of building your case for an LMS, let’s review the steps you should follow to get there.
Step 1. Perform a Needs Analysis
Learning technology solutions, such as an LMS, help to facilitate the learning and development within an organization. At a minimum, an LMS will help your organization to schedule, administer and manage training initiatives in less time and with less cost. An LMS will also help to provide centralized tracking and reporting for greater visibility into the effectiveness of your training programs. These are all quite obvious reasons for why you may need an LMS. Perhaps though, if you dig a bit deeper, you’ll find additional reasons to support your need for an LMS that prove to be of great value to your organization. Here is an abbreviated list of some ideal questions to ask your team.
- Is your company dependent upon affiliates, partners, distributors, etc. to generate revenue?
- Is your company geographically dispersed with multiple office locations requiring a consistent extended enterprise training approach?
- Is your company looking to sell training to generate additional revenue?
- Does your company have limited staff, time and budget to deliver effective training?
- Does your company operate in an industry where many of your employees require annual training to meet licensing or compliance requirements?
- Does information within your company or industry change frequently requiring fast and effective communications?
Step 2. Identify and Align with Organizational Goals
By now you know exactly what needs are driving your team’s decision to implement an LMS, but what about the rest of your company? What are the strategic goals of your company and how will an LMS and your training programs support these goals? For example, does your organization want to achieve a larger market share, or perhaps they want to improve their customer satisfaction score? Once you’ve identified these goals, you’ll be able to demonstrate to your senior management team how the LMS and your training plans align with your organization’s overall business goals and objectives. The more aligned your programs are with your organization, the better your outcomes!
Step 3. Identify Key Stakeholders/Department Goals/Training Requirements
Now that you’ve detailed what your company’s overall strategic objectives are, it’s time to drill deeper to get a better understanding of the objectives for each of your business units/departments. You’ll need to work directly with the key stakeholders from your business units to identify their department’s strengths, weaknesses, challenges, and unique training requirements.
At the end of this exercise, you’ll have a solid foundation by which you can measure the success of your training initiatives against individual business unit results. Companies typically struggle with measuring the impact of training initiatives, but when training is aligned with business unit key performance indicators, it’s far easier to determine success.
Step 4. Present Your Case
By now you should have enough information to present your case for investing in an LMS. To ensure that your leadership team understands the value and opportunity that an LMS can provide you’ll need to clearly communicate your vision. You’ll want to position your case so that the LMS is viewed as a technology that can help your organization to achieve its strategic business goals while also achieving a return on investment.
If you’re looking for greater insight including worksheets and industry statistics that can support your initiative, feel free to download our eBook: Making the Case for an LMS.
Susan Distasio | eLearning Industry Crusader | ePath Learning, Inc.
About the Author: Susan Distasio is an eLearning Industry Crusader focused on advocating for advancement and change in the eLearning and professional development industry. An avid seeker of knowledge and continuous improvement, Susan is happy to share her research, observations, and thoughts regarding “all things related to learning and development.” When she’s not out on the learning crusade, Susan can be found with the wind in her hair riding her Harley or simply enjoying life with her husband, Steve, and her Siamese cat, Elvis, and with family and friends.