Over the years, we have had an opportunity to work with many different organizations in creating and implementing Learning Management Solutions. Each organization had some specific business requirements and one of the reasons we were chosen is because we mold TrainingForce to fit the customer needs.
But we would not be honest if we said that every TrainingForce implementation was great. Some were not. So that got us thinking — what makes a great LMS?
From our experience, there are 5 key ingredients to a great Learning Management Solution.
1Clearly defined objectives. Seems simple, but the best organizations lay out clearly what they would like to accomplish with a system. When we start work with an organization, the objectives are the first order of business. The solution objectives become the basis for the success evaluation.
When we start working with a training department, the objectives are documented and a plan is developed to meet those objectives. TrainingForce is a very adaptable LMS software solution that handles most objectives. For those objectives that TrainingForce does not handle, we develop custom solutions and utilize third-party products.
2Management support. Without the backing of management – in terms of budget, support, and resources, most LMS implementations will fail to meet objectives. Great LMS implementations are seen by management to be investments in the organization that deliver real and measurable returns.
At TrainingForce, we understand that managers are stewards of the organization’s resources. The great LMS implementations occur when management understands and appreciates the measurable benefits of the LMS as well as the cost savings for increased efficiency. The TrainingForce software provides a series of metrics for measuring performance, value, skills acquisition, and retention. These metrics are presented to management on a recurring basis to show the LMS’s ROI.
3Communication. Clear communication between management and the training department helps define the objectives of the solution. Clear communication between the training department and the LMS partner ensures the objectives are met.
The great LMS implementations have great communication — not surprisingly. The organization clearly articulates the objectives and the vendor is able to respond appropriately. As issues arise, all parties meet to identify the items to address and arrive at a resolution. Meetings — argh! But these meetings, whether in person or remote, are a critically important communication tool and part of the continual improvement process.
4Investment. Great Learning Management Solutions require significant investment — in terms of time, resources, and money. Great Learning Management Solutions receive all three.
In an effort to lower the investment costs and improve ROI, the TrainingForce solution requires few in-house resources and is competitively priced. The biggest investment the organization will make will be in time. It takes times to define objectives, search for vendors, select and implement solutions. The TrainingForce team has several tools we make available to organizations to speed the selection and implementation process — saving time, money, and frustration.
5Involvement. There are two aspects of LMS involvement: utilization and participation. Utilization is the adoption of the LMS in the training function. Participation is the application of the LMS in the business objectives.
To fully utilize a LMS, staff must be trained in the features of the software and develop processes that leverage the LMS in the training function. Participation is driven by the integration of the LMS into the business model and corporate culture. Great LMS implementations have knowledgeable staff focused on delivering highly-value education to the organization, using all means available.
Ultimately, great Learning Management Solutions are a result of commitment to success. We are honored to have been part of many great LMS implementations and are always expanding our understanding of the ever-evolving needs of the training function in today’s competitive environments.
Have we missed anything? Use the comment section below to add your thoughts as to what makes a great LMS.