Talented Learning recently released its 2016 LMS Almanac: Corporate Edition. Web Courseworks, along with 72 other LMS providers are put under the microscope to give readers a detailed list to choose which LMS is right for them. (You can see our overview here).  When an association or company has made the decision to purchase an LMS, it is not always clear which LMS will be the right fit. Thankfully, there are a lot of resources out there for organizations to utilize when facing the question “which LMS is right for you?” Reading blogs as well as White Papers can give organizations a better understanding of the world of LMS and give them insight into finding which LMS will best benefit their association.

Once the decision has been made to purchase an LMS, the next major step for anyone looking to implement an LMS into their association is to define their requirements for what they want the LMS to do for their organization. This will ensure that the maximum value that the LMS can give to the association is achieved. This is a vital part of the process because it not only allows the consumer to understand their own needs, but also provides the LMS company insight as to whether their product and the organization will be a good match. John Leh, CEO and Lead Analyst at Talented Learning, outlines five categories that in his experience, give buyers the best advantage when choosing the right LMS.

LMS Requirements

LMS Requirements

  1. Functional These are the actual features that the LMS will bring to the users. Leh recommends using case scenarios to best define what features and functional requirements are best suited for your organization.
  2. Technical This category focuses on how the LMS will be implemented into your organization. Customization of the LMS is a key player here. Think of integrating apps (SalesForce, Google Apps, Electronic Health System) and content compliance standards such as SCORM or xAPI.
  3. Professional Service This is the type of services you will require from the LMS provider and how intensive you need them. Think of how you want your LMS implemented and what kind of data you may need transferred to your new system.
  4. Ongoing Support Once your LMS is implemented, what are you going to need for continued support? This can vary from video chat to in-person visits as well as looking into what kind of updates you want (automatic or manual).
  5. Business  This category deals with the vendor, contractual agreements and also payment options. Picture how you want your business relationship to look like.  Also, looking into the licensing options for choosing a payment option can be helpful when forming the final contract.

Read about Leh’s requirements in more detail here.

Choosing an LMS does require an internal analysis of your organization’s needs. This can take time and requires careful planning. However, having a list of requirements when starting to look for an LMS will not only allow for an easier and quicker search for a provider but also, create a better fit between you and your new LMS, which will add more value to your organization.

Do you want a “big picture” view of choosing an LMS? Don’t worry. We’ve got a digestible, no-nonsense report on selecting an LMS. Download our white paper “When and How to Select an LMS for Your Association” here.