Let’s get right down to brass tacks: I have a lot of experience dealing with LMS requests for proposals. (As many of our readers know, the sponsor of this blog, Web Courseworks, sells a robust, feature-rich SaaS learning management system. CourseStage LMS is targeted to the association marketplace and corporations who train or educate adults that are not their employees.)

That is why we are excited to sponsor Tagoras’ perennial favorite webinar, “LMS Selection: Mastering the Process, Avoiding the Pitfalls,” on Tuesday, February 23, at 12:00 PM – 1:00 PM CST. This free webinar is presented by Celisa Steele and Jeff Cobb, co-founders of Tagoras. They will be discussing their time-tested process for selecting a learning management system and highlighting common errors. Attendees will leave the session with a clear understanding of how to lead their organization in choosing the right learning technology.

Already sold? Sign up here: LMS Selection: Mastering the Process, Avoiding the Pitfalls.

If not, here is a sneak preview. Finding the right learning management system can be a formidable task. It may also be a costly one if you make the wrong decision. To help you in your decision-making process, here is a 10-step list to follow:


  1. Identify your core learning and development objectives and aims. (If you don’t know them, allow me to suggest Tagoras’s many resources on learning strategy as well as our Thought Leaders series webinar with Clark Quinn, entitled “An LMS is not a Learning Strategy.” Register here.)
  2. What do you like most about your current system, and where do you want to see improvements?
  3. If you currently do not have an LMS, how will you handle the administration of your system?
  4. What are the financial requirements?
  5. Assess any technical considerations, including integrations with association management systems (AMS), CRMs, and other ERPs. Don’t forget to talk to your IT department.

Product Evaluation

  1. Find communities of specialists who are using some of the LMSes you are interested in and ask questions. Professional society meetings and discussion boards can be a good place to find these communities of pratice.
  2. Once you have your short list ask those companies for information with RFIs (requests for information).
  3. After receiving your responses to the RFI you can start to rule out some of the vendors.
  4. By this time you should have a good idea of what you want and don’t want in an LMS. Ask for a demonstration.
  5. An RFP (request for proposal) is a must-have final step in order to compare “apples to apples” among vendors. You need to know exactly what you are buying and exactly how much it costs. Submit your RFP with a list of requirements to a shortlist of vendors.

Remember that this is not just a transaction, but a relationship that will last several years to come. Make sure that it is a good fit.

To sign up for Tagoras’ perennial favorite webinar, “LMS Selection: Mastering the Process, Avoiding the Pitfalls,” follow this link: LMS Selection: Mastering the Process, Avoiding the Pitfalls.