Comparing Apples to Apples: 5 Components of LMS Selection

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Too often, organizations select a learning management system (LMS) without thoughtful planning or a systematic approach. As a result, they risk a flawed and cumbersome implementation process, lack of system adoption, and frustrated end users.

Improving the LMS selection process involves:

  1. Research. Use independent research to educate your team on the strengths and weaknesses of potential vendors. This will help narrow your selection.
  2. Peer interviews. Talk with others in organizations similar to yours. Asking questions regarding their experience with their current LMS, as well as what they would do differently, will give you a better idea of what vendors might be a better fit for your organization. It can also yield insight you wouldn’t find out otherwise.
  3. System checklists. During the RFP and selection process, use a thoughtful and thorough checklist to compare standard features and functionality between potential vendors.
  4. Internal advisory council. By tapping into other areas of your organization that may be affected by the LMS, you can create a group to advise and offer insight on the selection of one. People are also more likely to support what they have helped create, and when they have had the opportunity to provide input.
  5. Sandbox site. When you have narrowed your selection, have your advisory council explore the vendor’s sample site, often referred to as a sandbox site. This allows you and your council to use the system as users and administrators, and helps you understand system usability.

To learn more about each of these components, receive sample tools to assist your selection, and improve your process, register for ATD’s next online workshop, Essentials of Selecting and Implementing an LMS.


Additional ATD Reading Resources on LMS Selection

About the Author

As owner of Talent Seed Consulting, Stacy leverages 20 years of experience in identifying opportunities and implementing learning solutions for associates at all organizational levels. She has developed and delivered blended learning approaches, led learning and development teams, implemented learning technology initiatives, and designed and managed leadership and succession planning programs. She is a past president of the Midlands Chapter of ATD, and has written articles and publications for ATD and Learning Solutions magazine, and contributed content for Huffington Post, Fast Company, Forbes, US News & World Report, Mashable, and Chief Learning Officer magazine, among others. You can connect with her through LinkedIn:

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