There are many Learning Management Systems (LMSs) available in the market. We have both commercial and open-source LMSs. These LMSs may have all the basic features required to host and manage trainings. But, the main issue arises when you want to customize the training workflow as per the current structure and add advance features which are difficult to manage in the existing process.
To enhance the manual learning and the training system, you may contact various LMS service providers, for quotations, with your current and ideal needs. But, you may find that there are no ‘readymade’ LMSs which meet all your training needs. Customization is required to update or create specific features.
I have set up more than 10 LMSs for our customers and found that some prospects started with very high expectations and ‘ideal’ requirements. But, they ended up confused whether to go with an online LMS or follow the existing training process. A Learning Management System is just an application, and we cannot completely depend on the tool and expect it to do what a training manager does. We should not completely depend on it. But definitely, it helps training managers manage trainings online easily. It may or may not be possible to make the ideal LMS in one go, especially when there is no standard training procedure or the need is unrealistic. If you want all the features of an ideal LMS, then you need to spend a lot of time and money. It may give you the result you want, but the LMS becomes so complex that future upgrades become impossible or LMS administration activities become difficult.
Here are some steps which helped our customers build their ideal LMS.
- Identify what the standard training process is, so that you can adapt it in your trainings.
- Find out the features available in the proposed LMS.
- List all the training needs which may have all your ideal needs and ask for the feasibility report from the LMS provider.
- Select the LMS which has most of the required features readily available. However, other factors such as time, cost, security, ownership, etc. also need to be considered.
- Don’t wait for the LMS provider to build the ideal LMS for you to launch. Start with the features which are a must. Nice-to-have features can be customized later. This is important because when you develop the LMS, you may find many other nice-to-have features and you may never be satisfied with the LMS.
- The recommended procedure is to start the LMS with the features that are a must, and on the other end, keep working on the nice-to-have features.
- You can list all the nice-to-have features and evaluate why you need them. Once you are done with the list, give it as a project to LMS provider for the implementation.
In this process, you may end up with your ideal LMS. We use a similar process and update the features of LMSs frequently to meet the needs of prospects or customers. Now, we have a very user-friendly and customized version of the LMS. This process will also help you retain only the required features and disable features which are not required to make the LMS very simple and intuitive.
Hope you find this post useful. Do share your views.