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Selecting a Learning Management System (LMS): Flexibility

Amber Rasmussen February, 2018
Selecting a Learning Management System (LMS): Flexibility

Choosing an LMS that isn’t flexible creates a lose-lose situation.

If it no longer suits your learning needs then you face paying excessive amounts in time and money to break your contract and switch to something else.

Or, you continue using an LMS that remains inflexible but misses the mark on potential learning opportunities that could create a profound impact on your bottom line.

This is a painful mistake to make.

It’s important when choosing an LMS to think about how the LMS will not only meet your current goals and situation, but also how it can adapt to your changing business needs.

An LMS that isn’t flexible can cause a ruckus of other problems too.

Some LMS systems claim to be flexible but when the time comes you’re faced with hours of labor from your IT team, additional costs or both.

What the vendor didn’t mention during the selection process was that flexibility doesn’t come easy.

But, it should.

Change is a given. And your LMS should be able to easily roll with the changes of your business. Simple as that.

So what makes an LMS flexible?

Flexibility for an LMS usually come down to these things:

  • Scalable and Adaptable. As your business grows and changes, it’s important for an LMS to easily be able to accommodate without a fuss.
     
  • Integration. No LMS functions in a bubble. It must be able to integrate with a variety of business systems.
     
  • Permissions. An LMS with flexible permissions gives a variety of people, from front line managers to learning administrators, access to the LMS and more freedom to do their jobs.
     
  • Reporting. Flexible reporting options can give crucial insight into your learning programs and is a very important feature to have.
     
  • Features. An LMS should offer the flexibility to do whatever kind of training you need. Create your ideal learning processes that are the most beneficial and effective ways to develop your people.

During the LMS selection process, keep these features top of mind while exploring additional requirements.

The Selection Process

There is a small percentage of companies that purchase an LMS and use it as-is. More often than not it will need to be customized to some extent.

In fact, according to a report by eLearning Guild, more than 62 percent of companies purchased an LMS and customized it to fit their needs.

So, how can you make the most of your investment, now and in the future? The answer is flexibility.

But, it’s not good enough to just ask if an LMS is flexible.

Go into the process with specific questions that will help paint a picture of how the LMS will fit into the big picture.

·       What types of learning paths are offered?

·       Can the user interface be adapted?

·       What are the authentication protocols?

·       Can you adjust the look and feel of the LMS?

·       What flexibility comes out of the box and what must be customized?

·       How difficult is it to customize and how much man power will I need to get it to do specifically what we need?

·       Does the vendor customize or will that fall on my staff?

·       What kind of costs are associated?

Of course, it’s also important that once a vendor is chosen that you maintain open lines of communication about what your business needs. In this way, the vendor can take your suggestions and possibly work those new features into their planned roadmap.

Choosing an LMS is a complex decision with lots of things to consider. Flexibility should be at the top of your list of ‘must haves.’ In an increasingly fast-moving world, it provides companies the ability to stay agile and competitive. It also improves training effectiveness because it creates a learning environment that is most conducive to the way people learn. Be sure an LMS with flexibility is top priority.

ShareKnowledge is built on the proven and flexible environment of SharePoint. Therefore, you can choose, control and deploy whatever suits your specific needs. It is completely scalable and adaptable with a list of versatile features that continues to grow. If you would like more information about how ShareKnowledge can solve your training needs, please fill out the form and we’ll be in touch soon.

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