In this video, learn about how to make informed decisions when selecting a learning management technology.
- The biggest investment an L&D team will make is in their choice of learning technology. Not only is it expensive, but the risk of not getting it right can lead to a poor learner experience, no ROI, and a damaged reputation for your learning leadership team. So, how can you get it right? First of all, determine what you actually need. You will hear vendors use the terms learning management system or learning experience platform. Generally speaking, the LMS is version 1.0, and it's where content is tracked and administered. The LXP, or learning experience product, is 2.0 and introduces more social learning elements, content curation, and personalization, to name a few. That said, do not rely too much on this terminology, and instead focus on the functionality. Be careful of making a wishlist of features. This is like grocery shopping when you're hungry. You will end up with too much you don't need. There might be core features you require because you're in a highly regulated environment, but don't build a list of what you want. Instead, look at how people are currently using technology in your organization. Look for whether it is a mobile or laptop first environment. Determine the tactical maturity of your audience. Even better, conduct a pilot with a small group of users on the actual platform. Examine what features are used, and which are ignored. It can be overwhelming when you begin your search. There are thousands of solutions, acronyms, and buzz words. Some analysts create reports to help guide you. But, it's really important to do your own research. Consider the source of the information, and whether or not the person publishing the content is doing so for financial gain. Or, is it really a form of marketing? Lists ranking platforms directly against each other should be avoided. Just like there's no best laptop, there's no best LMS. It depends entirely on your needs, size, culture, IT infrastructure, et cetera. Be sure you will have effective support. When creating your shortlist of vendors, make sure you ask about their customer success management. Even better, speak to existing customers and not just the ones provided by the vendor. Look up customers on LinkedIn, and ask them some candid questions about their experiences. Make sure there is a plan in place. You may find you need to think more broadly in terms of an edtech stack. This means a variety of learning and non-learning platforms interconnected. If you're not ready to make that leap, then make sure the main solution you purchase can work with other technologies. This means validating that current customers are actually using these integrations with success. Not that the integration is on their roadmap. Finally, remember the way you and your team work will need to adapt. There may be upskilling required, and different ways to manage stakeholders. Learning technology is like purchasing a racecar. You need to make sure you can change gears and manage a pitstop before getting the keys into the ignition.