LMS, Learning Management System

LMS Comparison: 3 Questions to Consider When Choosing an LMS

by Debbie Williams

Last year, 75% of companies worldwide used a learning management system (LMS) for workplace learning and development1. When deciding on the right system for your business, receiving answers to key questions can help leaders narrow down the most effective LMS for their needs. Consequently, it reduces on-boarding time and cost once the decision has been made.

LMS Comparison

In order for management to simplify the LMS selection process for their organizations, narrow down a list of three questions:

  1. What does my organization need from an LMS?
  2. Does this LMS provider charge hidden fees?
  3. What ROI will my company receive from this learning management system?

1. What does my organization need from an LMS?

First and foremost, teams must assess what their organizational objectives are from a learning management system. Without a clear set of goals, the search process can be lengthy and unsuccessful. Common organizational needs for an LMS include2:

  • Deploying learning and training across the enterprise
  • Automating training administrative processes
  • Ensuring training programs are quickly deployed for rapid implementation
  • Giving users the opportunity to pace their own learning experiences
  • Integrating incompatible systems for learning management

Speak with organizational leaders across the company to determine what is required. Those in management positions know better than anyone the challenges their departments face. To find out what employees need, conduct surveys. In a sea of learning and content management systems, you can start to narrow down the ideal LMS system for your unique needs.

2. Does this LMS provider charge hidden fees?

Hidden fees, sometimes referred to as per-user fees are common throughout the eLearning industry. Service providers usually cap the amount of users an LMS may host and once that cap is exceeded, clients are charged an additional fee for each user. Thankfully, there are providers who provide upfront and transparent LMS pricing, so your company isn’t penalized for growth.

Two of the most important financial questions to ask service providers during your LMS search is “do you charge per-user fees?” and “is this a flat-rate LMS?” If hidden fees are involved, you might want to consider investing in a flat-rate solution to provide the best ROI.

3. What ROI will my company receive from this learning management system?

Measuring the ROI of an LMS is something that has even eLearning experts stumped. Usually, company leaders must launch an LMS before they can accurately assess ROI. Jack J. Phillips3, contributor to the Association for Talent Development and chairman of The ROI Institute, clarified the process:

"First, showing the cost versus benefit of an e-learning approach is no different than any other delivery method. Second, it is often assumed that converting facilitator-led programs to e-learning platforms are more cost-effective and practical. To ensure true cost savings and utility, the ROI of the facilitator-led program should be compared with the ROI of the e-learning version to determine its value."Very often, companies find that a virtual training model is more cost-effective than one that is traditional/classroom style.   

Related Reading: How to Get the Greatest ROI from eLearning

Asking the right questions is key to moving the LMS implementation process forward, creating momentum within a company, and building a sense of anticipation in your workforce. What eLearning questions do you still need answers to?

Quick Start TOPYX LMS

[1] https://www.statista.com/statistics/671545/use-of-select-workplace-learning-technologies-worldwide/
[2] http://elearning.typepad.com/thelearnedman/LMSsolutions/selecting_LMS.pdf
[3] https://www.td.org/Publications/Newsletters/Links/2010/12/Calculating-the-ROI-of-E-Learning. December 27, 2010.

Debbie Williams

Debbie Williams

Director, Marketing