Selecting the right learning platform or Learning Management System (LMS) is a crucial decision for any organisation. It can significantly transform your business by improving training and compliance, boosting sales, and more. But it’s not always easy to know which learning platform is best. As they touch so many different facets of a business, understanding these areas and how they are interconnected will help you select and implement the best platform for your staff. While there are many areas we could discuss, this blog will focus on three, to help you make an informed choice: business goals, the existing ecosystem, and engaging with vendors.
Align with your business goals: Why change, why now?
Understanding your business goals and why you are looking to make a change is the first step in choosing a learning platform. Whether you are looking to change to a different provider or looking into a learning platform for the first time, you need to have a clear understanding of why you’re making the change and what you want to accomplish. It may sound obvious, but many clients we’ve spoken to over the years were making a change just for the sake of it or out of frustration. The problem is, unless you take the time to review and understand your current situation and the desired improvements, you could end up going through the entire process only to waste time and money and have the same problems you started with – but with a new system to blame them on.
It’s important to talk with different business areas using the current system to learn about what they need and what will truly make their lives easier. Only after this, can you be sure that you are on the lookout for suitable solutions.
Work within the existing ecosystem
A modern learning platform doesn’t operate in isolation – it is part of a broader technological ecosystem. An ecosystem is made up of multiple platforms or systems that have some sort of relationship with each other in how they operate or connect. An example of this could be how a learning platform is typically connected to a Human Resources Information System (HRIS) for the synchronisation of people or user data.
Knowing what systems will need to communicate or interact with the new learning platform will help guide your evaluation to ensure you aren’t disrupting key technology that has already been invested in and is being used. Be sure you’re on the lookout for a platform that will thrive in and even enhance the existing business and technical ecosystem.
Take a look at this diagram of our learning platform, Birch. It demonstrates how it could align with your business objectives and how it may fit within your ecosystem.
Get beyond the sales pitch: Engage with vendors
The vendor you choose can significantly influence the success of your learning platform implementation. A successful partnership with a vendor goes beyond software procurement; it involves a commitment to your organisation’s learning journey. Look for a vendor who understands your business challenges and is willing to collaborate, provide support, and adapt to your evolving needs.
Don’t just look at feature sheets or sales presentations. Talk with them and engage in meaningful conversations. You’ve put all this work into finding a solution to a business goal or problem, be sure you’re working with a vendor who can partner with you along this learning journey and not just sell you some software and services.
Now that you have identified the goals of the business, how the new platform is going to connect to your ecosystem and have engaged vendors to find a long-term strategic partner, it’s time to make your decision. By considering these three critical factors, you can be confident that you will make an informed decision that sets your organisation on the path to successful eLearning.