I’ve seen more face-palm stories than good ones – here are 6 key things you should take into consideration when purchasing an LMS.  Not being aware of these things will leave you out of pocket, or frustrated and stuck with a system that doesn’t solve your business problems.

  1. Scope your functionality properly. Do you or will you need:
    • Custom branding
    • Gamification (and what does that mean to you?)
    • Social (and how do you define that?)
    • Integration with other systems
    • Functionality –Scorm/TinCan or other eLearning applications
    • Reporting (and what level of detail you want)
    • A payment gateway
    • Support (and does it need to be available in the same time zone as you?)
  2. Using expert recommendations vs. the top results in Google
    • Make sure you factor in the cost of this expert opinion, this is an amazing investment in future proofing (i.e. not starting again from scratch in 2 years)
  3. Budgeting for your LMS
    • Take account that most LMS platforms will have on-going costs
    • Set up and customisation can be expensive,
    • Expect a compromise between a price you can afford and the functionality you need
  4. Take a tender to market
    • Take your top picks and ask them to tender
    • Healthy competition between LMS software providers can get you a better deal
    1. This is a great way to set the terms of a working relationship from the get go
  5. In house technical team or Software partner support
    • As alluded to in point 1.g
    • An internal resource can be cheaper than paying a partner for any change or custom development to a system
    • Admin team training or experience with a system / super users
  6. Take into consideration the size of your company and your future growth
    • Large companies and Industry standard vs. Scalability
    • Universities/ Colleges – Consider Multi-Tenancy not multiple LMS instances (or just use hierarchical users/teachers/manager groups the way is supposed to work!)
    • Small companies, using less traditional software/ sites can be more effective
    • Individuals – Self hosted course ware platforms vs subscription course ware platforms (there’s hundreds) depends on your budget for overheads and projected student numbers.

I’d love to hear from you especially if you are looking for an LMS yourself!  I built my own self hosted here at www.therockwellproject.com and if you would like to talk/ email me to get demo access.