It is difficult to undertake a selection process for a software system that is as feature rich as an enterprise learning management system, (LMS). If you are an organisation that can get by with one of the many less capable LMS available you do not have as much at risk. Even with a fully considered and scoped out business requirements document, there are still some blind spots that can throw a spanner in an otherwise well planned LMS procurement process.
This is a list of the most common issues that often get discovered after an LMS has been implemented. In some cases these issues were not forecast or anticipated and in others the vendor committed them to a development roadmap that has not been met.
- Your users, contractors, temporary personnel and employees need to upload files as proof of skills or competence. You want to make this a self service capability but file uploads and validity periods are not included in your LMS. This is a real problem when you have large contracting workforces who arrive at work with various credentials to undertake work. You do not want to devote your precious L & D and administration resources to uploading files if you can avoid it.
- The LMS does not have extensive integration capabilities. The API may be limited or not be as pervasive in the LMS as first thought. You may discover this when you upgrade other systems or simply want to share data with a data warehouse, payroll or rostering software.
- Your people move around a bit and you want an easy way to move people into different business units, departments and job roles without losing historical data or jumping through hoops to adjust your organisational structure due to promotions, contract changes, relocations, terminations, acquisitions etc.
- Your compliance requirements are complex and this impacts workflows, pre-requesites, co-requesites, validity periods, gap analysis reporting, notifications, alerts and many other features you need to ensure you are minimising risk from compliance issues. This is an area that requires very careful consideration and scenario testing. If your business has multiple sites, can you filter reports to run against specific user populations?
- The learning experience needs to be as seamless and automated as possible to reduce administration tasks maintaining your LMS. Learning and activity sequencing is critical to this. At some point you will want to set up a series of ‘if this, then that’ sequences for learning pathways and programs.
- To maximise productivity you want to decentralise some administrative and reporting to those closest to the workforce. You want to ensure permissions, access, reporting and other administrative tasks can be cascaded down the organisation as opposed to having it all being done centrally.
- Learning plans may be mandatory for a particular job role, voluntary or part of a development plan. Ideally you can assign multiple learning plans to a person that can operate concurrently. You may have a graduate intake, induction and learning plans for a particular job role all assigned to a person.
If you need some advice or a business requirements checklist, please get in touch. We are happy to share our collective knowledge without trying to push you into one LMS or another.