You decided you need an LMS. Way to go! You did the first step.

Perhaps even, you were already using an LMS but are no longer satisfied with it and now need to look for another one that fits your organization’s needs.

Anyhow, you’re on the hunt for an LMS that doesn’t let you down. But how to know what to look for when doing an LMS evaluation? It can seem hard to know where to start when it comes to choosing the right LMS for your company.

That’s why we’re here to help out with the best ways to conduct a comprehensive LMS evaluation. These are aspects you must not neglect (or skip) while making your decision.

✓ Analyze what you need

After making the decision that your company needs an LMS, now it’s time to figure out what you want your company needs from this future LMS. This is the most crucial step because how are you going to find the perfect LMS when you don’t even know what your needs are?

For bigger companies that have eLearning or HR departments, it’d be wise to either leave it up to them to perform the research, or to take their opinions into consideration since they’re the experts in this matter. For smaller companies that don’t have such departments, there are always corporate training consultants who exclusively deal with this, but it’s not something we would suggest.

✓ Make a checklist of must-have features

Once you have everyone’s input, the next step is to put it in writing; you need to make a checklist of the necessary features your company needs from your LMS. Make sure you don’t forget to put there the essential operational features like:

  • Ease of use
  • Course management
  • Support for Mobile Learning
  • Video Conferencing
  • Message Boards
  • Testing and assessment
  • Skills/Certification tracking
  • Security of data
  • E-Commerce

✓ Choose an LMS platform that suits you

One size does not fit all when it comes to Learning Management Systems.

There are many things to consider when it comes to opting for the right LMS. One of the most leading dilemmas when deciding on one is the choice between a cloud-based LMS or an open source one.

Even after deciding which type you are going to go with, there are other things to consider as well. What awaits you is deciding on pricing models, specification support, customer type, and additional features. Careful to look into all of them to make the right choice.

✓ Research LMS vendors to see which ones have the features you target

After having your list of must-have features, begin researching LMS vendors. There are many LMS for different industries, just like KIWI specializes in restaurant training. Such industry-specific LMSs most probably own the features you target. Once you find a number of ones that match your requirements, you’re almost finished.

Now it’s time to send them an RFP, or a proposal outlining your specifications, and information you want to know from the vendor before making your decision, including the pricing, of course.

Something else we tend to naturally do when making a decision on buying something is checking references, and this should, especially, be done when making such an investment as buying an LMS.

✓ Test those that made it to the shortlist

Test driving a Learning Management System gives you the ability to see if it’s easy to use and if the features and functions are actually worth the investment. Before choosing the one you think is the best, either require live demos from the shortlist of LMS vendors or bring them in for a test case scenario. You decide…

✓ Pick the one

You’re basically there now, you have gathered all the information you and your team need to make a decision. Picking the winner should be easy now that you’ve done the other steps correctly. Now you’re left with one LMS that will help you achieve your organizational goals and underpin your success metrics.

Good job!

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