Learning Management Systems is the software that helps to manage the educational process in various organizations. These can be various companies directly related with training and education, such as university training centers, remote schools, colleges and any kind of courses, as well as industrial, scientific or any other kind of enterprise for which employee training is relevant.
In order to develop an effective LMS, you need to go through a rather lengthy process, which consists of 3 steps:
- Identifying business needs;
- Exploring international requirements that are mandatory for LMS, and corresponding to external and your own quality standards;
- Planning resources (budget, time, talents) for the development, implementation, support and improvement of software.
So, let’s take a look at each of these steps separately.
Identifying business needs
First of all, answer yourself the following question: what do you need an LMS for? Whether you want to create an internal system for managing employee training processes, in particular, complementary professional education, or maybe you want to offer your own software to the market that will be used by other specialists and companies, or you just launched a pilot project to develop an LMS.
After you have answered this question, define the LMS values for your organization, what it will bring, what progress it will contribute, and how it will improve the KPIs.
It’s also worth to notice that executives shouldn’t be making decisions alone, even if you’re a startup. Instead, they should agree on assumptions and plans with the team, including those at the lowest levels in the hierarchy, as well as with stakeholders. It’s not just a tool that you just implement into your organization, and it may not be used by anyone. The LMS should be used by all members of the organization on a regular basis over an extended period so that its development and implementation can be considered cost-effective.
Exploring international requirements and standards
To do this, you can run your own DIY research or contact an expert or agency that specializes in this. The easiest way is to explore the LMS technical and people requirements lists compiled by authoritative, trusted organizations.
Assess your ability to meet these requirements. Please note that a lack of compliance in any of the points can lead to a waste of resources and futile efforts, as well as damage your reputation in the eyes of stakeholders.
A list of the key LMS requirements for its development and implementation will be given below in this article, so keep on reading.
The first four key resources are:
- Equipment And Hardware;
You should foresee all expenses not only for the initial development and implementation process, but also for software improvement, and further support in an up-to-date state (adding updates, iterating all existing functions, etc.) to meet the needs of both external and clients internal (for example, your team).
The cost calculator, as well as the expert opinion of the LMS developers and implementation and maintenance specialists, will help you to calculate costs with dollar accuracy and predict future maintenance costs.
As with planning any other business strategy, make sure you analyzed potential risks and planned your response to them. Without this, starting investing in LMS or any other software can be a pretty dangerous idea for your business.
List of key LMS requirements for its development and implementation
- Core Learning Tools and Course Management – includes Registration and Enrollment, Scheduling, Test and Training features.
- Performance Management and Development Tools – Talent Acquisition and Management, Centralized Human Resources specialists are needed.
- Content and Media Standardization and Support – Compliance to the standards is the key of all framework.
- User Interface, User Experience & Responsive Design – should be designed with taking into account specificity of your company’s work style and niche.
- Customization and Personalization – provides better UX and seamless adoption.
- Single Sign-On, Security & Data – no mistakes and errors are allowed here.
- Installation and Hosting – try to choose the most reliable partner if using 3rd party hosting software.
- Social Learning and User Engagement – make all the processes as interesting and attractive as possible to get better user engagement.
- Analytics and Reporting – must-have, as what you can’t analyze and evaluate, you can’t improve.
- Plans and Pricing – take a look at competitors and overall marketplace prices before establishing any price or plan.
- Compatibility and Integration – necessary integration, such as social media, local network or communities can be a great solution for achieving higher engagement rates.
- System and Hardware requirements – should be not only relevant, but also updated.
LMS implementation and development is not an easy process and requires a lot of resources. One of the main conditions for the implementation of an effective Learning Management System is the coordinated teamwork of developers, entrepreneurs, marketers, HR, investors and teachers/coaches.
Remember that implementing LMS isn’t just about following trends or chasing competitors. It is an opportunity to create a competitive advantage through e-learning development and complementary education of your team right in the workplace.
A miscalculation or overestimation of opportunities can cost you not only a lot of money and wasted time, but also loss of customers, investor confidence and brand reputation. Therefore, start the LMS development process with all responsibility and do not rush it. If you’re in doubt with your capabilities or cannot find matching partners or investors, it is better to postpone the project until a better period. This way, you get the full benefit of the “less is more” approach.