What is LMS?
Training is all too often underutilized at businesses, particularly at small businesses. This is a function of smaller budgets. Given the smaller budgets, it is essential that education and training programs are followed closely to assure they are delivering the expected results. Used well, the LMS becomes a great selling tool for additional training resources.
Before considering what an LMS is and what it should do, let’s first consider why a company should have one. A business will take on initiatives that promise a good return on investment (ROI). Training – like any other business activity – needs to deliver a good ROI. That means that the results of training activities must be tracked. And measured. Good companies are excellent at measuring results and a good CEO will demand results from the training function. The LMS is a great tool for collecting data about training and becomes a very useful tool for communicating results to senior management.
In other words the LMS assures that results get tracked and measured. And this makes the people who sign the checks happy!
In its simplest form, a learning management system will track who attended what training events. (Which could be an essential compliance function.) It will provide a calendar of future activities. It should be used to track results of training programs. It should be a place that learners can post messages and get feedback. Some systems will also be vehicles for delivering instruction.
Budget depends on the size of company. They can range in cost from a few hundred (an adapted Excel spreadsheet for example) to tens of thousands, and up.
If you are new to LMSs, start simple. Create an Excel sheet to track learning events. As you use and develop this investigate the commercial options. If budget allows, they will be a useful investment.