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How to choose an LXP, LMS or Learning Portal

Tomayto-Tomahto

So, you’ve decided you need a new LMS or LXP. Whether you are setting up an LMS for the first time or your current LMS is dated and dull, you’re getting no customer support, and just isn’t meeting your learning needs. Ultimately we all need a tool that will help us to scale our training efforts and have real impact on our employees and our business. 

With so many on the market it can seem difficult to know which to choose. When selecting the best learning management system here’s our top tips of things to consider: 

1. Whats your objective?
What are your learning and development objectives for your organisation and how do these align to the goals of your business. Get to know the needs or your teams and what’s important to them. What type of skills do they want to learn and what type of skills gap does your organisation need to fill. Before you begin to explore the fancy courses and tech it’s important to have a clear idea of what you want to achieve and what success looks like. This will allow you to choose an LMS that will meet business needs and, more importantly, the needs of your users.

2. Consider Content Creation
Do you have a team full of creative talent across the business eager to create videos and courses and just need the right tools? Or would you be looking for ready made content perfect for sharing at the click of a button. Or even a mix of both? If you choose an LMS that is simple and easy to use but doesn’t allow your team to utilize their experience and know-how, then you’re missing out on personalised content for your business. Knowing the talent and skills of your team will help you to choose an LMS that has the functionality and creative control you want.

3. Review Your Current L&D Strategy – If you have one?
Go through your current L&D strategy to see what’s working well, and what needs improving. There are many LMS options that will allow you to utilise your current learning materials your employees know and love, whilst introducing more for further development. If you are building a new L&D strategy for your business, start with assessing your employees current skills and the skills gaps in the organisation. Don’t forget to listen to your users and what skills they would like to learn in their current or future roles, that’s half the battle!

4. Less is More
What does your HR admin teams and trainers think about your current training strategy and what would they love to see in a new LMS? They are many different features available in an LMS and some providers create bespoke systems so if you can dream it, it can be made. Have a brainstorming session of what tools they use and what would make their job so much easier. Make sure everyone feels like their ideas are valued and they are listened to. Depending on what you want to achieve from your training, whats important can differ from business to business. Some examples of great LMS features to look for include:

  • Ease of use – Without doubt the number one thing you should look for. Your LMS should be a place your employees love to go and shouldn’t need training to use it.
  • Engagement – Give your user base something that feels familiar and makes them want to return, offer an experience that is engaging to me.
  • Integrations – The best LMS allow you to integrate the applications your users already use and are familiar with. Look for the Single Sign-On (SSO) feature, which means in one click your users can access everything securely without having to re-enter passwords. (We are always forgetting them anyway). Remove as many technical barriers as possible!
  • Reporting – The best LMS provides you with powerful reporting at your fingertips making it easy to track your learners progress, find your top performers throughout your organisation and see which courses are being enjoyed the most.
  • SCORM and xAPI compliant – Don’t be scared, its sounds very techy and like something out of StarWars, but all you need to know is to look for this as a basic feature.

5. Have You Tried Switching It On And Off Again
We hear it all the time, “will it work with my current technology or software?” It’s understandable when you have invested in developing your current systems and tools your employees know and love to want to find an LMS that integrates. Most LMS systems are built to integrate but make sure you look for a system that is seamless for your users to switch between tools without having to input a user name and password 6 times. This is called SSO. Your IT team will also want a platform that they understand and doesn’t cause them a headache, one option is to look for a provider that can look after the technical build without having to hand over workload to your IT team.

6. All the gear, no idea
There are so many LMS features to choose from today, which means you can end up with all the bells and whistles and users that have no idea how to use them. Our advice is to choose a list of must haves and not to be too distracted by the rest. Most providers will allow you to turn on extra features at a later date. Start with a platform that’s easy for your users to navigate and learn to love. But, that doesn’t mean compromise. Maybe Gamification, Social learning or micro-learning is a “must” for you, look for a provider that has features that truly excite you.
Don’t forget to consider how your users will access your training. This is 2020 so they will expect to be able to access using their phones and tablets for learning on the go, as well as desktops.

7. Do a bit of stalking
It’s important to review the experience and background of LMS providers. Some providers have been around for a long time but age isn’t everything. Look online to check out reviews and ratings of the platform. This will give you a better idea of the user experience and not just the promises made on the website. It’s also good to check out who their current customers are, reach out on Linked In and ask for recommendations and their experience.

8. Buy and Goodbye?
Check out the support you will receive from the provider, it’s important that you will have help when you need it most. It’s important you have a provider that is going to be able to fix any technical problems that you may encounter in the future and help you along the way. Your relationship is very important and not a goodbye as soon as you buy, find a provider that becomes an extension of your team.

9. Lets grow old together
You may fall in love with an LMS that has all the shiny features you have been looking for but it’s important to also think long term. Look for an LMS that is easy to maintain and update on a regular basis that can grow with your business needs. We have all heard the statistic that 50% of marriages end in divorce, well much like a wedding, you wouldn’t want to spend a large chunk of your budget on your new LMS only to discover that it’s not fit for purpose a year from now.

10. Take me for a spin
Don’t be afraid to ask providers for a live demonstration to see the LMS in action. This is the best way to understand if your users will love it. If it doesn’t excite you or feels difficult to use then it’s probably not going to excite your users either. In the live demonstration you will also be able to see if the features and functions are what your users need and want. Much like buying a new car, it’s a big investment that you will be using everyday so it’s a good idea to get behind the wheel before you commit.

11. A Piece of cake
Your user experience, design and function is the most important, but it’s also important that you can measure the success of your training and investment. Look for an LMS that not only allows you to track your learners performance but also help you to identify your top performers and talent gaps in your organisation. The best systems are user friendly which allow you to filter and create reports on demand, providing you with insights you can act on instead of reems of data that will never be used. Like Flash, it does the hardwork, so you don’t have too.

12. Don’t worry
DBLX have all of the above and more, save yourself time, drop us a message, let’s make business personal.

For any additional questions please contact 0330 133 1638