How will the LMS fit into your organization?
Beyond the list of requirements, keep in mind the type of learning organization you are and how you fit into other domains of HR and IT.
Does your learning department count only one or two people, with limited IT skills? Then it’s very likely that your requirements won’t be that exotic. So go for something simple, easy to set-up and effortless to maintain. Do make sure your LMS is flexible enough, and gives you the opportunity to grow.
In this environment I would recommend to go for a straightforward ‘plug and play’ system.
The main advantage of these plug-and-play tools is that they are quite easy to implement. Most of the time, you only need to build an interface with your HR master data, make sure the user-interface is adapted to the house style of your company and that there is a simple log-on method for the users. If possible, you should always go for a single sign-on, as it immediately removes a big barrier for the end-user and is a lot safer.
However, do take the future into account when going for a plug-and-play system. After a while, some additional questions will pop up. Can I link the training classes to our competencies? And can we send back the results to our HR master database? Or, – if you have found a great supplier for online training classes – can we link our LMS system to the system of this provider?
On the other hand, when you are working in a big HR department, and all HR domains are working closely together, you might consider going for a full HRIS-system, which incorporates all modules linked to HR.
In this set-up, you will be asked for your advice and requirements, and after a few months it will result in a corporate decision. This decision will always be a compromise. Will this be bad for you? Most likely not. Will it make you really happy? It will probably not be love at first sight, but consider it as a marriage of convenience. Once you will get to know each other, you’ll see that it works quite good, and that the LMS has a huge amount of possibilities. It will be up to you to make sure it gets configured to fit your needs. And yes, there will always be other tools, with fancy new features.