Most organisations regret buying an LMS. A learning management system is a significant purchase. It typically involves months of research, months of implementation, significant fees, significant ongoing management and yet the most common outcome is that the organisation regret buying an LMS.
Why is this? The main reason is that learning management systems have become a default purchase. Many organisations feel they simply must have a learning management system when the time comes to look at learning platforms. The LMS industry, of course, promotes this instinctive decision. There are over 1000 learning management systems available for sale today. It’s a commodity-driven. market with little innovation did focus on actual training outcomes.
So before you purchase your LMS, let’s look at five key reasons why organisations regret buying an LMS.
An LMS doesn’t provide training content
The main reason organisations think they are buying an LMS is to provide training content. The problem is that an LMS isn’t really designed for training content. The clue to this is in the title. It’s a learning management system, not a learning content system. And LMS is basically an empty vessel waiting for users and content to be uploaded into it.
For organisations that have the capability to create their own training content, that’s fantastic. But for most organisations, this leaves them with an LMS full of users but no content. After the purchase of an LMS, the organisation has a second project to go source all of its training content.
To be fair, and LMS excels at training administration, which might be exactly what large organisations are after. An LMS can help coordinate thousands of employees in multiple locations over thousands of training enrolments. But unless training administration is your number one priority, then you’ll probably regret purchasing an LMS as you realise it provides you with no actual training content.
An LMS has significant implementation costs
The vast majority of learning management systems are focused on large organisations. As a result, they also have large implementation costs. This can include high setup costs, which are costs that cannot be recovered if you move to a new LMS at a later date.
Many learning management systems also take a significant amount of time to implement. They’re often built on outdated Internet technology and require significant effort to customise and set up. It is quite common for small organisations to take months to set up their learning management system. Even after months of implementation, as we have mentioned above, your learning management system still has no training content either.
An LMS is too complex for most organisations
The word management in a learning management system is the keyword. Learning management systems were originally focused on enterprise-level organisations. It is true that they can provide significant administration and reporting features, but the reward vs effort ratio of those features really only suits very large organisations.
The simple fact is, most learning management systems are far too complex for the organisations that need to use them. This typically means that staff within an organisation require ongoing training and support to stay abreast of all of the complicated processes and settings within an LMS.
For small to medium organisations, this is time and effort wasted. Those organisations need to focus their training resources on providing actual training, not struggling to deal with the complexities of a learning platform.
An LMS uses all of the training budget
The problem for many organisations when purchasing an LMS is that they expect the LMS to be the final solution. As a result, they often spend a considerable amount of their training budget on the LMS set up, implementation and subscription fees. The problem is that an LMS is only part of a training solution.
As mentioned above, and LMS also requires a dedicated management resource and the provision and sourcing of training content. Yet many learning management systems have significant setup and subscription fees. It can be a nasty surprise for small to medium organisations to realise but they have devoted too much of their training budget to training administration and not to training delivery.
An LMS isn’t focused on participants
Within any learning platform, there will be both admin and participant users. Administrative users, however, make-up less than 1% of the total users. Over 99% of the usage will be by employees and workers within the organisation. Yet learning management systems are traditionally built for training administration. They favour administrative users.
Not surprisingly, the experience for employers and workers is often far less favourable than that for administrators. The user interface for employees is often confusing and disengaging.
Training content doesn’t look any better. Since an LMS cannot create training content itself, all training content must be imported from an external source. The result is a mismatch of training content with different navigation, user interfaces, and branding. Brands for employees is inconsistent and constantly presents a learning curve to deal with different navigation structures between courses.
So why bother with an LMS?
Learning management systems were popular 10 years ago when the ability for organisations to create their own training content was limited. As a result, many organisations use an LMS and purchased externally created e-learning.
The problem is that learning management systems have not evolved they continue to support learning technologies from the 1990s. They are a victim of their own success and stuck within outdated 20 processes and Technologies.
For large organisations with significant training resources and teams, an LMS may still play a vital role in coordinating training. But for the vast majority of organisations, and LMS is a purchase they will regret as they are left with a complex system which favours administrators over employees and little training time and budget left to source what really matters – engaging and relevant training content.
Why not a learning creation platform (LCP)?
You don’t need to regret buying an LMS. Just don’t buy one!
The good news is the new cloud-based technologies have arisen to overcome these hurdles for forward-thinking organisations. A learning creation platform, rather than a learning management system, is a far more suitable solution for organisations which need to capture and transfer organisational knowledge, ensure standard practices, manage compliance training and digitise training content.
Learning creation platforms like tribal habits provide organisations with the best of both worlds. They have built-in powerful content creation tools which allow anyone in the organisation to create interactive training based on valuable knowledge. These platforms also provide modern interfaces and navigation for both administrators and employees. A learning creation platform can manage both content and use is equally, which also allows it to provide automated management and detailed reporting which is far beyond the capabilities of a traditional learning management system.
Even better, the cost for learning creation platforms is typically similar to that for learning management systems but with the inclusion of training content. It’s a genuine one-stop solution for your organisation.