You have finally switched over to a new LMS. A major load has been lifted off your shoulders. You now plan to sit back and let the new LMS take its time to set in. But before you get too comfortable with the new LMS, it’s important you evaluate how good the switch has been for you. Evaluating the success of the switch will not only help you in analyzing your choice of the new LMS and efficiency of the switching process, but it will also help you align your new LMS to the emerging trends and established industry standards.
Below are 5 tips that will help you evaluate the success of your LMS switch:
1.Checklist against key drivers
As mentioned by Jason in his post – 3 Reasons to Switch Your LMS, different organizations have different reasons to switch over to a new LMS. However, all of these reasons generally boil down to three main causes of LMS dissatisfaction – disappointment with the product, poor vendor relations and high cost of maintenance. Cross checking against these causes can help you to determine if your new LMS delivers well on factors like feature/function/integration, service/support/continuity, and annual licensing/maintenance/overhead.
2.Checklist against problem description
This overlaps with the 1st point of checking against the key drivers as the problem description is nothing but a mix of the drivers. However, since the description is more explicit – it puts down in clear words the key reason/s behind the need to switch – it’s important to check if the new LMS ticks off all the problem areas.
3.Regular assessment against the problem description
Often times, not all problem areas listed get ticked off at the beginning of the new LMS lifecycle. Especially the ones that are time dependent. Eg. If high Total Cost of Ownership (TCO) was on your problem description list, the TCO for the new LMS can be calculated only after a substantial time has elapsed, and there is concrete data to establish figures. While other times, the problem description itself could be dynamic. Eg. An evolving business process in your organization may force bad/constrictive workflows/processes. This calls for a change in the workflow of the LMS. In such cases, a regular assessment against the problem description will help you to evaluate the switch success better.
4.Periodic discussions with the vendor
Staying in sync with the vendor’s plan for the LMS and other development activities will help you in keeping your LMS up-to-date, thereby minimizing your chances of switching to a new LMS again.
- Vendor’s roadmap: All LMS vendors have a product roadmap (at least all the good ones do) which reveals the current and upcoming plans. A peek into this will help you see how your LMS is chalked out to evolve in the coming months.
- New technological developments: Besides the LMS roadmap, your LMS vendor will generally have other technological developments lined up for his other solutions/ services. An understanding of this will help you ascertain the technological capability of your vendor’s capability. A strong technical foothold means high sustainability for your LMS.
- Exchanging views on changes in learning: Today when learning itself is evolving at an unprecedented rate it’s only natural that technology follows. In this scenario, discussing the changing learning landscape with your vendor will help you to see how aligned with current technologies (in learning) and workplace learning practices the new LMS is. In cases where is a gap between the two, such discussions with the vendor will help you to together design a way forward for the LMS.
5.Collect periodic feedback from user groups
No success parameters are complete without including the core users of the LMS – the administrators and the learners. Getting feedback from these user groups will help you determine if the new LMS is delivering well on the user expectations (these could range from ease of use to comprehensive reporting).
It’s important to keep in mind that the LMS switching success evaluation is not a onetime process and should be carried out at regular intervals. This will ensure that your LMS plays a positive role for a long time.