• 7 signs you need to rethink your LMS

    by  • September 21, 2014 • Learning Technologies • 0 Comments

    LMSs should automate induction and mandatory learning, support talent and appraisal processes and empower employees. Does yours not do that?

    LMSs should automate induction and mandatory learning, support talent and appraisal processes and empower employees. Does yours not do that?

    Learning management systems are wonderful things. They streamline and automate processes that used to eat up hours of work, they provide insights through data and making overlaying datasets with different ones from other places easy as pie. They also revolutionise our organisations: on one hand, they create a lean way to push mandatory learning. On the other, they provide a democratic and transparent way to access knowledge that opens up professional development. It also empowers employees to take charge of their career progression.


    Yours doesn’t do that?

    Time to rethink

    The thing about systems, and the more automated the more likely this is to happen, is that we set them up and leave them be. They tick along happily in the corner doing their job, as we defined it when first set it up. But the world changes and we forget to to check that the automated things line up with the world as it changes.

    Here are top 7 signs that you need to rethink your LMS. Even rethinking just one of these could save you a lot of time and money:

    1. You are using spreadsheets for tracking learning

    This may not be you, but somewhere in your organisation, someone is using a spreadsheet to track waiting lists, attendance or completion. This could be due to a whole manner of reasons: they don’t know you have an LMS that can do that, or they don’t think they are allowed to have “their own courses” on it; It might be easier or quicker for them to have it on a spreadsheet because the bureaucracy surrounding your LMS is cumbersome, or they don’t think the delegates know about the LMS.

    Whatever the reason and whoever it is who tracks learning with a spreadsheet when you have an LMS – you need to rethink what is happening, why, how and ultimately – whether or not it needs fixing.

    2. Something in your induction or mandatory training is done manually

    Anything from signing up, pushing content, tracking completion rates and pass marks, finding out who the non-completers are and getting their line management on the case. If anywhere along this chain something is done manually (yes, vlookups count as “manual” in my book), you need to rethink.

    Your LMS should be able to pick up new starters and assign them learning. Mandatory learning should be tracked on automated processes and loops that reassign it automatically once a year or so and “tattle” on users who don’t complete in time.

    You should not be sending a single email yourself, nor should you be reconciling lists.

    3. You are managing 4 or 5 separate systems for your employee related “stuff”

    You have an HRIS, a ring-fenced social media site, Sharepoint, knowledge sharing site, appraisal system, talent management system and an LMS. You may not realise that, but your LMS is highly likely to centralise or manage-by-linking at least 3 of those systems.

    4. The only reports you have are for uptake and completion

    Time to think outside and beyond “bums on seats” and most LMSs will be able to support you with that. You may need to go outside your HR/L&D bubble for additional data sets (customer retention, sales, costs, etc.), but it is worth it. That’s where the crucial insights for the impact learning makes on your organisation is.

    5. Talent and learning are not connected

    You’ve got a talent pool – that’s great! Now what do you do with it? The power you will have and be able to give your talent is far greater when you have designated curricula for them to follow. The same goes for appraisal systems and competency framework management: linking them to learning that will move the employee to the next step makes them mean a lot more than box-ticking exercise or even a TNA.

    This, of course, depends on whether or not the next sign applies to your organisation.

    6. Your LMS has only elearning

    LMSs have long broken the boundaries of CBT (Computer Based Training) or elearning/on screen. They have evolved to become a repository of knowledge and learning, by reading, interacting and gaining experiences.

    Your LMS should be the central point for all things blended learning: reading, webinars, videos, coaching and mentoring, experiential learning, certification, internal and external learning and whatnot.

    7. You don’t segment your users

    Everything the LMS has on it is available to everyone, always. You’d think that’s democratic and demonstrating equality (and you are partially right), but there is a lot of power in creating learning paths or curricula that is targeting a specific group of users.


    What’s your LMS like? Do you recognise any of these signs? You are welcome to share more signs or how you’ve dealt with them – please comment below!

    If you would like to ask us a question about your LMS or how to overcome one of these signs, you are more than welcome to drop us a line.


    Image pilfered from 30daysstox.com blog, a lovely post about attitude and productivity.

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