There has been fantastic comments around Learning Management System Easy of Use. This post was based on an inquiry that I received from someone who manages their current LMS implementation that is based on Moodle with some customization. They do customer training around products that the company sells. They are doing a combination of virtual classroom training (via WebEx) and self-paced eLearning. And the person who asked the question tells me:
My managers have asked me to find alternatives to Moodle that are more user friendly and that are easier to update and manage.
Well two days later I’m told:
You will get a kick out of this though. My supervisors told me to research LMS possibilities and narrow it down it down to about 3-5 and report back in a week and present the pros and cons of the top ones I found. And it’s not like I have all day each day to work this either, I have little pockets of time between now and then as normally I am on the phone all day training customers. Sure, 15 hours of Internet research will be enough for me to narrow down all the many possibilities to 3-5 (sarcasm).
Now, I hate to say that this is all too common a situation. Of course, this strikes me as completely unreasonable, especially given the complexity of what’s involve in LMS Selection.
Research that I cited in LMS Selection Time suggested that the time for the steps on average was:
- Gather and Specify Requirements – 5 months
- Research Vendors Requirements – 4 months
- Meet with Vendors – 2 months
With several people involved. Of course, these were enterprise implementations with many different business units and training organizations involved.
But I still believe that trying to do an LMS selection in a week (actually in 15 hours) is bound to run you into some of the Learning Management Systems (LMS) Gotchas that I’ve talked about before.
The real question here is probably more about how you work with your management to get them to understand the challenge, how you might approach it, the risks of not doing a more thorough evaluation.
Still are there good ways that you can short-circuit the LMS Selection Process to reduce the length of time?
Also, obviously, you can’t come back and say 11 months, when they were thinking 1 week. And I’m not suggesting it’s actually 11 months, but it’s still more than one week. So, how do you effectively negotiate to a level of depth that will make sense in this kind of situation?