As another English summer draws towards a close (yes, already), cricket fans amongst you will still be revelling in another Ashes victory for the England cricket team. Having just comprehensively beaten the old enemy Australia, one area of controversy still rumbles on whilst the dust settles; DRS. The Decision Review System is a technology-based system used in cricket for the sole purpose of reviewing controversial decisions (mistakes!) made by the on-field umpires in the case of a batsman being dismissed or not. For the uninitiated, cricket is a sport steeped in tradition and history, the need for use of technology in the game is still under debate. But DRS, essentially, is designed to stop mistakes. It ensures the right decision is made, live during the event, and that the cricket system isnt failing.Imagine if we could apply DRS to our everyday lives, against all the choices we made, helping us make the right decision. Reducing those mistakes. Ive helped many clients over the years review their LMS software and whether its fit for their requirements, and whilst we dont have DRS available to use, there are a number of universal warning signs Ive pick up on, which might indicate your LMS software is failing you:
1. Difficult Reporting: Are you pulling your hair out trying to generate reports and extracting data from your LMS software? Surely one of the key components of any LMS needs to be solid and intuitive reporting capability. After all, LMS software is here to track and report on learner progress, completions, scores, etc, so we have to be confident that our administrators can quickly obtain and review relevant training data from the system. Does your LMS have a flexible and customizable report wizard? Is your LMS fully SCORM compliant to track your elearning course data (think about SCORM TinCan here too). Does your LMS allow you to send reports out to managers automatically on a regular basis?
2. Lack of integration options: Is a lot of your time spent manually adding data to several different company systems? The majority of our clients now require their LMS software to integrate with a third-party solution. Usually an HRIS, Payroll, Active Directory or SSO integration is required. I would now consider this integration capability from an LMS to be essential; you might need it in the future. How readily can your LMS software integrate with your third-party business solutions? Our clients need to be confident that there is an Integrations team available from their provider, and rest in the assurance that integration is properly managed and affordable.
3. Ease of Use: Are your learners (and administrators) terrified of logging-in to your LMS software? Gone are the days (I hope!) where LMS software looks like a grey, clunky, Windows 95 menu based system. If yours still does, it needs changing. Your LMS needs to be easily accessible for your learners, offering clean and concise navigation options, and be super intuitive. As soon as your learners need to extensively search for the courses you have enrolled them on, theyll switch off, learning will become a chore, and your LMS software has instantly lost credibility. But equally, consider that your LMS needs to be easy to use for your administrators too!
4. Brandability: Do you remember when branding an LMS, was providing the ability to drop your company logo jpeg on the landing page? Yes, I know. Many LMS solutions still offer just this. This does have some connection with point 3, but consider how brandable your LMS software is. After all, your brand identity may be one of the most powerful strategic weapons in your armoury, and whether you are providing training to your internal work force, or selling content to third-party organizations or clients, you need an LMS that not just reflects, but enhances your brand identity. It also quite simply enhances your training credibility with your learners youre serious about your training offerings, and so is your LMS software.
5. Cost: All of the above doesnt have to break the budget. There are many affordable LMS solutions now which offer all of the above as standard. Are you paying too much for your LMS?
Whilst we dont have the luxury of using DRS to review our LMS software mistakes, there are several warning signs which may help indicate if your LMS software is failing you, your learners and your organizational training. I hope this provides a useful insight into some key warning signs I have picked up on, and perhaps triggers your own DRS review process into how effective your current LMS is.
Im already looking forward to the return Ashes contest down-under in the winter. And whilst the most traditional of sporting events is moving in line with modern expectations, can you be sure that your LMS solution is doing the same?