SumTotal Blog

Building a Business Case for an LMS

November 10, 2016



Spend any amount of time around HR people and soon the conversation inevitably turns to the subject of Learning Management Systems. Some love the ones they have; others view theirs so riddled with holes as to resemble a fine Swiss Emmental. Then there are those who long for one, while others curse the day someone ever put the letters LMS in the same sentence.

HR Challenges

Regardless of how you personally view the LMS, as friend for foe (or friendly foe), the truth is that if you do not already have one in your organisation, you very soon will.

If you fall into this last category, this blog is for you. Making the move to an LMS is huge and should be treated with thought and consideration. Likely, you will have to prepare a business case, a rationale for the need to change the way your organisation currently manages and implements its L&D.

In partnership with some of our clients, SumTotal designed a 10-step guide to help you navigate the journey through this process.

Step 1

START WITH A SELF-ASSESSMENT: ANALYSE YOUR PROCESSES AND IDENTIFY YOUR OWN NEEDS

Look at what you currently have, decide where it is letting you down and why it needs to go.

Step 2

LEARN HOW YOUR ORGANISATION DOES ITS STRATEGIC PLANNING

What do you need to have to present your case to justify the costs?

Step 3

FIND OUT YOUR ORGANISATION’S PROCESS FOR PURCHASING SOFTWARE

If you don’t, get to know how IT is procured. Through this process you may realise that teaming with an externally hosted learning solution makes more sense than hosting a solution internally.

Step 4

DETERMINE THE UNITS IN YOUR ORGANISATION THAT NEED TRAINING

Oftentimes, mandatory and strategic training requirements exist in many different areas of your organisation, and it’s your job to discover and compile them.

Step 5

INTERVIEW THE DIFFERENT STAKEHOLDERS

Find out what their different strategic goals are, what challenges they face and how they measure success.

Step 6

CONDUCT PROCESS-FLOWS

Discover any weaknesses in your compliance management, highlight any leverages and expose areas at risk or redundant.

Step 7

CALCULATE THE FINANCIAL IMPACT OF TRAINING

Do the sums to establish the current spend on managing training, and then do the sums to show how much it will cost in the future, with the new LMS.

Step 8

FIND A CHAMPION IN MANAGEMENT

This person will not only help you make your case, they can also provide you with valuable feedback regarding what management will want to know before they approve anything.

Step 9

MAKE THE CASE

The most important thing is to take your ROI numbers and the process flows you’ve put together and ensure they are compelling and coherent. Do they support each other in a clear and understandable way? Does it tell a compelling story? Make sure you address the major pain-points in your training process and articulate how a learning solution will alleviate them.

Step 10

PROJECT MANAGE TO THE END

This is your project, and for it to be successful, you’ll need to be its biggest champion. Be wary of having other groups pick up this initiative — loss of control could lead to the project losing steam or delivering unexpected results.

Of course, once you get the green light, then the fun really begins. Now you have to ask yourself which LMS vendor to choose?

And that, well that’s a subject for another blog.

We’ve given you just a taste of the full process for developing your LMS business case in this post. Get your copy of the complete guide now for more tools and tips.

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