Here are some questions to be asked choosing an LMS Content partner. Learning and development managers, human resource managers and corporate executives cutting across functional, geographic and product based teams have had a broad-based consensus on the impact of learning on corporate profitability and growth.  

Given that there is no dearth of LMS content partners that commit to offer the right learning management system, it makes enormous good sense for L&D managers and HR managers to think through the subject and develop a checklist of questions to ask LMS content partners to navigate to the best possible choice. 

We translate the major challenges facing enterprise learning into questions that L&D managers need to ask before choosing the right content partners for your LMS.  

  1. How Does the Content Partner Aim to Address the Challenge of Learner Engagement?

First, learner engagement is one of the biggest challenges faced by the officials of the learning and development department of an enterprise. Learning in a corporate environment involves learners who already have a career and are driven by concerns of individual and enterprise growth and therefore are considerably less interested in learning, have shorter attention spans and find it difficult to connect with the training modules offered.

Needless to say then that a solution to deliver learning outcomes through a learning management system, must first look to address the challenge of learner engagement by creating learner focused content, modern learner interfaces and focusing on innovation in the delivery of content.

  1. How Does the Content Partner Aim to Augment Diversity in the Team?

Second, individual learning needs are always diverse. Within a team setting in a corporate environment, every individual is tasked with a specific role and has very specific KRAs (key result areas) to demonstrate his or her performance. It is a given that a generic learning management system with holistic modules of the content does not serve the purpose of individual needs.

How does the content partner aim to cater to the need for sustaining and improving diversity in the team? It is only prudent that the L&D department personnel ask if the content partner can customize the content and if possible allow a collaborative approach for co-creation of content.

  1. How Does the Content Partner Plan to Address the Challenge of Corporate Amnesia?

Third, corporate amnesia is a major challenge to learning at the enterprise level. Given that learners in a corporate scenario may belong to different demographic profiles, the challenge becomes only more daunting. For a corporate professional to remember a particular of information, the value of doing so has to be defined in unambiguous terms.

Unless a content partner addresses the incentive question through the learning management system, the learner shall always have one reason not to remember what is being taught.

  1. How Does the Content Partner Address the Skill Gap of Individuals?

Fourth, individuals in an enterprise setting do not hail from the same academic background. Further, organizational structures differ across industry verticals and even within the same industry vertical. Thus learners may be scattered across diverse product based, functional, geographical or customer based teams. This vastly impacts the skill gap of individual learners.

How does the content partner customize the academic content to address the skill gap of learners in the batch? Can the content partner define the skill gap of individual learners in the first place? Can the content partner organize pre-learning tests to assess the starting points of the learning journeys of each of the individuals? Can the content partner address differences in the spatial and time zones of diverse learners?

  1. How Does the Content Partner Deliver Learning Outcomes at Scale?

Fifth, the costs of organizing and administering training sessions through either brick and mortar or technology-driven environments are substantial.   How can the content partner enable the personnel of the L&D department to reduce the costs of learning? For example, there are explicit costs of managing a training and development program, hiring corporate trainers, installing, servicing and troubleshooting a software application based learning management system.

Further there are implicit (hidden) costs of mismanaging a learning and development program like the costs of discontinuity of learning sessions, loss of memory of learners and thus the need to revisit old concepts and practices that may have already been covered, costs of learners pulling out abruptly due to work pressure, relocation and being on the move.

How does the content partner plan to rationalize the explicit and implicit costs of learning and development? What innovation does it suggest to its learning management system capabilities to make learning more affordable, sustainable and effective?  

For learning to be effective, it has to be a part of the career paths of individual employees and must add to the corporate bottom line on a sustainable basis. Never since Peter Drucker, has the proposition of the knowledge-worker been challenged. Yet, the fact remains that there is a need for content partners to reform the corporate learning ecosystem through innovations in content, container and delivery to make learning more effective, cost-efficient, faster and visible.