So you finally have a training budget for education and development. As part of the learning program, you want to incorporate custom online training and you have no idea where to turn for a qualified online training provider. The learning program will encompass a variety of topics and content areas from HR standards like onboarding to highly technical subjects such as computer compliance training and sales skills training. Just how do you go about finding the best vendor partner who will stay within your training budget? Oh, and it would be nice to find someone who can provide a SCORM or Tin Can (xAPI) compliant hosted learning management system as well!
There are a number of ways you can find excellent potential custom e-Learning/ LMS company partners. But there are a few things you should do first:
- Identify your stakeholders and key decision makers
- Obtain approval for and quantify your training budget for the key elements
- Identify exactly what your requirements and objectives are
Use many of the tools available such as:
- e-Learning Discovery/Scoping Tools
- LMS Requirements Checklists
- ROI Tools
Identify your timelines for the implementation of an LMS and development of the courseware
- Confirm that these are realistic
After you have completed your internal due diligence, then you can proceed to vendor research. And, yes, this can be an overwhelming task but it certainly is easier today with all the tools available through the internet. Use those tools! And use your connections, whether it is through industry associations, training and development organizations, personal connections, or tools like LinkedIn and Plaxo. And find out who created the e-Learning that you have taken and found compelling. People are usually very willing to share this information.
Once you have identified potential partners, ask them to assist you. If a potential partner is hesitant to offer that help, spend time with you, share helpful tools and information with you, cross them off your list. Implementing a learning management system and creating custom e-Learning courseware is a “high touch” process. You want a partner who will provide that support and views it as a core competency, core value, and core service. And of course, stay within your training budget.