Elearning Workplace training

7 minute read

8 Reservations LMS Stakeholders Have When Investing in a New System

Christopher Pappas

Christopher Pappas

You think your organization needs a new Learning Management System. The current platform just isn’t offering the best ROI. Or maybe your company has quickly expanded, and you’re looking for a tool that can scale with you. But there’s just one catch…your LMS stakeholders hold the proverbial checkbook, and they aren’t convinced. Why are stakeholders reluctant to buy-in, and how can you get them onboard? Here are eight common reservations they might have about investing in a new LMS, along with tips to get their stamp of approval.

1. There is no room in the online training budget

The online training budget is already stretched to the limit, and there isn’t enough wiggle room to invest in a new LMS. However, you can make the business case that a replacement LMS will reduce online training costs thanks to its improved features and functionality. There might be other ways that the new Learning Management System can stretch resources even further. For example, it has high-quality, in-house courses that you can use to supplement your existing corporate training. Therefore, you won’t have to invest time creating skill-based courses or searching for external course providers. 

2. The current LMS isn’t “broken.”

You already have a perfectly good LMS that works just fine. Why should you invest in a new platform? This stakeholder reservation hinges on the ‘if it isn’t broke, don’t fix it’ mentality. In this case, you need to compare the old and new platform to highlight the significant differences. For example, the new LMS will allow you to deploy gamification-based training courses. Or the LMS vendor offers more advanced support services, which will benefit your less experienced team.

3. The ROI benefits may not be readily apparent

The LMS stakeholders might admit that there is room in the online training budget and that the new Learning Management System is a bit out of touch. But they don’t see the ROI benefits of making the switch to a new tool. To overcome this reservation, you need to come equipped with hard numbers to show that the replacement platform is a better investment. That it will help your organization improve productivity, potentially reduce online training seat time, and maximize resource allocation.

4. Fear that the new LMS might fail or increase risks

The Learning Management System you have right now is tried and tested. Even if it falls a bit short due to your evolving needs. It’s still better than investing in a new LMS that has the potential to fail. This roadblock is a bit more challenging to handle, as every new tool comes with a certain degree of risk. Fortunately, you can appease their worries by showing that the new Learning Management System is proven and discuss your risk mitigation plan. For example, explain the background of the LMS vendor, how long they’ve been around, and share some online ratings/reviews. You should also highlight the risks involved (before they do) and tell stakeholders how you plan to prevent them.

5. Hesitance to learn a new LMS platform

LMS-stakeholdersEverybody already knows the existing tool. Employees can navigate it to access online training materials. And your L&D team is familiar with its back-end features. LMS stakeholders believe that the new platform might take too much time to learn. This is why it’s crucial to find a replacement tool with an intuitive User Interface and support services. They’re more likely to approve the funds if you show them that the learning curve will be minimal. 

Furthermore, some LMS providers will let you “try before you buy.” By using a free trial or an LMS with a freemium model, you will be able to show the intuitiveness of a new LMS to stakeholders tangibly. 

6. Concern over data security

Another primary concern for stakeholders that you need to appease before investing in a new LMS is data safety. They need to know that the new LMS has more advanced data security measures and that the migration will be seamless. No information slipping through the cracks and falling into the wrong hands.

This requires some research on your part. Look into the LMS vendor’s data protocols. Such as where they store the data and which encryption measures are in place. You should also consider their track record. Do users report a high downtime rate or data breaches? Again, this is the time to have a data risk mitigation plan at the ready. Explain how exactly you are going to prevent data security issues and the backup measures you will enact.

7. Failure to see the performance-enhancing advantages

Even if the LMS checks all the other boxes on the list, stakeholders may still worry about the performance-enhancing benefits and be reluctant about investing in a new LMS. You must show them that the new Learning Management System will help to improve employee productivity, bridge gaps, and address personal pain points. For example, the replacement platform features custom reporting so that you can track and report individual progress and initiatives. Or it allows you to incorporate more social learning opportunities so that co-workers can exchange knowledge and feedback.

8. Reluctance to make the switch to online training

LMS-stakeholdersThis reservation pertains to organizations that don’t already have an LMS. They’re taking the leap into online training for the first time. However, LMS stakeholders don’t see the need to switch from traditional corporate training. This sticking point is one of the easiest to overcome, given the abundance of evidence that online training does give companies a competitive edge. Come prepared with stats, case studies, and other valid proof that investing in an LMS can benefit your organization on numerous levels. You might even sign up for an LMS free trial or demo just to give them firsthand experience with the tool.

Over to you

Getting LMS stakeholder buy-in may not be easy, especially if they have a tight grasp on the pocketbook. Use this article as a guide to gain their approval so that your current LMS doesn’t hold you back or prevent you from developing your top talent. Making a sound business case and backing up your LMS replacement recommendations with substantial evidence is often the best approach.

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Christopher Pappas

Christopher Pappas

Christopher Pappas is the Founder of The eLearning Industry’s Network, which is the largest online community of professionals involved in the eLearning field. Christopher holds an MBA and an M.Ed. (Learning Design) from BGSU.