Learning Platform For Companies: 4 Steps to the Right Solution

Manfred Rump

VIDEO With english subtitles

The right learning platform can have a significant impact on the success of your business. But how do you choose the platform best suited to your individual needs? In our article, we'll give you a step by step guide through the selection process to the perfect learning platform for your company.

In today's digital world, learning platforms are a requirement. They offer companies the opportunity to specifically promote the skills of their employees and increase the success of the company. Nevertheless, with so many providers, finding the right learning platform can be quite a challenge – but who are we to say?

Well, to any and all L&D and HR managers, don't worry! In this article, we'll give you the necessary orientation and guide you step by step through the selection process to the right learning platform for your company.

4 steps to the right learning platform

Before getting started, you should get an overview of the different categories of learning platforms. Essentially, Learning Management Systems (LMS) can be distinguished from Learning Experience Platforms (LXP) and Learning Engagement Platforms (LEP). You can find a detailed description in our guide (German!).

Then it's time to start the process of searching and choosing the right platform for your business.

A systematic approach can help save time and resources and ensure that the platform you choose meets the needs of your business.

Below, we'll highlight the steps needed to find the right learning platform for your business.

1. Determine needs

Before you start looking for a learning platform, you should first analyze your company's needs.

  • Who should learn with the learning platform and how does that pay into the business strategy?
  • What skills do your employees need to learn or improve and what training formats and features are needed to do so?
  • Should the learning platform be integrated into blended learning measures and be compatible with face-to-face activities?

These and other questions must be determined during the needs analysis. It is the first and most important step in selecting a learning platform.

Here are the most important factors to ensure the platform meets the needs of your business:

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Use the listed needs as a guide to collect criteria that the learning platform must fulfill. The example requirements in the table serve as inspiration at this point.

2. Formulate Goals

After you have determined the needs for the learning platform, you should define clear goals for the learning platform. Think about what your company should achieve with the platform and what goals you want to set for your employees. The central question here is: Can the goals be measured and achieved with the learning platform?

Here are four frameworks you should consider:

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3. Perform a Cost-Benefit Analysis

You now know whether your company needs an LMS, LXP or LEP and have also defined the requirements and goals. This helps you to weed out unsuitable providers during the research and to narrow down the selection considerably.

A key decision criterion when comparing different providers is then the cost-benefit ratio. The costs for a learning platform can vary greatly depending on the provider. Therefore, you should perform a cost-benefit analysis to find out which learning platform offers the greatest added value for your company.

Here you should consider not only the initial cost, but also the ongoing cost and Return on investment of Learning (ROI of Learning).

By conducting a cost-benefit analysis, you can ensure that the learning platform will have a positive impact on your business and that the investment in the platform will pay off in the long run.

The economic return on learning can be calculated using the following formula:

ROI of Learning (%) = (benefit of the learning program (in Euro) - cost of the learning program) / cost of the learning program x 100

The calculation is essentially based on two key figures:

Firstly, the costs for the digital learning program consisting of three following items:

  1. The development or acquisition costs
  2. Implementation costs
  3. The employee costs

On the other hand, the learning platform provides various benefits for your company, including productivity gains by reducing onboarding efforts and enabling you to train your staff faster and more effectively.

Learn more about costs, benefits and the calculation of the ROI of learning in our handbook "Return on Learning" (German)!

4. Plan an Implementation Strategy

Once you have decided on a learning platform, you should plan an implementation strategy. This should include training for employees to ensure that they can make the most of the learning platform.

Here are the key steps to consider when setting up your implementation:

  1. Communication: Make sure that all relevant stakeholders in the company are informed about the implementation of the learning platform.
  2. Schedule: Create a detailed implementation timeline that includes all necessary steps, such as installing the platform, training employees, and migrating data. Also take into account buffer times in case of delays.
  3. Team: If necessary, put together a team that is responsible for the implementation. L&D and HR managers should be involved, in addition to – depending on the requirements and support of the learning platform – IT staff.
  4. Onboarding: Plan training sessions for employees who will be engaging with the platform. This should not only include the use of the platform itself, but also the advantages and benefits of the platform for the company.
  5. Testing: Test the platform thoroughly before releasing it to all employees. Consider both the functionality and usability of the platform.

Checklist: What Resources Do I Need to Implement & Maintain a Learning Platform?

Which people are responsible for implementing and maintaining a learning platform? What tasks should the platform's customer support take on and what resources does my company need to produce its own content?

Our checklist gives you an overview of which resources should be taken into account when implementing a learning platform in order to start digital learning in your company in the best possible way.

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And Now... Let's Get to Work!

You did it! In this article, you've learned the key steps to choosing and implementing the right learning platform for your organization.

Now it's time to get to work! Take your employees and your company to the next level with the right learning platform!

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Source: Title image from Freepik

Manfred Rump

Manfred Rump is Senior Content Marketing Manager at Masterplan. In the blog, he shares insights from his conversations with learning experts and highlights current learning trends in companies.
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