Selecting an LMS is an important decision for any organization to make. In many cases, the LMS that you choose will be with you for a very long time, so it is essential to follow a systematic process, from researching to the actual decision of which product to implement.
My recommendation is to always start with a list of characteristics before you even get to anything else. This will ensure that the foundation you form in your search is a solid one. With that in place, you can then start with a process like below. Note that the steps below, originally detailed by Tagoras.com, are not hard-line requirements. Feel free to add to this list as you see fit, as no LMS implementation is 100% identical.
For example, depending on the size of your organization, there may not be a need to issue a formal RFP (Request for Proposals). You may instead be doing all of the research in-house and the need for large vendors “bidding” on your work is simply not applicable. In this case, you could modify this step to something more relevant, such as generating a list of potential suppliers, and filtering them by certain items.
A word of advice: if you are going to create a list of vendors/suppliers for your LMS, put your needs and requirements into a Microsoft Excel spreadsheet. You can then list the vendors in column and indicate whether or not they include the features you are looking to implement out-of-the-box. This is a quick and easy way to do visual comparisons, and convenient if you are looking at a large number of possible solutions.
I’m sure you will find some other steps in this process that aren’t as relevant for your organizational needs as well. The important thing to remember is that you take your time during selection. The process below is a way to force yourself to slow-down and conduct a detailed analysis. It can be easy to get caught up in sales-speak when doing research, having a detailed process helps to avoid any impulse decisions. Good luck!