ATD conference learning management system

Go to ATD with a Plan: How to Pick the Right Learning Technology Platform for You

Heading down to Atlanta for the annual ATD conference or plan on attending a similar event this year?

You might want to bring more than just your sunglasses and a business card.

As we gear up for ATD, the largest event for talent professionals worldwide, we think it’s important to go there with a gameplan. Rather than simply browsing the booths and networking with fellow HR execs, go there with an idea of what you’re hoping to walk away with from the conference.

If you plan to attend ATD, there is a good chance your organization is open to the possibility of switching to a new learning management system. Perhaps you’ve been tasked with exploring the available options and selecting one that will be the right fit for your organization.

With so many to choose from, how do you know what to look for in an LMS?

There’s a very simple way to know if an LMS is right for you. When doing your research, the most important thing to keep in mind is the following question: Which system will support our priorities? Make sure to choose one that will support relevant training and career development processes.

Don’t get wowed by all the bells and whistles a learning management system offers. When evaluating the pros and cons, features and benefits of an LMS, consider first and foremost whether or not it will support your organization’s goals. What makes an LMS great for your organization is not necessarily its video software or its ability to scour the Internet for relevant blog posts and other forms of content, but how it will advance your objectives. While a given feature might be very exciting to have, it’s more important that it map to your organization’s priorities.

What are your organization’s priorities right now? Career paths? Career development? Compliance? Onboarding new hires? Mentoring and job shadowing? Whenever a certain feature catches your attention, remember to ask yourself: Which priority is this feature supporting?

I knew of one organization that wanted to focus on leadership and management training. The HR team had a great plan in place to train managers in their offices around the globe. The entire company was excited about it. Unfortunately, their LMS did not have the necessary resources to support their management training program and they were unable to implement it. This is because the organization did not have a blended learning approach in mind when it bought their learning management system. The LMS they had was very sophisticated, but nonetheless, it did not match what the organization needed.

Perhaps an LMS you’re researching has over 50,000 library titles, can do all kinds of compliance and registration, or automatically gather relevant content from the Internet. All of these features are well and good, but consider whether or not they support relevant, upcoming initiatives.

Come to ATD prepared. Don’t let anyone sell you on things that you don’t actually need. Instead, understand what is necessary and look for a learning technology platform that will support those goals.

And while you’re at the conference, please make an appointment to stop by and say hello! We’ll be at booth #1814. We look forward to meeting you soon.