top of page

Learning Management System

Learning Management System recommended functional requirements:



Integration with HR 


LMS that aren't synchronized with HR systems miss the boat. When systems are integrated, a human resources employee can enter a new hire's information into the HR system, and the employee is automatically signed up for training tailored to his or her role within the


Administration tools 


The LMS must enable administrators to manage user registrations and profiles, define roles, set curricula, chart certification paths, assign tutors, author courses, manage content, and administer internal budgets, user payments, and chargebacks. Administrators need complete access to the training database, enabling them to create standard and customized reports on individual and group performance. Reports should be scalable to include the entire workforce. The system should also be able to build schedules for learners, instructors, and classrooms. Most important, all features should be manageable using automated, user-friendly interfaces. In addition, the system should be able to identify employees who need a particular course and tell them how it fits into their overall career path, when it’s available, how it’s available (classroom, online, CD-ROM), if there are prerequisites, and when and how they can fulfill those prerequisites. Once learners complete a course, the LMS can administer tests based on proficiency requirements, report test results, and recommend next steps. In that capacity, LMSs are instrumental in assuring that organizations meet rigid certification requirements in such vertical markets as healthcare, finance, and government.07-17.


Content access


This involves the medium (e.g., classroom, CD-ROM, online, etc.) in which the content is delivered, the method (e.g., instructor-led, selfpaced, blended) in which the content is delivered, the languages in which the content is delivered and to whom the content is being delivered (e.g., employees, customers, partners, etc.).


Content development


Content development encompasses authoring, maintaining, and storing the learning content. This is where the issues of authoring-tool compatibility, version control, and re-usable learning objects are considered.

Content integration


It's important for an LMS to provide native support to a wide range of third-party courseware. When shopping for an LMS, keep in mind that some LMSs are compatible only with the supplier's own courseware, and others do little more than pay lip-service to learning content standards. An LMS supplier should be able to certify that third-party content will work within their

system, and accessing courses should be as easy as using a drop-down menu.


Skills management


Skill assessment and management capabilities revolve around learners assessing their competency gaps. Skills assessments can be culled from multiple sources, including peer reviews and 360-feedback tools. Managers must be able to determine whether results are weighted, averaged, or compared to determine a skill gap. Businesses also might use this feature to search their employee base for specialized skills.

Assessment capabilities


It's a good idea to have an assessment feature that enables authoring within the product and includes assessments as part of each course. Evaluation, testing, and assessment engines help developers build a program that becomes more valuable over time.

Adherence to standards


An LMS should attempt to support standards, such as SCORM. Support for standards means that the LMS can import and manage content and courseware that complies with standards regardless of the authoring system that produced it. Beware: Unless the supplier certifies that the content will work on your LMS, plan on additional expenses.




If an organization needs to completely re-engineer its internal processes to install an LMS or employ expensive programming resources to make changes to the LMS, then it’s probably not a good fit. Also, it's helpful if IT and designers can access the LMS behind the scenes; they need to set processes and standards based on company policy. To make some systems user-friendly, some LMS providers have user groups or customer advisory councils that provide insight into installing or upgrading systems.




Security is a priority in any data system containing employee information and proprietary content. Security measures typically include passwords and encryption.

Source: Ellis, Ryann K. (2009), Field Guide to Learning Management, ASTD Learning Circuits

bottom of page