Buying a learning management system, or LMS, may be a big decision for any organization. There are few other systems that reach as many employees, and there’s no other system that’s so critical to getting new staff up and running quickly and effectively. This is often why you ought to build a business case. Here, we cover what a business case is meant to try to do , and therefore the key steps to create one for your LMS purchase.

Buying a learning management system, or LMS, may be a big decision for any organization. There are few other systems that reach as many employees, and there’s no other system that’s so critical to getting new staff up and running quickly and effectively.

But like all mission-critical purchases, buying an LMS will likely involve tons of stakeholders, just some of whom will see the worth directly .

Enter the business case.

For purchases that need a broad base of support within the organization, a business case is typically a bridge that you simply need to (eventually) cross.

Today, we’re getting to probe what a business case is, what it’s designed to try to do , and therefore the key steps to create one for your LMS purchase. Here we go!


LMS 101

Before we go any longer, let’s clarify some terminology to make sure you’re within the right place.

The world of learning technology is large and sophisticated, and there are dozens of tools that each have overlapping functionalities.

LMS solutions are designed to assist businesses and organizations train their staff, manage their training (and keep it up to date), deliver training courses and learning experiences, function as a repository for educational content, author courses, and keep all of the above tracked and up so far .

Common use cases for an LMS solution include:

  • Keeping certified staff up so far on their certifications (e.g. are your bartenders SmartServe certified?)
  • Continuing education and training for workers development (e.g. providing ongoing training for nurses)
  • Onboarding and updating staff about corporate policies, and delivering relevant content
  • Managing regulatory compliance and ensuring staff understand relevant regulatory frameworks for his or her job.


What is a business case?

A business case is essentially the method and document that you simply use to elucidate internally what you’re doing, why you’re doing, how it’s getting to get done, and who’s involved.

This will, of course, run the gauntlet in complexity, from a fast email to your boss, to a completely fleshed document that goes deep into the rationale behind each decision. But generally, you would like to possess the subsequent broad sections to answer those questions:

  • Objectives (why): you would like to state why you’re pursuing this business case. This will be summarized because of the problem you’re trying to unravel. What made you get out of bed and pursue this business case in the first place? How does your objective for the project link to the objectives for the business?
  • Stakeholders (who): Who’s involved? does one have a selected supplier/vendor, are you using internal resources? Who’s getting to be impacted by this decision, and who does one need internally to make this happen?
  • Plan, specs, and requirements (how): How is that all getting to happen? How are you getting to catch on?

Opportunity cost (why this, and not something else?): Why are you recommending this course of action, what’s the chance cost of your suggestion, and why change at all?

The business case is additionally a chance for you to stipulate what isn’t in-scope for your project. For us, it’s saying “here’s what an LMS isn’t getting to do,” clarifying for everybody what the aim of the tool is.

So now that we’re clear on what an LMS can do, and what a business case involves, it’s time to create our business case for our LMS purchase.


Step 1: define the objectives

First, you would like to define the objectives of your LMS purchase. What are you trying to do? Generally, this is often easy for you to define. However, remember: a business case is actually a pitch to your internal stakeholders to urge them on board together with your purchase/decision.

Therefore, your objectives for the project have to be objectives that your stakeholders care about.

For example, if a key stakeholder for your LMS purchase is the VP sales, then your objective should ultimately roll up to what she’s curious about — new sales.

If your organization has an OKR framework in situ, then which will be an excellent place to start out .

The best thanks to believe defining objectives is to consider it as a hierarchy:

  • First, what are you trying to achieve?
  • Second, what are each of your stakeholders trying to achieve? How does your LMS help them achieve those objectives?
  • Finally, what’s the organization trying to try to do , and what role does an LMS play?

It’s also important to gauge the ROI of your purchase. This might be difficult, but consider the time an LMS saves for end-users and administrators, also because of the improved quality of labor that employees can produce because their training is better than it wont to be.

By evaluating these success criteria, you’ll design objectives that are more likely to resonate together with your internal clients.

Note: step 1 and a couple of are often wiped out tandem, since the objectives got to be tailored to your audience.


Step 2: Define who’s involved

Next, you would like to define who’s involved in your LMS purchase. Who must be consulted, and how, and whose assistance will you implement your solution for. Stakeholders can usually be broken into a couple of key constituencies.


End users

End users do have to be consulted during the business case. Not only can they articulate their needs and ensure your purchase meets them, but they even have valuable experience that you simply can use in your buying criteria. Adding a couple of end users to your buying committee can help gather the bottom of support you would like .



While end-users are valuable to consult, getting your executive team on board is completely critical because they’re those who got to log off . We recommend when you’re considering your business case, consider which executive goes to be impacted the foremost , and work directly with them to know their needs and make sure that your LMS recommendation meets them. for instance , you would possibly be working with the chief people officer/head of HR. they could be extremely focused on onboarding new hires effectively. Therefore, your LMS business case should specialise in that use case.


Team leaders

While executives might make the choice and end-users accept it, your managers and team leaders are where the rubber meets the road in terms of adoption. You absolutely should include them within the purchasing decision. This not only brings them into the fold of your change management but without it, your solution is unlikely to be used.

Administrators / IT resources

Finally, we’ve administrators and IT resources. It’s unlikely you’ll be running your LMS by yourself, so you would like to usher in the people that are getting to do the work. This could be HR specialists, enablers, trainers, hiring managers, or somebody else on your team. Likewise, your LMS will need some operations or IT resources to urge it to be implemented and integrated. You’ll have to consult those specialists also .


Step 3: Outline how you’re getting to catch on done

The next step in your business case is to define how you’re getting to actually do your LMS purchase, implementation, and description of how it’s getting to work for every of your stakeholders.

Some business cases will have an in depth plan at now defining each individual step, except for an LMS purchase, we don’t recommend that approach. Rather, specialise in what must be done, and assign dates for the key milestones of the project.

For example, instead of having an exhaustive list of each task needed for implementation, break that into a couple of key milestones that require to be hit, like:

  • Vendor selected
  • Kickoff meeting
  • Migration / population from existing system and resources
  • First new course or learning program completed
  • Full rollout
  • Break even cost point

This way, your stakeholders have an honest sense, not of the work that must be done (which isn’t that relevant to them) but instead, an honest sense of when they’re getting to start to ascertain the impact / ROI of your recommendation.


Step 4: cost

The biggest killer projects are apathy — sticking with the established order instead of embracing change. That’s why outlining the chance cost is important .

The cost of inaction is essentially a rundown of how you’re solving the matter an LMS solves for your organization immediately . What proportion is costing the business or your team, and the way it’s getting into the way of their ability to try to do their jobs?

For example, let’s say you’re employed during a regulated industry, and you would like to use an LMS to make sure your communications team is fully trained and authorized on all the regulations. Right now, all creative that’s produced must be reviewed by your legal team. With an LMS, there would be fewer reviews. Therefore, the value of inaction is that the clunky process and slow delivery thanks to legal review, and therefore the dollar cost is that the (very expensive) cost of your legal team’s time.

The cost of inaction also can be understood because the time and price of doing things the way you currently are, albeit there’s no significant problem that you’re trying to unravel. For instance, an LMS might make it easier for the HR team to onboard new hires, so it only takes them 4 hours per hire rather than 10. That’s a big improvement and something to spotlight during a business case.


Tie it all at once

The final step is to tie it all at once and structure your business case for every group of stakeholders. Because despite the challenges inherent in proving the ROI of learning, there’s a business case to be made for an LMS. Better certification rates, more engaged employees, and more employee training will ultimately cause the simplest ROI of all — better-trained staff. As customer experience is increasingly the purpose of differentiation for organizations, placing a premium on your team to create the simplest CX possible isn’t just good for your customer — it’s just good business sense. And an LMS may be a critical part of that process