Budgeting tips to implement with an LMS for workforce development
We all know people who drive hundreds of miles for meager discounts. They save a lot at the cash register, but most of their savings are absorbed by fuel. After all, you still have to drive back and forth. Some organizations make a similar mistake when purchasing their new LMS for workforce development. Focus on cash price & # 39; low & # 39; without considering the & # 39; hidden expenses & # 39 ;. So what are some hidden costs to include when budgeting LMS? After all, you don't want surprises.
1. Account for all active users
Many LMSs for workforce development are billed per user. So it will pay: Let's say $ 200 for the first 20 users and an additional $ 5 for each additional user. If it's cloud based, you may even have a user limit within its price. This means that you can ignore certain employees. If they have left the company, or if they have limited access, you can still include them in your database. Periodically review users and remove expired users. You might consider a different package for low volume users. Or put them in a separate program, eg. give them a linked mobile app. This could reduce your user fee. That said, it's better to overestimate rather than have to pay surplus fees. For example, you unexpectedly hire 5 new employees, putting you over the limit.
2. Consider maintenance costs
Eventually, any type of software needs an update, even if it encoded from the keyboard up. A workforce development LMS can come with a set number of updates before the price goes up. Or you may be asked to pay a maintenance fee included in your monthly subscription. While a locally installed or self-built LMS may require outsourced personnel to maintain it, you should budget for your consulting fees. And if your internal IT can handle it, you still have to account for your billable hours. Maintenance generally involves sweeping and cleaning your servers to remove malware. It also involves backing up key data and making software updates. All of this takes time and costs money. Also, you have to consider the cost of content maintenance. For example, you must update your course to reflect the new compliance rules. Or buy additional templates, image packs, and other assets.
3. Think about additional features
Your LMS has a set of built-in tools, and each has its own pricing system. Some LMS features for workforce development are standard, primarily analytics and text editors. But if you have specific needs, you may need to (a) install a compatible add-on or (b) purchase add-on software. For example, many LMSs allow you to upload videos or embed existing (YouTube) content. But you may want to record your own videos and record original audio. In that case, you need software with an editing booth so you can polish your footage. If your sound booth is not integrated, you will have to pay more. And even if you find free software online, you will need (paid) labor to customize it for your system. Ask the provider what features are included in the package and request a detailed quote. You should also verify that the new online workforce training LMS is compatible with your existing tools to avoid replacement fees.
4. Focus on accommodation
If your LMS comes & # 39; in a can & # 39 ;, then it is probably hosted in the cloud. In that case, hosting fees are included in your subscription. If you purchased the entire LMS, you may still have to license it once a year. Also, you may have to buy your own servers or pay for a separate web server. You can add it to the hosting package of your current website. Just remember that increased bandwidth usage will increase your monthly "bonuses". Again, if you invest in free, open source software, you still require hosting and technological manpower. So it is not as free as you think.
5. Pay for online training staff
By this, I mean the staff who build and maintain their online training courses. As well as those who implement the Learning Management System. They could be content experts or technology members of the L&D team. If it is a new LMS, you may need to hire dedicated staff to manage it. At best, you can increase the job descriptions of existing staff and add it to your record. You'll also need to add to the pay, so that's included in your workforce development budget. Also, if you're using your software to spot, nurture, and promote new readers, consider your new positions. As they advance in rank, they will require more resources and a higher job rating.
6. Account of learning curve costs
It's not just the back-end developers and the LMS administration team that must master the new Learning Management System. Your employees must be able to use the tool to access crucial online training tools. This means that you will have to set aside time and payroll hours for the LMS learning curve. For example, it might require a 2-hour workshop to show you the ropes so they can log in and overcome the most common obstacles.
Much more is spent on L&D budgets than you think. And the real problem begins when a budget is approved and then they realize all the expenses they overlooked. Expenses such as inactive or infrequent users, maintenance, maintenance, updates, accommodation, additional functions and specialized personnel. Before making your presentation to Accounts, consider all of this and leave a contingency at the top. You always need a little leeway on the expense sheet for unexpected fees.
Do you want to discover more about the benefits that a new LMS can bring to your business? Download the Going Global eBook without Going Over Budget: Tips for Launching a Remote Workforce Development Program with the Right LMS, Explore Ways to Close the Gaps, and Improve Your Business Strategy.