22 February 2021
The shoe that fits: 7 questions to help you find an LMS that’s just right for your law firm
We all know the importance of finding the right pair of shoes. Wellies aren’t meant to go with a business suit. Stilettos aren’t designed for the beach. And buying the most expensive pair of shoes in the shop won’t stop you from getting painful blisters if they don’t fit you well.
You need shoes that you’re happy with, that are suitable for what you’re doing, and certainly that don’t cause you pain.
A learning management system that fits your needs
It’s much the same with an LMS. For too long, firms have been grappling with learning management systems that are not designed for their needs.
Many have chosen mainstream “trusted” LMSs, but are finding these have been built for huge corporations, and feel cumbersome and difficult to maintain. Other firms have balked at implementing these bulky systems in the first place, understandably deterred by eye-watering costs and minimal support provision.
Law firms face particular challenges around training. Time is valuable. Time for professional development is scant. Lawyers and support colleagues need to access development resources in ways that are straightforward. Rather than being lumbered with complex systems which require training to use, they need intuitive ones which save them time, and give them relevant resources at their fingertips.
But is it really worth having a new system, even if it fits better?
With budgets under pressure, these challenges are becoming even more acute. Spending on L&D and training is under scrutiny as we face a period of economic constraint. A more appropriate LMS could save you significant costs, but you need to be sure it’s worth the investment in adopting a new system.
So here are seven question to ask, to help you uncover whether an LMS really fits your needs.
1. How will this system help me keep colleagues happy by saving them time?
Valuing employee time is so important, especially when fee-earners have targets for billable hours and are focused on client-facing work. Professional development and training has to fit in around other priorities, and be easy to access without any obstacles.
So an LMS must be intuitive, frictionless and easy to use. It needs to have an appealing user-interface with logical navigation.
It should also give you helpful communication features, such as automatic email reminders, and news pop-ups for priority messages, so you can easily keep colleagues informed with timely, relevant information.
2. How can I keep costs under control, while getting good support from a supplier?
Don’t pay for features you’ll never use. Systems that are designed for very large corporations with many thousands of employees are likely to be disproportionately expensive for firms of different shapes and sizes. Typically these systems won’t include support packages either.
But you need and deserve good support. Look for a supplier who can provide the system you need for a good price, including a support package with real people to help you.
3. How can I make reporting and monitoring easier, and use them to demonstrate value to the firm?
A good LMS should help you reduce your admin load, automate key reports, and monitor training completions quickly and easily. It should help you shoulder the burden of ensuring regulatory training renewals are happening, and sending out reminders, ensuring the right people are assigned the right training.
Meaningful reporting will help the firm to monitor compliance across teams and operational areas, identify any training gaps, and manage risk more effectively. Automating and scheduling reports can enable regular updates for the people who need them – such as to team leaders to show them ‘compliance health’ of their team, or to senior executives to see training and risk status across the whole firm.
4. How will the LMS engage users?
As well as an appealing interface, your LMS needs to give each individual a positive experience which is tailored to what they really need.
Personal learning pathways will enable you to create unique blended learning experiences, using combined resources including e-learning, surveys, quizzes, videos, podcasts, documents, discussions, and virtual or in-person classroom events.
Learning pathways also give you scope to prioritise training for people, making the most of their valuable time by channelling them efficiently towards the resources they need.
5. How will this system help us to manage continuing competence requirements, as well as streamlining training overall?
Staying on top of legal regulatory training and maintaining practice certification is critical for individuals and for the whole firm. Providing an easy way for individuals to log evidence of continuing competence and a place to record their reflections will help them to reduce their admin and manage their certification requirements.
For required compliance training, help your colleagues stay on track by using automated reminders and renewals, which will give them a helpful nudge at exactly the right time.
If you have different types of training (such as legal, operational, IT and risk) in separate places, or split out for different staff roles, a good LMS should give you the scope to streamline and bring them together to make training an easier experience for everyone.
6. How will this help us to support remote learning and working?
With a big shift to more remote working, you’ll need an LMS that helps you to bring virtual classrooms into the learning blend seamlessly. Ensure that a system integrates with platforms like Zoom or Webex, so that you can set up training sessions from within the platform, log attendance, and easily provide supporting materials.
7. What should I look for in a supplier?
The LMS doesn’t end with the technology. You need a reliable partner who will listen and support you, understanding and adapting to the unique needs of your firm. You need real people on the end of the phone or email so you can get prompt support when you need it.
Your supplier should act as a partner and consult with you on how to switch between systems, and show you how to get the most from your LMS. In short, you deserve a partner who is genuinely interested in helping you succeed.
How does Breeio help?
We’d love to show you how Breeio answers all of these questions, and how our team is passionate about supporting learners and helping L&D to shine.