Just like it takes two to tango, it takes both an LMS and a TMS to make learning programs successful. Yet for most L&D professionals, when it comes to managing instructor-led training, the only tools they’re pairing with their Learning Management System (LMS) are “cross-functional” spreadsheets – which doesn’t quite make for the best love story of all time.
Like most companies nowadays, attempting to keep learning operations as simple as possible, training administrators often find themselves trying to make the most of their LMS by trying also to use it for managing ILT/vILT training. But, according to the Brandon Hall Group, training facilitators are missing out on modernizing the classroom experience by utilizing tools that can’t handle the “complexities of the modern hybrid learning environment,” leading to “gross inefficiencies when it comes to ILT”.
Whoa, that’s probably not the love story you were expecting. Not to worry, it gets better… a lot better. But first, more on the LMS.
The LMS is catered towards delivering the best eLearning and the most user-friendly interaction for the learners upon delivery. This is where it belongs, it’s love story encompasses eLearning and the learner, and fulfilling a core role in learning tech stack by catering to those functions.
However, in an effort to improvise the course scheduling and resource management process for training, L&D pros find themselves incorporating a disconnected array of spreadsheets and databases along with their LMS, making administrative work more cumbersome than it already is!
Complete Your LMS with the TMS: The Learning Software Integration You’re Missing
How do L&D professionals solve the disconnect between eLearning delivery and training administrative duties? By implementing a specialized software integration called a Training Management System (TMS)
TMS software is the most important tool for a training provider to utilize for scheduling, administrative, and management duties. Think of the TMS as that supportive partner to make the entire learning operation a success. Where the LMS specializes towards providing eLearning courses for the learners, the TMS manages the back-office functions needed to make ILT, vILT and hybrid training programs successful. These include routine admin duties like managing the training schedules, dates, courses and resources as well as advanced functions such as managing the availability of instructors, conflict management, training budget management, deep reporting, handling multiple currencies and time zones, and training regulations.
And, for learning operations focused on selling training to customers, partners or clients, a TMS can help manage entire sales cycle including learner registration and enrollment, course promotion and payments and invoicing
As the central point to your entire training operations, the TMS is unique in that not only does it control administrative duties like course scheduling and instructor vacancies, it also manages all resources critical to your operation to make sure your programs are kept in scope, under budget, and on time utilizing the following features:
These are the critical aspects of a successful training program that must be managed by the TMS, but most training providers today aren’t understanding this concept from the administrative side of running a training program. More often than not, training back-office teams routinely manage and track their learning operations using a disconnected array of spreadsheets to store the program’s information on schedules, rosters, and resource logs.
The Perfect Pair: Do You Need Both a TMS and LMS?
If you’re managing regular training for a large number of trainees, it’s a learning industry best practice to complement your learning management system software with a training management system. The combination of using both TMS and LMS the primary learning tech stack is especially true for training companies and extended enterprise training operations.
Unfortunately, if training organizations try and get their LMS to double as a TMS, especially in larger training programs with thousands of learners, managers will quickly discover the admin capabilities of the LMS to be very limited.
TMS + LMS Compatibility
The same way Romeo isn’t complete without his Juliet, when it comes to ILT and vILT training, a learning management system (LMS) needs to be paired with a training management system (TMS). Understanding the compatibility of the two platforms within your wider training operation is a matter of understanding the vertical integration of each platform and how they help improve your operation’s approach to lean management.
In terms of vertical integration, training programs function best when each component in the learning tech stack performs its role at full efficiency without secondary duties. In the same way, an LMS specializes in delivering eLearning and giving a robust and interactive learning experience to the learner, the TMS specializes in providing a complete and efficient system to manage back-end administrative duties.
It’s when the TMS or LMS expands its specialization within the learning tech stack, we begin to violate the lean management principles in the training operation. The goal of running “lean” in the context of training management should be to optimize back-office processes by allowing the training team to provide more by doing less. This includes reducing redundant administrative duties that can compromise quality and time spent on non-value providing tasks like manually checking course availability or consistently opening your finance sheets to see if budgets are on track. Room for error and wasted time? Very much so.
True Love. What are the Benefits of Using a TMS with an LMS?
If you’re delivering Instructor-Led and Virtual Instructor-Led Training, the TMS is the perfect complement to your LMS, rounding out your core learning software tech stack so you can manage every step of the learning process in the most efficient and effective way. The main objective of adding a TMS to your learning software arsenal is to save time and money while also increasing the amount of course enrollments and training objectives.
- Quick and easy scheduling for both instructor-led and virtual instructor-led training courses, eliminating manual spreadsheets and processes
- Reduce heavy administrative workload for the back-office team when managing ILT/vILT by automating reoccurring tasks, better handling waitlists, confirmations and collaborative to-do lists
- Eliminate scheduling errors and conflicts to reduce admin time spent manually cross comparing for accuracy
- Swift communication and collaboration for all learning stakeholders on all ILT/vILT planning tasks such as instructor availability and to-do lists.
- Reduce administrative tasks and allow more time to focus on providing more training with fewer resource
- Maximize resource usage, occupancy rates and trainer utilization for greatest impact
- Proactively monitor costs in real-time and gain visibility of training activities
- Gain access to powerful learning analytics with key data points about how the training operation is functioning
- Increase sales and profitability for training companies and extended enterprise by streamlining the sales cycle from order to invoice, measuring profitability in real-time and easily sharing across all stakeholders.
Love is Complicated. Training Management Shouldn’t Be.
For over 20 years, Training Orchestra has helped over 600 organizations worldwide address training management issues for companies of all industries. From virtual and in-person learning instruction to managing hybrid learning operations for global companies, we’ve crafted the perfect training management system to address the most critical needs of learning professionals and training departments.
Ready to see how you can train more with less? Contact Training Orchestra today to see how you can add efficiency and scale to your training operation today!