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 paired 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, the training delivery team tries to make the most of their LMS by trying to use it for managing ILT/vILT training as well. However, according to the Brandon Hall Group, the team in charge of training is missing out on modernizing the classroom experience, by using tools that can’t handle the “complexities of the modern hybrid learning environment,” leading to “gross inefficiencies when it comes to ILT”.

bhg quote organizations ignore classroom training at their own peril

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 designed to deliver the best eLearning and the most user-friendly interaction for the learners upon delivery. This is where it belongs, its love story encompasses eLearning and the learner and fulfills a core role in learning tech stack by catering to those functions.

However, when it comes to managing course scheduling and resource management processes, most L&D pros find themselves incorporating a dizzying array of spreadsheets, email, and other disconnected tools, along with their LMS, making the entire scheduling and operations process more cumbersome than it already is!

More on the TMS… The Learning Software Integration You’re Missing

How do L&D professionals solve the disconnect between eLearning delivery and training operations? By integrating a specialized software called a Training Management System (TMS).

TMS software is the most important tool for a training organization, highly specialized to optimize training scheduling and resource management, automating the organization of all the details that go into managing instructor-led training (and vILT). Where the LMS specializes in providing eLearning courses for the learners, the TMS manages the back-office functions for ILT, vILT and hybrid training. Think of the TMS as the “operating system” for training – designed to make the entire learning operation a success. 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, scheduling conflicts, training budgets, as well as deep reporting and training regulations when needed.

And, for learning operations focused on selling training to customers, partners, or clients, a TMS can help manage the 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, but it also helps manage all resources critical to your operation, to ensure your training programs are kept in scope, under budget, and on-time, with the following features:

These are the critical aspects of a successful training program that must be managed by the TMS, but more often than not, training back-office teams routinely manage and track their learning operations using disconnected tools and spreadsheets to store the program’s information on schedules, rosters, and resource logs.

The Perfect Pair: Do You Need Both a TMS and an 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 is core to the learning tech stack, especially for L&D, training companies and extended enterprise and associations.

TMS + LMS Compatibility

In 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).

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.

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.

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.

comparison of tms and lms features

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 most efficiently and effectively. 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.

Save time

  • Quick and easy scheduling for both instructor-led and virtual instructor-led training courses and resources, eliminating manual spreadsheets and processes
  • Reduce heavy administrative workload for the back-office team when managing ILT/vILT by automating reoccurring tasks, better handling of 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.

Save budget

  • 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 the 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 enterprises by streamlining the sales cycle from order to invoice, measuring profitability in real-time, and easily shared across all stakeholders.

    training management should not be complicated

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