While chatting with a friend of mine from the learning industry over coffee this week, the (touchy) subject of learning management systems came up. This person remarked on the copious complaints he hears from clients – he’s on the provider side – about their LMSs, and then he wondered aloud what the “divorce rate” for these systems was.!@!
I thought it was an interesting analogy. In moments of honesty, learning executives I’ve often talked with about their LMS have eschewed tact in portraying their feelings. Instead of phrases such as “The system didn’t meet our expectations,” I got an earful of things like, “It sucks,” “We hate it,” and, er, more colorful language that I can’t repeat here. Suffice to say, it was the sort of anger and resentment one might associate with a failed marriage.
And should this be all that surprising, given that the process of getting an LMS is kinda similar to getting hitched? You start with courtship (dating, sales meetings and demos), which culminates with a formal joining of parties (a wedding centered around vows, a closed deal centered around specs), which is frequently followed by disappointment, regret and diminished expectations.
Why is the fairy-tale ending so elusive in each kind of relationship? Any CLO readers who want to offer some answers (I’m looking more for responses regarding learning management systems than marriage, but I guess either one is fair game) can do so in the Comments section below.
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