WorkRamp Communities is now available.


How to Build a Strong LMS Business Case in 2024

Getting stakeholder buy-in can sometimes be an uphill battle. So, what if you need new learning software or want to transition to a new platform but are facing budget constraints?  

Focusing on the features or technical specs of a Learning Management System (LMS) is only a small part of a comprehensive business case that gets results. A solid LMS business case digs deep into how the learning system will solve real problems, improve performance, and align learning and development with business strategy

It zeroes in on tangible benefits and quantifiable returns. Rather than selling a list of features, you’re selling solutions. Your ultimate goal is clearly showing that an LMS isn’t a luxury or a nice-to-have but a strategic decision that pays off.  

What is an LMS business case?

An LMS business case is not a wish list. It’s a structured argument that proves the need and value of implementing a learning management system within your organization.

It presents concrete data and logical reasoning to show that investing in an LMS will solve specific problems, enhance learning, and ultimately increase a company’s bottom line. Businesses prioritizing employee development make a median revenue of $169k per employee

Rather than vague promises and assumptions, your LMS business case needs to pinpoint exact issues—poor compliance rates, inconsistent training, or wasted resources—and demonstrate how an LMS offers a practical solution. 

A bulletproof business case requires data, comparisons, and real-life examples.

What to include in your LMS business case

When crafting your LMS business case, each section must contribute to a sound and convincing argument. 

Be sure to include each component below to cover all your bases and leave no room for doubt.

Executive summary

What it is: The executive summary is your opening punch. It encapsulates your entire argument in a concise and clear statement, and ideally, it’s designed to catch the attention of decision-makers from the get-go.

What to include: 

  • Problem statement: Clearly define what issue or gap the LMS will address
  • Proposed solution: Explain that an LMS is the strategic choice for resolving the identified problem
  • Expected ROI: Use numbers to highlight the anticipated return on investment or cost savings
  • Key performance metrics: List what metrics will be used to measure the LMS’s effectiveness over what period and why 
  • Urgency: If it applies, point out why immediate action is beneficial for the organization

Supporting evidence

What it is: Supporting evidence is the backbone of your case. It’s where you prove your claims are more than just words. 

Include any statistics, research, demos, or case studies you can find to support your argument.

What to include: 

  • Hard data: Use numbers that show the inefficiency or cost of current training methods. For example, companies with comprehensive training programs have a 24% higher profit margin
  • Case studies: Include examples of similar organizations that successfully implemented an LMS
  • Cost-benefit analysis: Show a side-by-side comparison of existing training costs versus projected LMS costs and benefits
  • Industry benchmarks: Present industry standards or averages to further justify the investment
  • Testimonials or expert opinions: Cite third-party endorsements that affirm the effectiveness of an LMS in addressing the stated problem
  • Risk assessment: Identify potential risks and provide safeguards to show you’ve done your due diligence.

For example, learning management platforms like the Learning Cloud from WorkRamp publish case studies around business outcomes that are directly tied to the introduction of a solid learning platform.

Consider sharing case studies like this one from Quantum Metrics, which was able to implement a company-wide L&D motion with WorkRamp’s platform.

Highlight outcomes from the case study can take your argument a long way. 

With WorkRamp, Quantum Metric has been able to:

  • Build over 50+ product training paths in just a few weeks
  • Train and certify 75% of its customers on product offerings
  • Award 1,000+ certifications in the first year
  • Effectively onboard 90 new employees in 90 days

LMS implementation team members

What it is: The LMS implementation team is responsible for successfully deploying the learning management system. 

Their collective skillsets ensure that the system not only goes live but also meets its objectives and integrates seamlessly with existing workflows.

What to include:

  • Project manager: Oversees the entire LMS implementation process, ensuring milestones are met and team members are accountable
  • IT specialist: Handles the technical aspects like system integration and resolving any tech-related issues
  • HR representative: This stakeholder makes sure the system aligns with broader HR objectives like compliance, employee engagement, and career development
  • Legal advisor/procurement specialist: They review contracts, terms, and conditions to ensure the implementation is compliant with legal and regulatory standards

Budget and cost considerations

What it is: Budget and cost considerations involve thoroughly accounting for the financial aspects of implementing an LMS. This section doesn’t just outline what you’ll spend, though. 

It also factors in where you’ll save and earn back your investment. Ensure you thoroughly cover cost considerations versus the expected return from the incurred expenses. 

What to include: 

  • Initial setup costs: Detail the upfront fees for licensing, installation, and content development
  • Ongoing expenses: List recurring costs such as maintenance fees, software updates, and subscription charges
  • ROI projections: Provide conservative and optimistic estimates of return on investment based on anticipated outcomes and performance improvements
  • Funding sources: Pinpoint where the money for the LMS will come from, whether it’s a specific budget allocation or another revenue stream

ROI estimations 

What it is: Return on Investment (ROI) estimations are projections of the financial returns you expect from investing in a learning management system

This part of your business case isn’t guesswork—it’s a carefully calculated forecast based on data and realistic assumptions.

What to include: 

  • Cost savings: Itemize how much you’ll save by eliminating or reducing existing training expenses like venue rentals or printed materials
  • Revenue growth: Estimate any expected increase in revenue resulting from better-trained employees or more efficient workflows
  • Time savings: Quantify the amount of time saved by employees and trainers, and translate this into monetary value
  • Payback period: Calculate how long it will take for the LMS to pay for itself through savings and additional revenue

LMS implementation project plan 

What it is: The LMS implementation project plan is a detailed roadmap that outlines the tasks, timelines, and resources needed to roll out your LMS successfully.

What to include: 

  • Milestones: List the key stages of the project, from initial planning to finding an LMS with must-have features to full implementation
  • Task assignments: Specify who is responsible for each task and what their training deliverables are
  • Timelines: Attach a timeframe to each task and milestone, making sure to account for any contingencies
  • Resource allocation: Detail the tools, manpower, and budget that will be devoted to each part of the project

Read more: 9+ Steps for an Effective LMS Implementation Project Plan

Final summary

What it is: The final summary is your closing argument. It summarizes the business case by highlighting the key points and compelling reasons for an LMS implementation. 

This is your last chance to drive home the urgency and importance of your proposal.

What to include: 

  • Problem recap: Quickly revisit the issue or gap that the LMS will address
  • Solution summary: Briefly summarize how the LMS will solve this problem effectively
  • ROI recap: Reiterate the anticipated financial benefits, focusing on the most compelling metrics
  • Next steps: Clearly outline what actions should be taken immediately following the approval of the business case. Consider this the call to action at the end of your presentation that’ll compel stakeholders to move forward

Improve your LMS business case

To secure approval for your LMS plan, your business case must be robust and persuasive. 

Follow these crucial tips and best practices to position your case. 

1. Determine the limitations of your current learning processes

If it applies, start by auditing your existing training methods. Identify gaps, inefficiencies, and areas for improvement in your L&D initiatives. Are your employee training plans living in siloed applications? Are your training sessions suffering from low attendance or poor engagement? Specific problems call for specific solutions, and clearly pinpointing these issues will strengthen your case for an LMS.

Additionally, collect data on the real-world impacts—namely the costs—of these limitations. But beyond costs, consider questions like: 

  • Are customer satisfaction scores dropping due to inadequate employee training
  • Do you face legal risks due to inconsistent compliance training? 
  • Are your employee retention rates low due to a lack of reskilling or cross-training efforts? 

Be sure to quantify the impact of these challenges to show why they can’t be ignored.

2. Find the right LMS

Taking the time to select a solid learning management solution like WorkRamp, which has proven ROI, will significantly strengthen your business case. 

Decision-makers are more likely to approve a platform with a track record of delivering results—especially when they see you’ve done the work of vetting a provider that delivers

Consider showcasing specific examples of how an LMS successfully addressed the exact issues you’ve highlighted within your organization. Point to case studies, comparative datasheets, or ROI metrics that underline its effectiveness.

3. Get stakeholder support

Securing stakeholder buy-in is often half the battle. This is why it’s vital to identify key decision-makers and influencers within your organization early on. Don’t just send them the business case—take the time to present it. 

Explain how an LMS solves specific pain points—whether the CFO is worried about costs or department heads are concerned about effective training. Then, go a step further and involve them in the process. Ask for their input on key features or pain points to be addressed. 

People support what they help create. By involving stakeholders in your planning, you not only strengthen your case but also pave the way for smoother implementation down the line.

Improve your LMS business case

You’ve got one shot at convincing decision-makers that an LMS is a game-changer for your organization. Make it count. 

A well-crafted business case isn’t just another presentation deck—it’s your roadmap to stakeholder buy-in and real bottom line results. 

Finding the best platform for your needs will help to strengthen your business case. Discover how the Learning Cloud can help you create a culture of learning and develop employee and customer training that drives results. 

Contact us to schedule a free, personalized demo. 


Complete the form for a custom demo.

Michael Keenan

WorkRamp Contributor

Michael is a SaaS marketer living in Guadalajara, Mexico. Through storytelling and data-driven content, his focus is providing valuable insight and advice on issues that prospects and customers care most about. He’s inspired by learning people’s stories, climbing mountains, and traveling with his partner and Xoloitzcuintles.

Ready to Explore Online Learning Platforms?

Get in touch to learn how WorkRamp can help you achieve your training goals.

Request a Demo