When does a successful LMS implementation begin?
The day you decide to invest in a new learning management system.
From that moment on, thoughtful planning will consistently save your company time and frustration, up to and beyond the launch of your new LMS.
So before we discuss day one of your actual physical implementation of the LMS, we need to assume your LMS team has previously done the following:
- Defined must-have technical requirements in a document following your discussions with key stakeholders
- Test-driven a short list of LMSs in scenarios that reflect your company’s most common usage
- Opted for a cloud-based LMS for an implementation faster and easier than one for an on-premise solution.
Furthermore, your LMS has an API (Application Programming Interface) that enables the LMS to connect seamlessly with your other business systems, like the CRM and HRIS.
- Vetted the references and peer reviews of your preferred provider, either by contacting references or using trusted review sites such as Capterra and G2.
Now you’re ready to build on your early success in LMS implementation.
1. Define the roles of your team members
Every person on your implementation and operations teams needs to know their role and responsibilities: from the project leader and power users to the IT staff and executives.
Develop an implementation plan that carefully breaks down all the steps from the moment you connect with your LMS provider to the instant you go live. Make sure that the team members have easy access to this plan.
Sit with your communications team and develop a plan for updating your stakeholders in a timely way. Your project leader will follow up to ensure this plan is carried out. Remember, when your stakeholders are well-informed in a timely way, everybody will be better prepared for any unexpected challenges.
Decide what user role each team member will have within the LMS. An LMS provides various pre-defined roles for its users, offering different levels of access to its features. For example, an administrator may be able to access all features while an editor can only access course content and creation. Ask your LMS provider for a detailed explanation of each user role so you can best match the roles to your team, and get started on the right foot.
2. Develop your implementation or migration plan
Whether you’re setting up your first LMS or migrating from a legacy system to a new one, this phase of the process can potentially be stressful. Planning and meticulous testing upstream in the process can forestall bigger potential problems downstream.
If this is your first LMS, ensure that your course content is ready to be integrated into the platform.
If you’re working with a legacy system, you and your team have already decided what content to migrate and what not to. You’ve planned for the replacement, if needed, of elements you’re leaving behind. You’ve noted the export format of each element.
Now review that list with your LMS provider. During configuration of the new LMS, you want to ensure that your legacy data and operations are taken into account by your new system’s data fields, functions, and capabilities.
An LMS that enables you to add custom fields and set your parameters simplifies implementation, so you can migrate user information, profiles, course data, and course-related media in part or in bulk.
Partnering with a provider who can customize development for you, should you need it, simplifies implementation. If your migration is quite complex, look for a provider that offers migration support services.
Furthermore, an LMS with an API full of connection possibilities can facilitate the transfer of information.
Lastly, an LMS with an intuitive interface makes it easy to brand your new system with your corporate identity’s imagery and colors — that saves you headaches and dollars!
3. Take advantage of technical and customer support
Top-tier LMSs are both relatively easy to implement and use. Often you can do an implementation by yourself. Ideally, your LMS should offer a knowledge base, such as a collection of guides and tutorials, that can help your team get comfortable fast with your new tool.
If you need additional support on a variety of subjects, like data migration, content input, customizations, and administrator training, your vendor should be equipped to help.
That’s because, as part of your careful vetting of providers in the evaluation phase of your LMS purchase, you asked them thoughtful questions:
- Can you support us in the use of the LMS?
- Are your teams ready and able to help input content?
- Can you customize the functionalities of the platform?
- Can your team support us during the change management phase and afterwards, when other questions may arise?
- What kind of service packages and training do you offer? Do these packages fit our needs?
These conversations with your potential vendor (and an evaluation of their references) should leave you with peace of mind regarding the quality of their support and expertise.
4. Test drive your new LMS
Before any learner ever connects to the new LMS, have your team and LMS provider test it.
Provide them with specific scenarios of interaction that reflect your company’s most common usage of the system.
Test repeatedly until you’re confident that the LMS is acting as it should.
Learning new things is challenging, whether it’s administrators or learners adapting to new software. Fortunately, you did your homework before signing a contract with your provider.
You made sure that your LMS interface pleases the eye, is easy to use and learn, and eliminates any obstacle to learning. Moreover, the mobile version of the LMS is very user-friendly because the system has been designed with a mobile-first perspective.
So when you invite a group of learners who aren’t from your implementation team to try out the new system, they should have an easy, pleasant experience.
What’s more, since they’re new to everything, you’ll get fresh perspectives on what may or may not be working for them.
When you’ve responded satisfactorily to any concerns, invite the whole company to try out the new LMS.
5. Sleep well regarding online security
Given the amount of learner information and e-Learning materials stored in your LMS, your peace of mind demands that this information be kept secure.
Assuming that your LMS is cloud-based, your pre-purchase interviews with potential providers would have covered security-related questions:
- Does this LMS comply with the best cyber standards, including ISO/IEC 27001, GDPR, and others?
- Is the cloud-based server secure?
- Do the applications include appropriate authentication and encryption procedures to protect the data?
- What is the disaster recovery plan? Does it have appropriate redundancy, backup, and fall-back methods?
From LMS selection to launch doesn’t have to be a long daunting process. You can start gradually by offering a few courses, and then expand on your training offer from there.
As with any successful change management process, thoughtful planning is key.
By choosing to collaborate with an expert and experienced LMS partner, you can transform this process into a low-risk, smooth step forward into an exciting future. Many companies trust uxpertise LMS to manage their training, contact our team to learn more.