7 Steps to a successful LMS implementation
Read Time: 4 minutes
You’ve spent months vetting potential vendors, participating in demos, selecting a partner, and preparing your learning and development team for the rollout. Now, it’s time to implement your new LMS. Don’t let obstacles ruin your plan to unveil a great LMS. Here are seven tips to ensure a smooth, successful LMS implementation.
1. Stick to your Plan
Your plan for implementing a new LMS has undoubtedly changed since its initial creation, but the framework, goals, and deadlines should still be mostly intact. Review your initial plan to make sure that your new LMS will solve the business challenges you outlined. Your plan and a well-organized project manager should keep you on track to achieve your milestones and launch deadline.
Your plan should also keep your “why” at the front of your mind. When facing hurdles, remember why you decided to implement a new LMS in the first place. We assign a dedicated project manager, learning solutions advisor, and technical support specialist to each client to ensure that we stick closely to clients’ plan, timeline, and “why”. We also provide project management software to allow for constant project tracking and communication.
2. Clean your Data
Before you send your LMS vendor user lists, courses, and other data, take time to review and clean your existing data. Many LMS vendors charge for data integration and uploads, and others charge for users in your system. Work with your learning and development team to make sure you’re providing the most up-to-date data so that you’re not charged for dormant or expired user accounts.
3. Create a Content Plan
What good is your new LMS without training content, resources, and videos that will create behavior change among your learners?
Pre-launch is a good time to assess your content. Ask your LMS administrators for statistics on course completion and engagement, then determine which courses are performing best. Talk with your training group, and your learners, to find out what other courses or learning paths your employees would find useful.
One of the most sustainable methods for engaging learners is to create custom content. A specially-made eLearning course that includes knowledge checks, multimedia, and real-world scenarios is much more effective than an off-the-shelf solution that contains general and impersonal content.
4. Develop a Benchmark
When you’re generating those statistics, pull a full report on your current LMS. Gather as many statistics and metrics as possible so that you can set a benchmark for the success of your new LMS. In six months, you’ll be able to look back at usage rates, course completion, retention and satisfaction, and more, and compare those metrics to those of your new LMS. This comparison will help you and your vendor to adjust and configure your new LMS for growth.
We perform quarterly reviews with our clients to make sure their new LMS is performing as planned. We help them to generate and compare metrics, and we put in place measurement tactics to ensure that their LMS evolves with them.
5. Plan for Growth
Hopefully, you’ve chosen an LMS vendor with your company’s growth in mind. If you plan to expand your departments or add your channel partners to your LMS for an extended enterprise approach, make sure you know how much ramp-up time your vendor needs. Plan for the added costs for new instances, integrations, support hours, and users, so that you’re not pigeon-holed into an LMS that can’t keep up with your growth.
6. Create Expert Administrators
To eliminate support hours and provide the best experience for your users, you’ll need to create expert administrators for your new LMS. Your administrators should be a part of your LMS planning, testing, and implementation so that they understand the system. Your vendor should provide in-depth training, documentation, and support to your administrators so that when it’s time to launch, your administrator can train others on how to use the system.
7. Launch and Market
You’ve made it! After months of planning, it’s time to implement your new LMS. No matter how great it is, you still have to convince your learners to use it. Driving people to a solution can be incredibly challenging if you don’t have a marketing strategy. Think about your LMS as a new product. How would you let your employees know where to find the product, how to operate it, and why they should “buy in”? Ideally, you can work with your LMS vendor to map out a marketing strategy for unveiling your new LMS and bringing learners to the platform.