So, you have decided to switch to a new Learning Management System in your organization. Great! That’s a pivotal step in upgrading your employees’ skillset. However, change can be daunting. Many apprehensions will arise regarding if this new digital learning platform can realize your vision. Afterall, it is a huge investment. For your LMS to fulfil the desired output, you need to first ensure that the LMS has been successfully deployed in a smooth fashion. You will need a full-proof LMS implementation plan.
Worry not! Before any concerns cloud your vision to use the new LMS to its full potential, we have curated the six best practices to successfully implement an LMS.
1. Form a LMS implementation team
Multiple departments in your organization will use the LMS. Assemble at least one member from each team such as IT, HR, Sales, L&D to help you with the implementation process. Your team should ideally consist of:
A Team Leader: The team leader will supervise the complete implementation process. They will also be responsible to maintain a regular cadence with the LMS vendor and troubleshoot any issues that arise during the implementation process. Overall, they need to put the LMS implementation best practises in action.
An eLearning Technology Specialist:This individual will be responsible for migrating coursewares and eLearning tools from your legacy learning platform to the new LMS. Besides, he/she will also need to look into interoperability testing along with setting the content creation process aligning to the defined learning objectives.
A Learning and Development Admin: He/she will be responsible for any L&D administrative needs which include certification and compliance, course structures, user reports, demographics, and so on. The training administrator plays a crucial role in configuring the LMS in the correct manner in order to achieve the organizational goals.AProject Manager:An adept project manager is crucial to the success of implementing an LMS. This individual will be primarily responsible for monitoring all the tasks, dependencies, resource assignments and ensuring all the milestones and deadlines are met.
An IT Expert: An IT expert will handle multiple system issues right from hosting to installing. He/she will also look into security, data migration, interaction with other systems, and so on.
2. Establish implementation timeframe
If you have opted for a LMS that is hosted on-premise, it can take anywhere between 6 to 12 months. Whereas, a vendor-hosted solution, normally called as a cloud-based LMS can take up to 3 to 9 months. Other factors such as the number of user accounts, software programs that need to be migrated to the LMS also contribute to the timeframe. It’s advisable to take into account all the variability and complexity before you set the actual launch deadline.
3. Prepare for migrating data
Irrespective of whether you are implementing an LMS for the first time or switching from a legacy platform, it is critical to decide which data, courses, or instructional assets need to be transferred and which need to be archived. When transitioning from an old to new system, you need to first check the file compatibility. Have your IT person assess the coursewares and other resources to make sure they can be easily integrated with the new LMS.
4. Have a trial run
Before you officially launch the new LMS to the external audience, have a group of employees or extended enterprise users test it out first. Document any bugs or issues that arise during the trail run. Report them back to the LMS implementation team or the LMS vendor and get them fixed. You can also offer LMS training programs to the users on how best to utilize the software. This can be done in-person or via a webinar. You can check with your LMS vendor on the training options that they provide.
5. Launch the new LMS
Once you have checked all the boxes of the implementation process, notify all the employees through emails about the transition to the new portal. There might be different scenarios of transitioning. You would have to keep running your legacy platform in parallel to the new one or you might opt to gradually phase out the old system and start adopting the new one. In any case, give ample time to your employees to get comfortable with the new platform. Have all the data secure and necessary information/software integrated with the new system. Only then, make the complete switchover.
6. Assess and collect data
After concluding the entire LMS implementation process and launching it to the wider audience, keep reviewing how the users are adopting it. Circulate evaluation forms to the users and collect feedback on how many users logged into the system, how user-friendly did they find the system. Did they face any technical glitches? Gather user satisfaction scores. These stats will give you a glimpse into the technical performance of the LMS at the beginning and point out any issues that need immediate attention.
Make sure to always look for areas of improvements even after implementing the LMS. While the LMS is in operation, look for ways to optimize the user experience, content, and troubleshoot any technical glitches. Consult your LMS vendor when selecting the LMS about the best practices to have a smooth implementation.