5 Steps For Implementing New LMS For Your Training Program
Choosing what LMS to use can be quite a challenge in itself, but that is just the beginning. By selecting the right LMS platform, you just win half the battle as lack of appropriate planning may lead to extreme delays in implementation. You need to run, test, improve, and integrate it into your organisational system to fully leverage its potential and impact. A Learning Management System is the foundation of a company’s learning strategy, and before it goes live, you need to make sure that you perform all the necessary steps for a smooth implementation process.
Here are five steps for implementing a new LMS:
The first step in the process is creating a project plan. It involves having a clear understanding of what your training goals are, what are the metrics, and what kind of results you are expecting from it. Mostly, organisations follow the SMART (Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant, and Time-bound) model, which helps you decide a final deadline for your implementation plan. Once you have clear objectives, you need to create a realistic timeline that tells when specific tasks need to be carried out. Additionally, you need to plan who is supposed to do what and define everyone’s role for different responsibilities like setting up LMS, integrating it with existing systems, evaluating the initial rollout, and then final launch.
You need people that will help you to execute your LMS implementation project plan. You will have to create a core team that is responsible for the end-to-end implementation and act as a point of contact for decision-making. This team usually comprises experts from diverse backgrounds such as team leaders, project managers, eLearning specialists, LMS administrators, IT architects, L&D managers, and HR personnel. The team can be a combination of in-house experts, consultants, and third-party vendors, depending on your project’s budget. You might also need an extended team to manage the course material, training, and registration after successful implementation of your LMS.
Integration and migration
Your LMS can be integrated with several systems, including human resources management system (HRMS), Enterprise resource planning (ERP), Customer relationship management (CRM) and content management system. The number of user accounts and system you intend to integrate with new LMS also impacts its implementation timeline. About data migration, if you are moving from a legacy LMS, the key decision depends on which courses, data, and instructional assets need to be transferred to the new LMS. You need to review your existing training content and modules to know if they can be migrated within the new learning system. Because even if your course is SCORM compliant, it may need adjustments to work in your new LMS.
Trial and testing
Before the final implementation, you should do a pilot roll-out to test your LMS among your internal staff or extended enterprise users. Use this trial process to check different features like learner profiles, course delivery, completion tracking, reports generation, etc. You can also get feedback on your LMS’ functionality by performing a user acceptance test. To execute the same, you can write down all of the functions that a user needs to perform within the system and assign your technical team to test every steps and feature. Also, as the trial is going on, you can frame an LMS launch plan and start communicating with all stakeholders, perhaps via an email campaign, about the launch of your new LMS training program.
Once you are done with the above steps, you can now make the new LMS platform live for the users. However, the process of LMS implementation does not stop at the launch as you need to continuously measure its impact and optimise content, add more courses, and elevate the user experience. You need to embrace a continuous improvement mindset wherein you need to keep working on improving the processes, functionalities, and features for better engagement and adoption. Try to get user feedback, analyse data, asses technical performance like page uploads, time to upload, and overall user experience to achieve the best training results.
You can grow the capacity and functionality of your LMS over time. To kickstart, you can simply focus on creating a user-friendly design and high-quality content that adds value to your training goals. Make sure that you have people in place who can take care of end-user concerns and issues to help you deliver the best learning experience to your employees or extended enterprise users.