9 LMS Best Practices To Implement A Learning Management System

9 LMS Best Practices To Implement A Learning Management System
Summary: 'LMS Best Practices' is a series of articles that distils our 13+ years of experience in the eLearning domain, across industries and verticals world-wide, which will help you with all aspects of Learning Management Systems - from Selection to Implementation and beyond.

How To Implement A Learning Management System

After several sessions of deliberating and reflecting upon the pros and cons of an LMS, your organization has finally locked in upon the idea. By now, it has been well established that a Learning Management System is one of the best investments that you can rely upon to train your employees, upgrade their knowledge regularly and ensure that they stay compliant at all times. The basics are in place: Extensive organizational analysis to lay out what exactly the LMS is to deliver, meticulous search for the correct vendor, negotiations for the best contract possible and so on. Psst! While you take a stock of things to be done while selecting an LMS, it is also important to know what you should not do.

Now comes the most interesting part of them all: the actual implementation of the LMS. The successful implementation of an LMS requires solid support and scrupulous planning especially considering the wide range of impact the system is going to have, not just on your organization, but its employees and management too.

With a little bit of groundwork and a proper plan in place, implementing an LMS can be one of the most beneficial and profitable moves for your organization. Here are a few steps that you can follow to ensure a smooth implementation:

1. Identify Τhe Objectives

Before the actual process of implementation begins, it helps to list down what kind of goals are to be met. Assigning a timeline to the goals and objectives helps since there maybe some that are an ‘absolute must’ for the success of your organization, while there may be some that are looked at as ideal/ good-to-meet. It makes sense to focus on the essentials first before going to the latter.

2. Build A Proficient Team

Once the objectives are set-out, the next step is to create a stellar team that will actually spearhead the LMS implementation process. The team needs to have representatives from eclectic sections spanning across the organization including HR, IT, Training/Learning, Management etc. You can lay out a timeline for the team to meet at a macro level, but it is their job to now come up with a master plan to take the process of implementation forward.

3. Get Top Management On-Board

An LMS is not something that you want to skimp on. Therefore, it’s a must to have the management’s support. After all that is where the commercial aspect will be handled. So, keeping the management in the loop about all the going-ons of the process is a good starting point.

4. Enlist Stakeholder Support

If you don’t get your stakeholders on board early on in the process, there are chances that all efforts in the groundwork would be wasted. The first step is working out who your stakeholders are and understanding their roles. Stakeholders are the individuals and groups who are directly or indirectly affected by the LMS. If these people do not throw their support behind the system, chances are it can fall apart, meaning wasted time and money.

5. Develop A Strategy To Provide Proper Training

Having adequate technical support is imperative from the beginning stages of design to managing issues that may arise after implementation. Before the implementation, ensure that you have put together the proper training materials for your instructors, management, and employees so everyone is on the same page when it comes to utilizing the LMS to its fullest potential. This training plan has to cover not just how to use the LMS but also when to use it. By the end of the training period, your team should be well aware of the product and have in-depth of knowledge of it.

6. Get your IT team Geared-Up

Implementation of an LMS can be a daunting task if your IT team –the one that will be omnipresent with its technical support– is ill-prepared. The IT team is responsible for the effective migration of data and any other IT-related tasks during the implementation process. These can include software authentication, system configurations, data security management and solution integrations. Getting them onboard is essential for the smooth running of the process.

7. Ensure Proper Configuration

The bulk of the implementation process will be configuring the LMS to your company’s needs. To do this effectively, your team needs a strong understanding of the operations of your company and the necessary data for those operations. Your vendor can help you understand on the LMS’s capabilities and functions.

8. Conduct Discussions With Stakeholders

Good communication channels are the best way to ease out the process of deploying the LMS. Conduct focus groups with key stakeholders, key users and departments so that the most vital needs, problems and objectives are understood and addressed. LMS roll outs that catch employees unaware can have a devastating impact.

9. Keep The Post-Implementation Plan Ready

The LMS implementation does not end at launch. Instead, it is merely the beginning of the journey. Ensure that the foundation for help-desk support and training is secured. Make sure that your help desk is prepared with the necessary documentation.

If you have ticked the boxes for each of these aforesaid steps and added in a few from your side for good measure, you are all set for that game changing process in your company!