The Top 3 LMS Admin Headaches, And How To Avoid Them

How To Avoid The Most Common LMS Admin Headaches

Does this scenario sound all too familiar to you…

To keep your Learning Management System relevant, you’ve had to add layers and layers of complexity. But while this complexity keeps learners happy, with easier LMS access and broader functionality, your admins are starting to pull their hair out. The more complexity that’s added on, the more frustrated they become.

The new reality for LMS admins is that there are never enough hours in the day to complete their tasks because:

  • LMS workflows are cumbersome and painfully slow.
  • Learning tasks are incredibly complex and non-intuitive.
  • There’s a never-ending stream of “SOS” calls and emails from confused, frustrated or downright angry learners.

Not to worry, I can help! As a longtime LMS admin, I now help our LMS customers’ admins streamline their learning workflows. And I’ve used this experience to identify the top three most common LMS admin headaches, and the simple detours you can take to avoid them.

LMS Admin Headache #1: Ineffective Communication

Your Detour─Focus on quality of messages instead of quantity

It’s a simple fact of life that we are bombarded 24/7/365 with messages. How we communicate has irrevocably changed. So, if you want your learning messages to be heard and understood, you need to make them clear, concise and meaningful. Here’s how to start:

  1. Get to know your audience(s).
    Do they prefer to be emailed? Receive alerts? Texted? What social media do they prefer? Can you find a way to place or embed your messages there?
  2. Win their attention.
    If you’re competing with 1,000s of other messages, you need to make your stand out from the crowd. Viral videos are a great template. They’re usually funny and short. Replacing text with eye-catching images and charts or graphs is also a great best practice. And lastly, make your message’s call-to-action as convenient as possible. For example, instead of telling learners where they can find a course and how to register for it, just email them a direct link. No confusion, and immediate action!*
  3. Don’t waste learners time.
    Know when to say when. If you over-communicate with learners, they’ll eventually tune you out. So, only message learners when you have something of real value to express. Take a WIIFM (What’s In It For Me) approach, but with the learner’s perspective in mind. This will ensure your communications are welcomed and actually read or seen. Quality over quantity!

*Note: If you’d like more help with how to create short, high-impact messaging, watch this on-demand microlearning webinar.

LMS Admin Headache #2: Governance Gone Wrong

Your Detour—Get executive buy-in early and often

Document. Document. Document! Whether you just implemented a new LMS or you’re just starting to look at vendors, do your due diligence. Good governance will reduce LMS frustrations and raise its ongoing success. You can also remedy potential headaches by securing an executive sponsor early on for any and all LMS initiatives, and keeping all of your stakeholders in mind when making critical decisions. Being proactive will pay off big.

A couple of other tips to keep in mind:

  • Embrace the LMS Expert role.
    This will help get stakeholder buy-in on new initiatives and workflows, and help you better adopt new LMS features and process efficiencies as they are rolled out.
  • Don’t forget to document everything.
    Creating Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) will liberate you from answering unnecessary questions and enable you to take a few days off without worrying that your entire learning program will come to a halt.

LMS Admin Headache #3: Poor User Adoption

Your Detour—Be strategic in your rollout and follow through

Okay. So, let’s say that you’ve improved your communications (short, sweet and to the point) and done your governance… but people are still slow to adopt your new LMS. What’s the problem here? No one really loves change, so you need to give the rollout some time and implement a strategic plan. You can’t afford to leave the acceptance of your new learning management system up to chance!

Here’s the advice I’ve given to my most successful LMS implementation customers:

  • Start slow and keep things simple.
    There’s no need go to from 0 to 60 on week/month/year one. Think strategically to see what’s needed first, then go from there. For example, hiding the LMS modules that you don’t yet need. Also, keep your communications consistent. Use the same terms and titles as found in the LMS; create help guides and SOPs; proactively address emerging trouble areas or frequently asked questions; and so on.
  • Extend your technology’s reach.
    Some modern LMSs can extend the same learner features and conveniences to admins and visa-versa. So, if you see an area that’s a big help or one that users love, see if you can extend it to other user audiences, such as employees, partners or instructors. Maybe this means mobile access for admins and managers? Or placing dynamic shareable links (i.e. help links) in the social media sites or software programs that your employees regularly visit? The technology is there. So, let it do the heavy lifting.
  • Collaboration is key.
    You’ve heard the expression “It takes a village to raise a child”? Well think of the LMS as your baby and get as much help as you can. Collaborate with your peers and professional groups. Ask about their hurdles or frustrations and how they overcame them. Better yet, reach out to your LMS provider. They want to keep you as a customer, so they’re heavily invested in your success. They also know the ins and outs of their learning system. So, they can save you a lot of time, and headaches, when you’re developing a rollout strategy or onboarding new LMS features and functionality.

Hopefully this article gave you new hope on how to alleviate common LMS admin headaches. If you’d like to learn about two others on governance and data segmentation, watch this on-demand webinar: The Top 5 LMS Admin Headaches, and How to Avoid Them.

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