6 Steps To A Successful LMS Implementation Process
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The LMS Implementation Process: Steps, Strategy, And Tips

You’ve finally made the decision to either replace your old Learning Management System with a new one or implement an LMS for the first time. In either case, what will your LMS implementation process be? This article will walk you through the whole process.

Best Practices To Successfully Implement A Learning Management System
Discover how to successfully implement a Learning Management System, whether you replace your old LMS with a new system, or you’ve finally decided to implement an LMS for the first time.

1. Pick Your LMS Implementation Team

The LMS likely touches on several operations within your organization. So in building a team to oversee the LMS implementation process, connect team members from those various departments, such as HR, IT, and Learning and Development.

If your LMS works with external partners, such as channel partners or contractors, bring those individuals on the team as well. However, experts advise keeping the team as small as possible to ensure the LMS implementation process remains highly focused.

Once you assemble the team, establish individual roles. Here are some vital players:

  • Team leader
    This person oversees the overall LMS implementation to completion, working directly with the LMS vendor and dealing with any issues that arise.
  • Project manager
    The project manager tracks all significant milestones in the LMS implementation process to ensure all deadlines are met.
  • eLearning specialist
    Your legacy training platform contains many eLearning tools and courseware. The eLearning specialist supervises the transfer or development of content to the new system during LMS implementation.
  • L&D administrator
    As this individual supervises the L&D program, he or she ensures the LMS matches organizational goals through the course structure, certification, compliance, and user reports.
  • IT expert
    Since LMS implementation requires a high level of technical expertise; an IT expert manages the integration process with other systems within your enterprise.

Throughout the implementation process, the LMS platform partner works closely with your team members. Open communication between your team and your partner is key. This ensures implementation coordinates with your goals and happens within your timeframe.

2. Establish An LMS Implementation Plan And Timeline

How long the LMS implementation process takes depends on which type of LMS you choose. An on-premises LMS installed on your own server may take longer than a hosted or cloud-based LMS in which the system is housed on the vendor’s server. The LMS vendor or your IT department can provide a better estimate of the time span.

The number of user accounts and software programs you intend to migrate into and integrate with the LMS also impacts the LMS implementation timeline. Be realistic in your timeline, and budget enough time to meet each benchmark before the actual launch.

3. Prepare For Data Migration

How long the LMS implementation process takes depends on which type of LMS you choose. An on-premises LMS installed on your own server may take longer than a hosted or cloud-based LMS in which the system is housed on the vendor’s server. The LMS vendor or your IT department can provide a better estimate of the time span.

The number of user accounts and software programs you intend to migrate into and integrate with the LMS also impacts the LMS implementation timeline. Be realistic in your timeline, and budget enough time to meet each benchmark before the actual launch.

Whether you are transitioning from a legacy LMS or implementing an LMS for the first time, a key decision centers on which courses, data, and instructional assets are to be transferred to the new system.

Transfer only those courses and data absolutely necessary for the upgraded LMS and archive the remainder. Check with your legal department to see which files must be kept. (Course completions records and Record of Prior Learning fall into that category.)

If you’re switching from a legacy LMS to a new one, have your IT expert review your instructional assets to ensure they can be integrated within the new LMS. Even if SCORM compliant, the courses may need adjustments to work in the new system.

4. Make A Trial Run And Offer Training

Before completing the LMS implementation process and officially launching the new system, test the new LMS among a group of handpicked users, be they internal staff or extended enterprise users such as channel partners or contractors.

For the preliminary LMS trial, prepare a test case your administrators and users can run through. Document any issues that crop up and report those to the team members and the LMS vendor.

Then, offer a training program to your internal users and external partners who will utilize the LMS. This training can be delivered via a webinar or in-person instruction. Again, your LMS vendor provides guidance on which training options are available (make sure to find out if there are extra fees involved).

Also during this period, formulate an LMS implementation rollout plan with your LMS vendor. Alert all stakeholders—perhaps via an email campaign—about the launch and when it will happen.

5. Switch To The New LMS

As one of the final steps in the LMS implementation process, switching to the new LMS can be accomplished several ways:

  • A complete changeover done overnight.
  • A gradual phase out of the old LMS and phase in of the new system.
  • Run both systems in parallel prior to the changeover.

In any case, alert your colleagues of any blackout period between when the old system goes offline and the new LMS is live. Discuss with your LMS provider and team the best LMS implementation switchover process for your needs.

Some experts advise running both systems in parallel as that preserves data integrity and gives users a chance to become more comfortable on the new system. Once data is secure and all parties are ready, make the full switchover to the new LMS.

6. Assess And Wrap Up

Once the LMS implementation process is complete and when the new system has been in operation for a period of time, review how the process went for all involved. Pinpoint any technical glitches that may have hampered the launch and correct those.

Additionally, conduct the following evaluation as you wrap up your LMS implementation: Assess how many users logged onto the system and how they progressed through it. Did they complete the courses? How did they score? Scores and user satisfaction don’t tell the entire story of how well the LMS performed in terms of organization goals. But in the beginning, such stats provide insight into the technical performance of the LMS, including page uploads, time to upload, and overall user experience.

Final Word

The LMS implementation process doesn’t end at the time of the launch. Always look for ways to improve the system, optimize content, add more courses, and perfect the user experience for as long as the LMS is in operation.

The best training platforms have created, tested, and refined very successful LMS implementation plans. When selecting an LMS vendor, make sure you ask questions around the implementation process. If you want to learn more about a successful LMS implementation, download the eBook Best Practices To Successfully Implement A Learning Management System.

eBook Release: Northpass
Northpass
Northpass powers modern learning programs at some of the worlds fastest-growing businesses, like Lyft and Shopify. Train your people, customers, and partners with our easy-to-use software, and let our team of experts guide you to success.
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