Congratulations on selecting a learning management system! Now, get ready for the essential first step to boosting your organization's bottom line: LMS implementation. The right platform lets you scale learning and simplify eLearning development and delivery. And improved tracking and reporting should mean bigger returns on your training investment.
An efficient rollout of your new LMS reduces cost and disruption by getting admins and learners up to speed—and productive—quickly. These four tips will prepare you for a smooth LMS implementation.
1. Assess implementation needs
LMS platforms vary in the complexity of implementation and migration. This determines how many people your integration team needs and what their levels of expertise should be. Ease of use for learners is another factor to consider: You may need training for learners or, with complex LMS integrations, for admins who need guidance on creating and migrating content in the new system. Look for intuitive technology designed to ease LMS integration, so you can avoid training for your training.
Most platforms supply additional resources and add-ons, so you'll need to investigate which make sense for you. Video conferencing tools, social platforms and curated content from vendors and third-party libraries are common LMS add-ons worth considering since they accelerate your time to ROI with your new technology.
2. Plan the implementation & rollout
A detailed implementation plan allows accurate budgeting and resource allocation. Identify the team: An implementation leader, a rollout manager, sufficient personnel to train admins, eLearning developers and learners. This team will ensure that the deployment goes smoothly—allowing LMS administrators to get back to their regular work sooner.
Some LMS integrations incur costs beyond purchasing and licensing the platform, so be sure to factor those into your planning. If you'll be migrating a library of existing content, verify whether the LMS vendor assists with that or teaches your team what to do. Allocate personnel accordingly.
In later stages of the integration, you'll need to think about training the learning and development team to publish content in the new LMS and, finally, teaching learners how to use the new LMS and find their content. The implementation team should identify use cases and create a launch and testing plan, as well as a plan to "market" the new system to all users.
3. Prioritize adoption of LMS features
Your new LMS platform probably includes some features that you'll need immediately and others that can be phased in later. Focusing on the "must-haves" in the initial LMS implementation reduces the amount of time you'll spend getting up and running. Maybe migrating your onboarding content is a higher priority than creating new courses. Perhaps integration with your social platform can wait until all the learners have completed their initial training on the system.
As admins become comfortable using the new system, they can implement additional features. One example is moving from a basic analytics dashboard to a custom dashboard that tracks additional metrics specific to your company or industry vertical.
4. Use metrics & dashboards to demonstrate ROI
Many LMS platforms track and report training data and make it easy to create visualizations. A dashboard that highlights the metrics that matter most in your organization can show you—and key executives—how your training investment pays off in improved performance and cost savings.
Careful planning ensures a smooth LMS implementation process, reduces workflow disruption and trims costs. Choosing a platform is not the end of the process; it's an opportunity. Leverage the launch of your new LMS to reexamine your learning strategy and update it to focus on the content, platforms and goals that provide the most benefit to your learners.