The Essential Guide to Onboarding an LMS

The Essential Guide to Onboarding an LMS


Absorb LMS


Are you planning to onboard an LMS for your organization? Getting the right learning management system (LMS) for your organization is your first step. Once you choose your LMS, taking the time to onboard your learning platform is key to success in building a learning culture, enabling your learners, and developing your organizational knowledge.

Here we'll cover everything you need to know to successfully onboard an LMS, from the fundamentals of what an LMS is, to how it can support your enterprise training initiatives, and why it matters. Additionally, we'll guide you through the key steps involved in the LMS onboarding journey, such as pre-launch planning, system validation, and post-launch feedback collection. By following our tips for completing pre-onboarding activities and setting up a successful LMS onboarding, you can ensure a smooth transition to using the new system.

Unveiling the role of learning management systems in corporate training

A learning management system (LMS) is a software platform designed to streamline corporate training by managing and delivering online learning content. Organizations leverage these learning platforms for employee education, compliance training, and professional development courses. Above all, these learning systems promote continuous learning cultures, which is a key initiative for businesses of all sizes. According to the 2023 LinkedIn Learning Report, 89% of learning and development professionals agree that proactively building employee skills for today and tomorrow will help navigate the evolving future of work – solidifying the importance of a comprehensive learning strategy.

Navigating the path to successful LMS onboarding

Using an LMS effectively is crucial for any organization. Well-executed onboarding ensures that users are trained to use the software properly, leading to higher engagement and adoption rates and ultimately setting a positive tone for learning within their teams.

To successfully onboard a learning management system, it's important to progress through the LMS onboarding journey with the support of an experienced learning platform provider. Based on our work with thousands of clients and insight from four Absorb professionals who have onboarded hundreds of companies, here are the fundamental phases of the onboarding journey:

Onboarding kickoff

Like many multistep projects, the LMS onboarding journey begins with a kickoff after choosing an LMS provider. In this early project phase, you’ll typically meet with your learning platform vendor to flesh out important topics like aligning on organizational goals, assembling an internal project team, planning eLearning content, and prioritizing platform needs.

Tips to avoid common pitfalls during the kickoff phase:

  • Assign roles for the primary decision makers across departments – from your leadership to your marketing teams. Decide who needs to be factored into the decision-making process.
  • Align on expectations early on such as the learning initiatives that require support and a feasible timeline for the onboarding journey.
  • Set your organizational goals early on and determine how you’ll measure learning program success.
  • Decide how you'll create learning content. Depending on your company, you may already have a comprehensive learning strategy; however, some businesses are starting from scratch.
  • Decide how you'll create learning content. Depending on your company, you may already have a comprehensive learning strategy; however, some businesses are starting from scratch. Regardless of your status, evaluate content gaps and how you’ll source training materials.

Project plan creation

Following the kickoff, the next phase of the LMS onboarding journey is project planning and coordination. During this step, the technical work and learning portal training begins along with timeline creation. For example, your LMS provider will outline the process for things like data mapping, system workflows, and third-party tool integrations. Additionally, your vendor will show you how to use your LMS through in-depth training and also upload your learning content to the system.

Tips to avoid common pitfalls during the planning phase:

  • Partner with your internal information technology (IT) team and your vendor to support technical needs that arise. Your LMS provider likely has implementation and integration teams available to support complex technical processes – lean on them!
  • Maintain regular communication with your decision makers and project stakeholders. Throughout the process, your organization will need to make decisions on how the LMS is set up and what the learner experience looks like – establishing a forum for these conversations will keep your project on track.

System validation

The next step in the LMS onboarding journey is system validation. In this critical phase, you’ll complete user testing after courses are built in the LMS. You’ll have the opportunity to assess your learning platform performance and escalate any outstanding issues to your LMS provider.

Tips to avoid common pitfalls during the validation phase:

  • Work with your vendor to build a testing plan that makes sense for your organization and includes your top LMS features from interactive courses to third-party integrations.
  • Assemble a diverse team of users to test the learning platform – consider involving individuals who will use the platform on a day-to-day basis.


After in-depth user testing is complete, your team will provide final approval prior to launch. All key decision makers and stakeholders from your business will confirm that the LMS aligns with company goals, fulfills learning objectives, and functions without issue.

Tips to avoid common pitfalls during the approval phase:

  • Request an onboarding checklist from your LMS vendor to confirm all necessary steps are completed before launch.

Go live

Onto one of the biggest milestones – your LMS launch! At this stage, the LMS will roll out to learners across your organization. Your users will receive invitations to the LMS to start their learning journeys.

Tips to avoid common pitfalls during the launch phase:

  • Consider a pilot test instead of a full launch if you’re not ready to roll out to your entire organization.
  • Reach out to your vendor for support if post-launch questions arise.


Lastly, post-launch monitoring allows your organization to identify any performance or technical issues with the LMS. This includes checking for system downtime, content effectiveness, or any other elements that impact your users' learning experience. Through monitoring, organizations can quickly detect and address these issues to ensure smooth functionality.

Tips to avoid common pitfalls during the monitoring phase:

  • Determine what aspects of the LMS you want to track, such as system performance, user engagement, content effectiveness, security, or compliance. This clarity will help guide your monitoring efforts.
  • Gather data and learner feedback to assess user experience and engagement. This can be done through surveys, feedback forms, or analytics tools integrated into the LMS.
  • Regularly review and refine your monitoring strategy based on the insights and feedback gathered. Additionally, partner with your vendor to adapt and improve your LMS based on findings to optimize the learning experience.
Absorb LMS Onboarding Infographic

Key tips to plan your LMS onboarding program

A successful onboarding program for an LMS involves careful planning and organization. As part of the kickoff and project plan creation phases, your organization must outline a clear strategy for how you’ll implement your learning system. Creating a comprehensive plan, developing a timeline with key milestones, and establishing a working team are all critical elements to effectively onboard a learning platform.

Create a comprehensive onboarding plan

To create a full-scale plan for onboarding an LMS, start by conducting a needs assessment to identify the specific requirements and goals of your organization. Next, develop a detailed implementation timeline that includes key milestones, tasks, and responsibilities. Finally, design a training program that encompasses user instructions, administrative training, and ongoing support to ensure a successful transition and adoption of the LMS.

Develop a timeline and milestones for LMS onboarding

Creating an in-depth timeline with milestones is crucial to successfully onboard an LMS. A clear timeline with specific goals and objectives for each milestone will ensure steady progress and clear communication. It’s also important to implement regular reviews and adjustments of the plan as needs and circumstances change.

Establish a working team with roles and responsibilities

To onboard your learning platform, it’s imperative to form an LMS implementation dream team with well-defined roles and responsibilities. This team should comprise representatives from various departments like human resources (HR) and information technology (IT) professionals specializing in enterprise learning management systems. Every member must have a clear understanding of their job scope. For instance, HR reps can handle employee data and aid in creating user accounts and IT experts can focus on integrating LMS with other systems.

Mastering launch: Must-do tasks to kickstart your learning platform launch

After planning how you’ll onboard your learning system, it’s time to move on to the tactical elements involved in an LMS launch like meeting technical requirements, finalizing different types of learning content, and testing your eLearning platform.

Prepare your environment for LMS Onboarding

Before onboarding an LMS, conducting a needs analysis can help you identify the specific features and functionality required for your organization. It is also important to assess your current technology infrastructure and make necessary upgrades or adjustments to set yourself up for success. Preparing your environment well ensures a smooth transition to LMS onboarding.

Configure your LMS system settings and permissions

Proper configuration of your learning platform supports effective onboarding, Ensure that your LMS has user-friendly interfaces for tracking learner progress with retention analytics and mobile learning. Additionally, plan how you can use templates and online courses to simplify LMS onboarding.

Upload and organize your learning content

Organizing and uploading learning content plays a vital role in making sure your LMS is easy to use. Start organizing your training courses and materials by categorizing them intuitively – this can be by skill level, course difficulty, or content topic. Similarly, implement adaptive learning paths for your users so they can progress intuitively through your course.

Test your LMS before launch

Thorough testing is a necessary step prior to fully rolling out your learning management system. One option to consider is running a trial program with a small user base to find any potential flaws or issues. Another recommended step is to check compatibility on various devices and platforms before launch – including desktops, mobile devices, and tablets. Before launch, address and fix any issues for a successful LMS onboarding program.

Maximize user training impact and gather post-launch feedback

Now it’s time to launch! With a full rollout, your user training plays a vital role in the success of your enterprise learning management system. Interactive and engaging training materials, orientation sessions, and on-demand webinars are key elements of an effective onboarding process.

Your user training program should cover navigation techniques for different modules and templates along with course creation and administration skills. Dedicated training sessions will also ensure learners can understand how to use the learning platform – boosting employee productivity. According to an article published by Indeed, “When employees undergo training, it improves their skills and knowledge of the job and builds their confidence in their abilities. This will improve their performance and make them work more efficiently and effectively.”1

After launching your LMS, it's also important to collect course feedback from users to optimize your LMS onboarding program. Providing a centralized system for new hires with eLearning courses and instructor-led training is just the start. To improve your employees’ learning experience further, use tools like surveys and questionnaires to continuously improve your online training programs and boost user satisfaction.

Conclusion: The importance of well-executed LMS onboarding

Proper onboarding of an eLearning system plays a key role in its successful implementation and adoption by new hires, tenured employees, and admin. For new and tenured employees alike, utilizing interactive training and LMS gamification elements can make for a more engaging experience for employees.

Proper onboarding of an LMS can make or break the success of your enterprise training program. An effective onboarding strategy makes sure that your team has the resources and expertise needed to get the most out of your LMS investment. From implementation and integration to user training and post-launch feedback, we've covered all the essential steps required for a successful LMS onboarding experience.

If you're looking for an LMS solution that can support your enterprise training needs, book a demo with our experts to learn more about Absorb LMS.


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