The Definitive 2020 LMS Implementation Guide

by | eLearning Software

Choosing the right learning management system is the biggest challenge for professionals exploring the eLearning market. If you have already selected one and want to step up the game, the next move should be implementing the LMS correctly. To keep things organized and avoid any unforeseen issues, you must create a detailed LMS implementation checklist.

We recommend you look at this easy-to-follow LMS implementation guide and follow the same for a hassle-free experience.

Prepare Your eLearning Transition Team

Suppose you have chosen an LMS that allows you to define user roles. In that case, it should be your first goal to form a core transition team that includes senior management executives, team leaders, project managers, admins, and instructors.

In this hierarchy, admins have the right to access the portal and add learners to the platform. Instructors take care of the training, whereas project managers look after the successful delivery of the course. They coordinate with team leaders who are responsible for sales and service.

Everyone reports to the senior management team. So, the checklist goes like this:

  • Form the core senior management team, including the CEO, director, and founders.
  • Appoint an implementation team leader.
  • Select one or more project managers.
  • Choose admins, and
  • Find instructors who possess the necessary skills and experience.

Define Your LMS Requirements

Once you have the core team in place, the next step is to define must-have features for your LMS.

Ask yourself whether you want to use it for internal training, a small group of clients, or a large number of users. Depending on your requirements, select one portal or multiple portals.

You can also have one primary portal and add several sub-portals to it, further configured based on your users’ wants.

Other requirements include integrating third-party tools, adding unique features, and determining the annual budget to develop and deliver the content. The LMS implementation checklist looks like this.

  • Define the top 3 requirements for successful LMS implementation.
  • Prepare a list of third-party tools that need to be integrated.
  • Have clarity about the number of users (expected) and admins for a smooth run.
  • Be sure about your annual budget for the project.

Set Realistic LMS Goals

Sometimes, it becomes difficult to set LMS goals at the beginning of your journey due to the lack of enough previous data. However, try to be as calculative and realistic as possible. Whether it’s bringing more users on board, getting all of them to complete the course, improving user engagement, or enhancing learners’ satisfaction — you must be clear with what you want to achieve.

In case you find it challenging to define LMS goals yourself, take help from other stakeholders, especially the customer success manager, to make things easy and hassle-free.

  • Set clear LMS goals that are realistic and achievable.
  • Define the criteria to achieve these goals.

 

Document Project Plan

Now that you have put together a team, defined project requirements, and set clear LMS goals, the next step to create a perfect LMS implementation checklist is to document the project plan.

Analyze the current workflow and create a list of relevant tasks that need to be assigned to admins, team leaders, project managers, etc. At this stage, you’ll also need to select necessary third-party tools and integrate them into the LMS for successful content delivery and excellent user experience.

The last step is to check if your LMS vendor offers these tools for free, or you need to pay extra for successful integration. In short, the LMS implementation checklist should look like this:

  • Identify the present workflow.
  • List out necessary admin, content development, and testing related tasks.
  • Check third party tools or APIs for integration.
  • Define the cost associated with all these project management tasks.

Create A Project Execution Plan With Due Date

Once you have defined the current workflow and basic admin tasks, move on to the next step, which is to make a project execution plan. This should consist of who’s, what’s and when’s of the project. In other words, identify what all resources you’ll need to complete each LMS implementation task and how long it will take to put them to use.

  • Find out perfect resources and assign them to relevant tasks.
  • Define a timeline (in terms of days, weeks, or months) to complete each task.
  • Set realistic due dates to complete them.

Define How You Want To Communicate

Dreams turn into goals and goals into plans as soon as you assign a due date to them. Now that you have already done it, the next step for a successful LMS implementation is to create a project communication plan. It includes setting a content update frequency, defining the right user base for each new update, and deciding the right person to release those updates.

The project communication plan ensures that users don’t have to wait for too long to receive their next module once you set things into motion. Proper planning for this phase can keep your retention rate high and boost user engagement in the long run.

  • Define how often the new content updates will be released.
  • Create the right user segment (junior-level employees, senior management team, external users, etc.) for each update.
  • Decide who will be responsible for releasing new updates.

 

Planning A Perfect LMS Launch

If you have come this far, it means you have already learned all the necessary steps for a successful LMS implementation. Now, it’s time to give the final touch to your preparations by planning a perfect LMS launch. The first step in this direction is to schedule a pre-launch test to see if everything is in place or not. In case there are any issues, resolve them as soon as possible.

If you are switching from an old LMS to a new one, it’s better to schedule a blackout period to migrate data and spot check its functionality in the new LMS. Once it’s done, you can redirect the old web address to the new LMS for an uninterrupted learning experience.

It’s essential to keep your existing users in the loop, so inform them about the launch date immediately after executing the steps mentioned above.

Finally, have a backup plan ready just if any technical issues pop up on the launch day. The best way to go about it is by instructing your IT help desk to keep all the resources at fingertips if users run into any problems. In short, the LMS implementation checklist at this stage will look like this:

  • Schedule a pre-launch test for your new LMS.
  • Decide a date for the buffer period to fix technical glitches.
  • Schedule the blackout period for data migration.
  • Inform end users about the LMS launch date.
  • Instruct the IT help desk to fix technical errors on the LMS launch day.

 

What Happens After New LMS Implementation?

With the help of the steps mentioned in this LMS implementation checklist, you can plan a new LMS launch and implement it efficiently. However, it’s not the end of the road. Once the new LMS goes live, you need to be ready with a plan to make sure it lives up to users’ expectations and offers them a clutter-free experience. For that, keep a note of the points mentioned below:

  • Follow a unique content formatting to bring uniformity in your eLearning course.
  • Have a team in place to look after LMS maintenance after it goes live.
  • Prepare a brief training plan for new and existing users.

Following this LMS implementation checklist will ensure that you can easily migrate from an old LMS to a new without losing user engagement. In case you still get stuck at any stage and need a helping hand, let us know via our Contact Page or email us at hello@academyofmine.com.

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