LMS Implementation Plan: 15-Step Checklist
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Learning is among the most important tasks for any company. Any business striving to achieve success should use all available methods for its promotion. Learning Management Systems can be a perfect solution in such cases.
An LMS stands for a learning management platform used to plan, implement, and assess various parts of the education process. A good LMS can help you manage diverging learning programs for employees. We often deal with multiple programs, and this feature gives you a chance to do so efficiently. If you’re reading this article, you’re likely interested in implementing a full-scale LMS plan. We’ll look at 15 implementation activities capable of helping you achieve this goal, and you’ll see building an LMS isn’t difficult. All you have to do is be consistent in the LMS implementation project plan.
What Is LMS Implementation?
LMS implementation is the process of launching a full-scale learning management system in a company. This process involves the choice of proper software and the creation of a full-scale project plan. The LMS implementation checklist, as you’ll see below, involves 15 stages. You can promote such frameworks either on your own or with help of an outside company. One thing is crucial: following past experience; many companies have already covered your path. Don’t make the mistake of reinventing the wheel. LMS implementation methodology is well-established today.
Advantages of an LMS Implementation Project Plan
A good LMS implementation project plan is beneficial. Here’s why:
1) Save money: an organized approach to LMS implementation can help you find inefficiencies in the whole implementation strategy. We don’t start any business initiative without thorough planning. Why do you think attempts to implement LMS are different? After all, they’re just another common business process. A good plan means significant savings in most cases.
2) Get better results: few plans fully manage to meet reality. That’s true. There’re always some changes appearing in the process. But going into something without a plan is even worse. In one case, you’re at least organized. In another one, you don’t have any proper organization. A good LMS implementation approach can help you reach better results than an out-of-a-sudden chaotic approach. You can better understand the end results and correct the key outcomes accordingly.
Can a spontaneous approach sometimes work? Yes. But, remember, people sometimes win money in lotteries. What they don’t tell you is that other players get debilitating gambling addictions. Don’t risk: plan and achieve great results instead.
3) Achieve better worker buy-in: many ideas connected to improving learning systems seem to be good on paper. However, our experience shows some employees don’t really like them. Why then implementation seems so easy for managers? They are simply afraid of saying anything against the management. This outcome is very dangerous for any company because it can lead to, for example, quiet quitting, the decision of some workers to do the bare minimum of work. A proper LMS implementation plan can help you better understand the motivations of the people you’re working with. In practice, more individuals may be willing to support the system. If you target the real needs of the organization and the people within it rather than some whims of the management, your chances of success are simply higher. The popularity of LMS implementation can ensure the active use of the relevant programs.
15 Steps for Effective LMS Implementation Process
LMS implementation requires a clear set of actions from the key decision-makers. Let’s look at the key choices you have to make while implementing such a system:
Step 1: Describe your overall project plan
Above all, you have to outline the nature of the project in mind. LMS implementation methodology requires you to focus on a clear description of the key activities to perform. Here, you should describe the chosen software and outline all key steps for its creation. In further steps, we’ll touch upon some of the key pieces of content an online learning specialist must insert. One thing is clear: your LMS implementation checklist should offer the readers a chance to understand all aspects of the relevant project.
Step 2: Define what success means for you
Once you have a general action plan, it’s crucial to understand what success means for you. An interesting fact about many processes is that they can become endless. Feature bloat disrupts software development and can destroy the most ambitious attempts of implementing LMS. Many game developers, for example, note that it’s impossible to fully develop a game: one can only stop the process at some progress point. To avoid this problem, decide what success in the LMS implementation process means to you. We recommend setting minimal success criteria and describing what you want in the best-case scenario. This approach can help you stop the implementation project if the process of reaching your greatest business goals becomes too costly. A well-defined ambition is easier to manage in most cases.
Step 3: Choose the implementation timeline
One of the key things capitalist culture celebrates is the capacity to be punctual. There’s a reason why this is the case: punctual companies are easier to deal with and manage due to being predictable. Your LMS implementation plan must clearly define when you want to see some results. Otherwise, there’s the risk that the implementation team can simply become too hesitant about some choices. Absolute freedom of choice is often the greatest prison. If we continue this paradoxical logic, a relaxed implementation timeline is the best way to push people into last-minute decision-making.
Step 4: Create an implementation team
One of the key things about all businesses is the presence of hierarchy. To achieve something significant, it’s crucial to have people who share some responsibility for the key outcomes. An implementation team involves this goal in most cases. If you don’t connect a certain group of people to a project, chaos is inevitable. When a project has someone’s name and reputation attached to it, the probability of success is higher. After all, the individuals in question get personal interest in completing some task. An organized group can make coherent decisions and implement them fast due to understanding its goals. Don’t tell the whole HR department (for example) to focus on implementation tasks. Instead, find a clear group of volunteers who want to finish this particular project.
Step 5: Discover the true meaning of your project
One of the key problems for any big undertaking is answering a simple question: “Why?” You can have the greatest plan on Earth; however, if no one sees the reason to promote it, you’ll fail. Motivation is among the most important factors for humanity. A motivated video game player can easily disrupt someone without a will to compete. Humans are ready to show their full potential only when they feel this act is worth something. Among the LMS implementation best practices is answering the ‘why’ question. Look at your business practices. Ask what people think about the status quo. Suggest the idea of a new LMS system and see if they actually want it. This action alone can save you a lot of time.
Step 6: Prepare the administrators
It’s not enough to create a system. Someone also has to manage it. A big mistake many people do is creating some frameworks and then failing to recruit a proper management workforce for them. Every LMS needs a team of admins for management. Let’s be clear: train them before the full implementation rather than after it. The best option we can offer here is to involve future administrators in the implementation process. Let people train during the early stages of system creation. This team doesn’t have to be big. You can always get additional specialists via online training. What is crucial is having someone who can easily train future generations of admins. In this way, they’ll have extensive knowledge of the key system characteristics.
Step 7: Organize information conversion
All companies store some data in certain legacy systems. A common mistake we see is the lack of preparation for migration. You can’t simply implement a new framework and suddenly make it work. There’s also the need to integrate the old data. Someone will have to transition your data sooner or later to complete the implementation rollout plan. If you’re unprepared, the entire process may have to be manual. Learn about the key formats and integrate their transition into the key LMS implementation steps. It’s much easier to integrate some data storage formats without destroying any settings when your system is in the first stages of configuration. Later, the entire process may simply be too destructive. Think about the transition before rather than after implementation. Why make the life of an implementation team more difficult?
Step 8: Define what you need for integration success
Different facilities may have diverging implementation requirements. In some situations, LMS implementation may require the hiring of some specialists. In others, you may need to communicate with the workers and explain to them why a particular project is necessary. Don’t follow the development cases of other companies step by step. Yes, past experience prevents mistakes; however, an LMS implementation guide can’t describe all particular requirements. You have to discover them yourself and add the key elements to the general implementation framework.
Step 9: Create clear on-site settings
All LMS programs have to focus on a particular location. In practice, this means you must ensure your chosen software functions well in the key hubs. There should be locations where the relevant specialists are able to access your framework without any barriers. It’s rational to focus on other implementation cases later. Create the basis before expanding into other sectors.
Step 10: Decide how you’ll engage the key stakeholders
We’ve already mentioned the need to understand the ‘why’ of the implementation process. You can have the greatest answer and the best motivation but it may nonetheless fail. The key reason for this outcome is the lack of engagement. Inform people about the framework in question. Clearly describe them its benefits and the key motivation to use the framework. Many people may want a solution of this kind. Don’t hesitate: show them the reason why your LMS is the solution they have been expecting for many years.
Step 11: Create high-quality content
A thing many people don’t understand is that the LMS implementation plan isn’t about software alone. A good LMS must also have strong content. Your framework can be the best in the world regarding systems integration technology. But, why would anyone use it if it doesn’t have content? The video gaming world, for example, offers many sad examples of this phenomenon. Even Sony, one of the most successful gaming companies, has once almost bankrupted itself due to presenting a very small game choice for its PS3. While creating an LMS, you should focus on delivering great content for it too. Your software can have some issues; what people won’t forgive is the lack of interesting materials.
Step 12: Test your system before launching it
Don’t implement a system without knowing its full-scale capabilities. Many programs look well on paper. Then, they fail in real-life scenarios. Your LMS implementation plan must involve a thorough real-life test of the project. Learn how your system responds to real conditions. Test how many connections can disrupt the system and what UI decisions are annoying for the users. This important feedback is a sanity check capable of showcasing the weaknesses and strengths of certain implementation ideas.
Step 13: Update your solution regularly
We are yet to see a system getting everything right from the get-go. Your LMS implementation process is likely to have some blind spots. Regular post-release updates can ensure the gradual improvement of the framework. If you don’t introduce any updates, the rise of negativity toward your system is, regrettably, inevitable. People hate systems that don’t evolve. Resolving some of their ‘birth defects’ is vital for the implementation timeframe.
Step 14: Create strong promotion materials
To reach all key stakeholders, your messages have to be strong. Here, we recommend following the professional frameworks. Use marketing solutions. Approach the learning management system implementation as a product launch process. Invest in advertising it. Present some slogans. Offer symbols. Turn your campaign into something memorable.
Step 15: Finalize the implementation and start the LMS
As we’ve mentioned before, it’s often dangerous to focus too much on perfecting everything. Once you’ve reached your minimum goals, launch the system. It’s better to reach the maximal requirements later. Several post-release updates can resolve the remaining problems. In case of resource constraints, even a minimum viable product can work.
How Can Keenethics Help with LMS Implementation?
LMS implementation can give your company a major advantage. As you can see, starting an LMS project isn’t difficult. You have to follow a set of reasonable steps. The goal of our guide is to help you remove a maximum number of potential pitfalls. After reading this material, you should have a clear understanding of the key choices necessary for success. If you’re hesitant to do everything yourself, the option of asking for outside help is also there. Our company is ready to provide help with LMS software. Contact us, and we’ll start searching for a solution.
Do you need help in developing a custom full-scale LMS plan?
Plan and achieve great results with Keenethics. We’re here to help.