In our earlier blog, we have discussed why organizations should use an Learning Management System to deploy eLearning programs. Now, consider the case when an organization adopts an LMS for employee development, and expects it to be effective immediately! Whether that happens or not, depends on the completeness of the implementation stages and tasks. In most cases, the LMS is not used to its maximum capacity or even fails to be used at its minimum due to various reasons, such as - difficulty in understanding how to use the LMS, lack of required functionalities or reports, or simply, lack of content at the time when it is most required. These factors can be addressed during the LMS implementation.
In this blog, we will discuss the end-to-end roadmap for LMS implementation that will help the training teams or L&D teams maintain a consistent and effective use of LMS after the launch.
LMS Implementation - A Roadmap
LMS implementation is not a day’s work. It requires a complete roadmap divided into stages or phases with associated tasks in each stage / phase. It also needs to include the potential backlashes and mitigation plans for the risks of failure. LMS implementation is a project with defined start and end dates and limited resources.
The phases of LMS implementation project can be broadly listed as shown below:
Planning & Tracking
Let’s now look into each phase and understand in detail.
In this phase of the LMS implementation project, the following tasks are to be completed:
Identify the objectives
Identify resources to form the LMS implementation team
1. Identify the Objectives
Most organizations would simplify the implementation process by transferring the present or traditional learning goals and objectives to the "to be" or new learning platform and processes. This might lead to a failure of the LMS implementation purpose. So, it is essential that we think ‘out-of-the-box’ to re-define the learning process by answering the following questions:
What are the organizational goals in terms of employee development?
What objectives will be achieved by the LMS?
What are the expected results of LMS implementation?
Organizational goal: Becoming an industry leader in providing the best customer services
Objectives: 100% upskilling and re-skilling of employees for role-specific responsibilities by 1st quarter-end.
Expected results: Improvement in customer feedback from 3 to 4 or 5 (on a rating scale of 5), Increase in profit by 40%, by 2nd quarter end.
2. Form LMS Implementation Team
Every project requires the right mix of skilled and experienced resources to complete various types of tasks that they are good at. An LMS implementation project also requires such talented resources to perform their roles and contribute toward the project completion goal. So, now let's look into the right team composition. There are two distinct teams that can be formed with clear roles and responsibilities.
Core Project Team: This team will be responsible for end-to-end LMS implementation with an alignment of organizational goals, objectives, and expected end results. This team comprises the following roles:
LMS Support Team: This team comprises the people who will work with LMS on a regular basis to support its functions and management. They are:
Course Content Authors
Planning & Tracking
LMS Implementation Project requires exhaustive planning for the following:
These plans must be documented with clear timelines, responsibilities, resources & budgets required, resource allocations, etc. Both Project Manager and the Team Leader will be responsible to develop and maintain the plans.
Execution of the LMS implementation plan is done on a daily basis. It is ideal to have a daily stand-up meeting with all team members (core and support teams) to discuss the progress, roadblocks, and support/ resources required, if any. The plans need to be updated with current status and changes if required.
Choose the Right LMS
To run a fully functional and effective LMS, it is essential to choose the right LMS which can be customized to address the needs of holistic employee development.
To learn in detail how to choose the right LMS for your organization, read our blog here.
To learn more about some of the most popular LMSs, which are available in the market, please read this article.
Configure the LMS
After the selection of LMS, configuration is very important to make the LMS fully functional for all levels of users. Here's a list of some configuration options.
User profile: Name, department, role, contact details, reporting manager, etc.
User group: Users working in the same function or team, such as Sales Team, Accounts Team, etc.
eLearning program curriculum: List of programs from which employees can select suitable ones.
Administrator access control: Multiple administrators at various levels (registration level, report level, or course allocation level)
Notifications: Customized reminders, assignments, assessments, etc.
Reports: Customized reports for various user groups, training managers, administrators, etc.
Teams in organizations cannot work in silos. Collaboration is essential to make the business operations work in sync. Hence, the LMS also cannot function without collaborating with other systems in various teams. For example, the HR team maintains software to keep track of the employee performance records based on which the training plans are made. If this is integrated with the LMS, it will be easy for both the HR and the training managers to plan training programs.
To know more about system integration, check this.
Training for LMS Users
One of the reasons for the failure of LMS effectiveness is a lack of awareness of how to use the LMS. If we have to maximize the use of LMS, we need to provide training on LMS functionalities to every user group and individual. Ideally, a training plan for every user group on how to use the LMS for respective functions and roles will be useful.
Migration is typically the activity of transferring historical data or records from the old system to the new system. If we are migrating from a traditional training process to the new LMS, most of the migration data or records will include user information, old training course materials, training calendars, etc. It is easier if a list of items for migration is made by the project team.
LMS testing is a critical step in LMS implementation. The testing must include an in-depth validation of its functionalities for all levels of users. Ideally, for every user group and level, test cases must be prepared to check if the required functionalities are working at their best and the expected results are achieved.
Go Live on LMS
When the LMS is ready after migration and all required functionalities are tested, we need to communicate to the users about the cut-off date from when the LMS becomes a mandate for employee training. Prior to that date, it is essential to prepare the task-force for using the LMS through training.
Sustain the Flow
When the excitement of going live on LMS is over, we need to ensure that the energy and motivation to sustain the flow of the new vibe of online learning is consistent. We need to review the reports to verify the improvements and progress. Comparing the earlier training records and results with the LMS-based training records will give an insight on how much and where we have improved. Likewise, a survey on the usability and benefits of the new LMS conducted for the users, will also lead us to the understanding of the employee satisfaction level of using the LMS, along with some customization ideas.
At S4Carlisle, we provide end-to-end support on customizing and implementation of learning environments for your organization. To avail this service, write to us at firstname.lastname@example.org