Your Own LMS Implementation Checklist
Head over to this one-stop article which talks about everything that you need to do from A-Z when launching your LMS.
You’d have read 100’s of blogs, articles and other pieces of content which talks about How To Choose the Best Learning Management System and nothing that talks about how to launch this picture perfect Learning Management System that you have selected. We have mentioned the exact steps or as you may call it the secret sauce to a successful LMS implementation. While this LMS implementation plan template is wetted by project managers and eLearning experts this launch template works as a guide and is not rigid so feel free to add or subtract steps according to your environment.
Even before getting your favorite LMS onboard, at the sidelines, you should start off with a strong plan towards implementation. When creating this plan, go back to the basics of SMART plan. Yes! It may sound childish but certainly accomplishes the task well. For people who are new to this, here’s a quick break up for a SMART action plan. S = Specific, M = Measurable, A = achievable, R = Realistic & T = Timely. Bottom line is to be very clear about what you wish to achieve while you keep it time bound.
Before the LMS Implementation starts, it is important that you finalize on who the top administrator is going to be for the learning management system. You may wonder or be in a confused state too, as to why this is so important to make its way to the LMS implementation checklist. This is important because once the LMS administrator is finalized this person will be a part of the entire implementation from the start. So he/she will be aware of everything and will be able to handle queries/issues and clarifications once the implementation is done. Depending on the organization size, you have one or many admins too.
Before the implementation goes underway, be prepared with all the customization that needs to be implemented. This can be anything from the organization’s color scheme to a logo updation and any other integrations that you may want. This helps in imbibing this new software within the organization as the LMS gives the feeling of internal software and thus lowering down the defensive guard against a new software.
Once you are all set with your plan of action you will need somebody who can head this entire implementation project, a SPOC. This SPOC (specific point of contact) will make sure that the entire project is run smoothly. He/she will be responsible to liaise with the internal team and the LMS company to get all the needs/requirements delivered on time. This role doesn’t require any special technical knowledge.. The basic technical knowledge and know how will do just fine. Certainly, somebody who is technically sound will be a great advantage; even better if this SPOCK is from your L&D or HR department.
If you would want to pick that one MOST IMPORTANT pointer from the entire lms implementation template, it’s gonna be this one. So what's this use case all about? Now, every company uses LMS for a different purpose, eg: induction, skills training, updates training, service/product training etc and that's not all, the consumers vary too, eg: internal employees, managers, or even channel partners. Hence it is essential that a draft is created on how exactly the Learning Management System will be used in your organization. Based on how you picture/plan on using the LMS to your company or employees, you could create a Request for Proposal (RFP) or a statement of work (SOW) that details the requirements pertaining to your use case keeping in mind your employees. The clearer the use case, the clear the delivery is going to be. One of the best examples on use case can be to understand if an organization wants to use the LMS as Multi-Tenant or Single Tenant and include it in the use case so the implementation and training can happen accordingly.
You got it right! Even this is important. Having an LMS on-board means it needs users to succeed so this is the very first step to get the LMS started. For this, you need to be clear on how a user will be created within an LMS especially because the IT too will be involved here. There are many ways to achieve this but here are some popular ways to get this done:
This check ensures that there are no later hiccups when you get down to create users in order to consume the LMS content.
We are 100% sure that every LMS provider has a support system in place, there is simply no doubt that but there are times where you wish that you don't have to wait in long call queues to reach to a technical agent to get your issue resolved. Hence it is essential that we have more alternatives to just phone calls or even emails where the turn around time (TAT) is longer. When getting an LMS on board check on these alternative support systems like community, chat, helpdesk, or even a knowledge base or a tool where your SPOC can raise a query with details like screenshots, videos etc.. This will ensure that your issue can be resolved or addressed via different mediums. Mediums like knowledgebase/community can help in getting simple question answered without any wait time.
Getting an LMS on-board is certainly a big achievement but to get the right content for the LMS is the top most priority. While the talks are underway for the LMS, check on how the content will come in, will it be outsourced or taken from the LMS vendor itself, or you will get that created through an SME within the organization. Whatever it is, that needs to be clarified and put down on the plan as that is an important factor for the success of the LMS implementation.
So it's not your first time handling an LMS, that's good, as you are thorough with all the steps mentioned because you already have a learning management system onboard. But this gives rise to another step - Migration. Here you will need to involve both the IT departments so that there is a smooth transition from one LMS to another without any loss of content (Content is Prize!).
Now, we cant emphasize enough on this step. Testing the entire system in this new environment is really important. Some of the major parameters that you need to check for is, is there any kind of bug that is getting produced post implementation, is there any data loss and the most vital thing to check is if the Learning Management System is working like you imagined it would be working. What are the processes, the steps which are something that you didn't know about. Get all of these issues creased out.
The job is not over once testing is done. You heard it right. Once testing is done and the bugs are fixed, you then work on the QA as the last step. Now, many people confuse this step with testing which is already conducted in the previous step. So, let's clear the air once in for all. Testers check everything from a developer perspective so that can be any kind of bugs but QA testers check everything through a layman perspective resulting a lot of bugs and issues as compared to a tester. Hence it is essential that QA is done thoroughly and this can be done by any end user (employee) from the organization itself so that we can get some real perspective. This could also be your LnD execs so they could learn and train.
Once again, this is not a rigid lms launch checklist. There certainly can be more steps depending on your organizations environment but this lms implementation template is a very good place to start with.
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