Before you even get technical, look at these LMS implementation steps to ensure that you’re set up for success.
Who’s going to oversee the implementation and manage its ongoing use? Do you need to hire an experienced LMS administrator, or can you shift responsibilities within your existing team? Make sure that your employees understand the intent behind the LMS and how it might affect their jobs. See if anyone has an interest in “owning” the project. Just like an LMS inherently encourages professional development with the online courses it maintains, managing the implementation and usage of the LMS is also an opportunity for employee growth!
In order to run your business, you’re probably using a variety of systems, for marketing, lead generation, sales, customer service, accounting, etc. Should any of these systems integrate with your LMS? What more could you accomplish if the LMS partnered with one of your existing processes? With a webhook, you may be able to replace manual employee work with automated procedures. Examine all of your software and their uses, and see if any synergy exists.
Be sure to do your due diligence to research all the LMS platforms and vendors that exist. Installing an LMS for the first time can be a big project, and you want to make sure that you’re moving forward with all the right decisions. When you choose a vendor, look for customer reviews and see what you can learn from their other clients. Also find out if the vendor provides customer support; if you end up having questions later, will you be on your own to figure them out? You want to make the right choice, so do all the research upfront.
Features vs. Needs
When implementing a new process or software, it can be really easy to get caught up in all the features, AKA “the wants.” Do you really need all of the features? Make a list of the items that you actually need. In some cases, the features lead to additional expenses. Keep it simple by focusing on what you need to operate and to have a fantastic learning experience.
The reporting module inside the LMS can be telling. What does it track? Are you able to download the results? Choose an LMS that offers reporting functionality that you’ll use, with the information that will be helpful to your business.
Are you able to create courses from within the LMS, or will you need a separate platform to do that? If the LMS offers course creation, what does the end product look like? Does the course look as engaging as you’d hoped? Maybe it makes more sense to create the course in another platform, such as Adobe Captivate or even PowerPoint, and then upload it to the LMS. Do what’s right for you.
Likely the most important factor to consider, pricing can certainly push you in one direction over another. You’ll want to look at the pricing model of different LMS vendors. For example, do they charge per student, per course, monthly, or annually?
It’s probably best to do some upfront research before contacting an LMS vendor. When you’re ready to comparison shop and learn more, set up a 30-minute demo or conference call to ask your specific questions. If you have questions about these LMS implementation steps, try calling us at (800) 460-2575.