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LMS Implementation

Once the LMS purchasing process is wrapped up, it’s time for implementation. LMS implementation can take anywhere from a few days to a few months. The length of time it will take your team to implement an LMS will depend on the usability of the LMS, the resources available to you and the amount of content you already have developed.

The first step to LMS implementation is to select a framework for designing your learning content. Models such as ADDIE, SAM and Northpass' Beginner's Guide to Creating an Online Training Program will help you lay the blueprint for everyone on your team to follow during the implementation phase and beyond. From content planning to development to measuring your program’s strategic impact, the framework you select will offer guidance and keep your team aligned at every stage.

Next, select an implementation team. An average LMS implementation team may consist of:

  • A Training Director (also known as Team Leader) who oversees the project.
  • A Training Manager (or Project Manager) who is responsible for hitting milestones and meeting deadlines.
  • An eLearning Specialist or Instructional Designer who focuses on creating content.
  • An L&D or LMS Administrator who ensures the software and program match the needs of the organization.
  • An IT expert who helps you integrate the LMS with other software used by your company, department or team.

In some cases, a team may consist of only one person whose full-time role is to launch and manage the program. When teams are smaller, the usability of the LMS becomes that much more critical, as it must streamline workflows so significantly that just one or two people can manage a project that is typically managed by a full team. Small teams are also more likely to periodically pull in company subject matter experts (SMEs) to help develop content. This makes granular permissions a profoundly helpful LMS feature.

If you have existing learning materials through a different LMS or another medium, you’ll need to create a data migration plan. This plan should include the tasks that need to be completed to transfer content, learner information and/or other essential data points into your new LMS. If you’re not sure what the best method would be for your migration, you should connect with the LMS’s support team. They should have extensive experience helping customers perform migrations and can advise you appropriately.

Now that you’ve thought through the most important elements of your LMS implementation process, it's time to create a timeline for execution. Outline milestones such when you plan to complete your migration, add the online school styling and develop the first course. Then, launch your first course to a small sample of learners, collect their feedback and make final changes and updates before launching the course in full. As part of your LMS project plan, it’s always good to start small, learn from your target audience and expand your program from there.