Looking for world class content for your learning platform ?
Explore content
March 27, 2024
|
5 mins to read

How to guarantee a smooth LMS implementation

LMS implementation can be a daunting task, so we've rounded up ten actionable tips to make implementing and launching your platform as stress-free as possible.
Alex Mullen
Web Content Writer

How can you guarantee a smooth Learning Management System (LMS) implementation, and make sure that your digital learning strategy is set up for success?

If you’re here, we’re willing to bet that you already understand the importance of a digital learning platform for your organisation. If not, let us convince you: Digitising your learning can decrease your cost per learning hour, increase return on investment, improve customer satisfaction and engage your employees in their development like never before.

Even if we’ve sold you, you might still be understandably nervous about actually implementing the LMS. How is it going to work? Will there be issues along the way that will complicate the process? With learner and HR data to migrate, how do you know it’s going to go off without a hitch?

We might have lied to you a little bit in our title. After all, there are no guarantees in life - but there is the simple fact that being prepared sets you up for success.

With the help of our ten step guide, we believe that you’ll be on your way to an easy, stress-free LMS implementation. Read on to find out how to make implementation easy.

1. Choose the right LMS vendor for your specific needs

The first way to set yourself up for a smooth LMS implementation starts before you even have an LMS, in the Discovery phase. While you’re in this phase, make sure that you’re researching vendors who fit your specific needs.

This may seem like obvious advice, but with a long, unappealing research task stretching out ahead of you, it might be tempting to simply go with the most popular or well-known vendor. And in doing that you’ll obviously avoid having to spend countless hours digging through G2 and Capterra reviews, reaching out to other L&D professionals, and trawling case studies for the perfect match - but trust us, your future self will thank you for going the long way around.

Now, “your specific needs” could obviously mean a variety of things - and only you can fill in the blanks. For example, if you’re in the retail sector, this might mean finding an LMS with a great mobile app that travels the shop floor with your staff and allows them to access essential learning in minutes.

If your company places a big emphasis on career progression, you’ll need a platform that has exceptional Skills and Goals functionality built in to help your people reach their milestones in a meticulously-planned, easy-to-implement way.

Or, maybe you’re a large organisation comprising multiple, global teams. For a workforce spread out across the globe, communication is more important than ever. You’ll need an LMS that enables smooth, effortless communication to keep everyone connected. This could come in the form of company-wide broadcasts, live events within the platform, or simply the ability to individually follow one another’s learner profiles for updates.

Whatever your individual needs may be as an organisation, if you make sure that your vendor can accommodate them the implementation is likely to go smoothly as everyone will be on the same page.


2. Align with your new vendor

Speaking of being on the same page: Make sure that once you are partnered with your chosen vendor, you’re all aligned on priorities and the expected timeline. Setting expectations - from both sides - makes the implementation process markedly less stressful.

Establish:

  • What’s needed, both from you and your vendor?
  • What’s important to you in a learning platform?
  • What’s the expected time-frame?
  • What are the steps to take, post-launch?
  • What are the metrics by which to measure success of these steps?

Once you are aligned on expectations, you have a much better idea of what’s to come - and you can be fully prepared every step of the way.

3. Take stock of your existing learning content, and figure out the gaps you need to fill

Implementation is going to be so much easier if you have a good idea of what learning content you are missing. This involves taking stock of the content you already have, and identifying where the gaps lie.

Prioritise your content gaps in terms of how they align with the goals of the organisation, and make a plan to fill those content gaps before implementation. Before you stress about having to generate tons of new content, remember that this isn’t always necessary. You can employ the “content curation over creation” method, utilising elearning that you already have - or even videos and resources that you found on the internet.

By doing this, you’re filling your content gaps in a conscious, purposeful way.

4. Integrate your tech stack so that your LMS fits seamlessly into your workflow

This is a step to keep in mind both at the research stage, and during implementation.

Does your preferred vendor integrate with the apps and programs that your workforce uses every day? If not, it’s going to mess up your workflow and result in an ineffective learning strategy. Make sure your vendor caters for your specific integration needs before moving ahead.

For example, maybe your team uses Slack for communication. If your LMS vendor doesn’t offer that integration, the implementation of said platform may cause a fracture in your workflow - which is the exact opposite of what you’re aiming for.

Whatever the function is of the program you need to integrate, your LMS should be set up to help with that function - not hinder it.


5. Migrate your HR user data to the new LMS

Migrating all your learner data from one platform to another is an understandably daunting task - so make sure your vendor is up to it. For example, Thrive offers a migration tool to make everything easier. The tool takes your users, completion history and content directly from your current learning platform and imports them into Thrive.

6. Plan your LMS launch to guarantee success

As we think we’ve established by now, a smooth and successful LMS implementation (and launch) requires careful planning. And when it comes to the launch itself, you certainly don’t want your learners’ first introduction to their new LMS to be a blank, uninspiring platform that they get nothing out of.

In order to really capitalise on the “new-ness” and excitement of the platform, plan an engaging launch campaign that will help you gather momentum and make a splash once it goes live. This starts before the LMS has launched - both in terms of planning, and in terms of getting your learners involved.

Take Thrive customer Inspired as an example. It was extremely important to them that their learners be involved and invested right from the very beginning of the process, so they ran a competition across the company to pick the name of their LMS. This early engagement got their learners on board and interacting with the platform from the get-go.

7. Train your staff on how to use the LMS

Much like our above point, your LMS implementation and launch are likely to fall flat if none of your staff actually know how to use it. Training everyone on the use of your new LMS is absolutely essential if you want to get everyone on board.

Enrol your staff in mandatory LMS training to get them up to speed. In some cases, your vendor can supply a "staging site" ahead of time to get you familiarised prior to launch.

8. Keep in touch with your LMS provider throughout the process

It’s so important to regularly communicate with your vendor throughout the implementation process. We can’t speak for any other vendor, but here at Thrive we make sure that every single step of the process has an assigned staff member to ensure the entire operation is a well-oiled machine.

Here are a few examples of the ways in which Thrive helps you during implementation:

Onboarding workshops

You’re not in this alone! Thrive takes you through a series of thorough onboarding workshops so you can get to grips with your new LMS. We pride ourselves on the fact that our LMS is easy to use - but we also want to make sure we’re not “throwing you in at the deep end.” With our easy-to-follow workshops, you’ll get acclimated to your LMS so that by the time you need to show your learners how to use it, you’re a bonafide expert.

Implementation Specialist

Arguably the most important person in this equation, your Implementation Specialist is always on-hand to guide you through every single step of the process and ensure your implementation is successful.

Customer Success Manager

Once you’ve launched, how will you measure success? Your Customer Success Manager handles all of that for you, establishing exactly what “success” means to you, how to measure it, and how to get the absolute most out of your LMS.

9. Test the platform

This one is also fairly obvious, but just to make sure we’re taking all precautions, make sure you test out the platform before rolling it out across your whole workforce. By doing this, you ensure that the integrations all work to your liking and allow yourself time to iron out any issues before launch.

10. Launch!

Now it’s time to take a deep breath, hit Publish, and enjoy the results of all your hard work!

Launch your platform, supported by those exciting campaigns you rolled out ahead of time, and watch the engagement roll in. Supported by your Customer Success Manager and 24/7 customer support, you can measure what “success” really means to you.

Thanks for reading our guide to a smooth learning platform implementation. If you’re looking for an LMS that will help your implementation go off without a hitch, with a dedicated Implementation Specialist, Customer Success Manager and 24/7 customer support, book a demo for Thrive today.

More Stories

See all

See Thrive in action

Explore what impact Thrive could make for your team and your learners today.

March 27, 2024
|
5 mins to read

How to guarantee a smooth LMS implementation

LMS implementation can be a daunting task, so we've rounded up ten actionable tips to make implementing and launching your platform as stress-free as possible.
Alex Mullen
Web Content Writer

How can you guarantee a smooth Learning Management System (LMS) implementation, and make sure that your digital learning strategy is set up for success?

If you’re here, we’re willing to bet that you already understand the importance of a digital learning platform for your organisation. If not, let us convince you: Digitising your learning can decrease your cost per learning hour, increase return on investment, improve customer satisfaction and engage your employees in their development like never before.

Even if we’ve sold you, you might still be understandably nervous about actually implementing the LMS. How is it going to work? Will there be issues along the way that will complicate the process? With learner and HR data to migrate, how do you know it’s going to go off without a hitch?

We might have lied to you a little bit in our title. After all, there are no guarantees in life - but there is the simple fact that being prepared sets you up for success.

With the help of our ten step guide, we believe that you’ll be on your way to an easy, stress-free LMS implementation. Read on to find out how to make implementation easy.

1. Choose the right LMS vendor for your specific needs

The first way to set yourself up for a smooth LMS implementation starts before you even have an LMS, in the Discovery phase. While you’re in this phase, make sure that you’re researching vendors who fit your specific needs.

This may seem like obvious advice, but with a long, unappealing research task stretching out ahead of you, it might be tempting to simply go with the most popular or well-known vendor. And in doing that you’ll obviously avoid having to spend countless hours digging through G2 and Capterra reviews, reaching out to other L&D professionals, and trawling case studies for the perfect match - but trust us, your future self will thank you for going the long way around.

Now, “your specific needs” could obviously mean a variety of things - and only you can fill in the blanks. For example, if you’re in the retail sector, this might mean finding an LMS with a great mobile app that travels the shop floor with your staff and allows them to access essential learning in minutes.

If your company places a big emphasis on career progression, you’ll need a platform that has exceptional Skills and Goals functionality built in to help your people reach their milestones in a meticulously-planned, easy-to-implement way.

Or, maybe you’re a large organisation comprising multiple, global teams. For a workforce spread out across the globe, communication is more important than ever. You’ll need an LMS that enables smooth, effortless communication to keep everyone connected. This could come in the form of company-wide broadcasts, live events within the platform, or simply the ability to individually follow one another’s learner profiles for updates.

Whatever your individual needs may be as an organisation, if you make sure that your vendor can accommodate them the implementation is likely to go smoothly as everyone will be on the same page.


2. Align with your new vendor

Speaking of being on the same page: Make sure that once you are partnered with your chosen vendor, you’re all aligned on priorities and the expected timeline. Setting expectations - from both sides - makes the implementation process markedly less stressful.

Establish:

  • What’s needed, both from you and your vendor?
  • What’s important to you in a learning platform?
  • What’s the expected time-frame?
  • What are the steps to take, post-launch?
  • What are the metrics by which to measure success of these steps?

Once you are aligned on expectations, you have a much better idea of what’s to come - and you can be fully prepared every step of the way.

3. Take stock of your existing learning content, and figure out the gaps you need to fill

Implementation is going to be so much easier if you have a good idea of what learning content you are missing. This involves taking stock of the content you already have, and identifying where the gaps lie.

Prioritise your content gaps in terms of how they align with the goals of the organisation, and make a plan to fill those content gaps before implementation. Before you stress about having to generate tons of new content, remember that this isn’t always necessary. You can employ the “content curation over creation” method, utilising elearning that you already have - or even videos and resources that you found on the internet.

By doing this, you’re filling your content gaps in a conscious, purposeful way.

4. Integrate your tech stack so that your LMS fits seamlessly into your workflow

This is a step to keep in mind both at the research stage, and during implementation.

Does your preferred vendor integrate with the apps and programs that your workforce uses every day? If not, it’s going to mess up your workflow and result in an ineffective learning strategy. Make sure your vendor caters for your specific integration needs before moving ahead.

For example, maybe your team uses Slack for communication. If your LMS vendor doesn’t offer that integration, the implementation of said platform may cause a fracture in your workflow - which is the exact opposite of what you’re aiming for.

Whatever the function is of the program you need to integrate, your LMS should be set up to help with that function - not hinder it.


5. Migrate your HR user data to the new LMS

Migrating all your learner data from one platform to another is an understandably daunting task - so make sure your vendor is up to it. For example, Thrive offers a migration tool to make everything easier. The tool takes your users, completion history and content directly from your current learning platform and imports them into Thrive.

6. Plan your LMS launch to guarantee success

As we think we’ve established by now, a smooth and successful LMS implementation (and launch) requires careful planning. And when it comes to the launch itself, you certainly don’t want your learners’ first introduction to their new LMS to be a blank, uninspiring platform that they get nothing out of.

In order to really capitalise on the “new-ness” and excitement of the platform, plan an engaging launch campaign that will help you gather momentum and make a splash once it goes live. This starts before the LMS has launched - both in terms of planning, and in terms of getting your learners involved.

Take Thrive customer Inspired as an example. It was extremely important to them that their learners be involved and invested right from the very beginning of the process, so they ran a competition across the company to pick the name of their LMS. This early engagement got their learners on board and interacting with the platform from the get-go.

7. Train your staff on how to use the LMS

Much like our above point, your LMS implementation and launch are likely to fall flat if none of your staff actually know how to use it. Training everyone on the use of your new LMS is absolutely essential if you want to get everyone on board.

Enrol your staff in mandatory LMS training to get them up to speed. In some cases, your vendor can supply a "staging site" ahead of time to get you familiarised prior to launch.

8. Keep in touch with your LMS provider throughout the process

It’s so important to regularly communicate with your vendor throughout the implementation process. We can’t speak for any other vendor, but here at Thrive we make sure that every single step of the process has an assigned staff member to ensure the entire operation is a well-oiled machine.

Here are a few examples of the ways in which Thrive helps you during implementation:

Onboarding workshops

You’re not in this alone! Thrive takes you through a series of thorough onboarding workshops so you can get to grips with your new LMS. We pride ourselves on the fact that our LMS is easy to use - but we also want to make sure we’re not “throwing you in at the deep end.” With our easy-to-follow workshops, you’ll get acclimated to your LMS so that by the time you need to show your learners how to use it, you’re a bonafide expert.

Implementation Specialist

Arguably the most important person in this equation, your Implementation Specialist is always on-hand to guide you through every single step of the process and ensure your implementation is successful.

Customer Success Manager

Once you’ve launched, how will you measure success? Your Customer Success Manager handles all of that for you, establishing exactly what “success” means to you, how to measure it, and how to get the absolute most out of your LMS.

9. Test the platform

This one is also fairly obvious, but just to make sure we’re taking all precautions, make sure you test out the platform before rolling it out across your whole workforce. By doing this, you ensure that the integrations all work to your liking and allow yourself time to iron out any issues before launch.

10. Launch!

Now it’s time to take a deep breath, hit Publish, and enjoy the results of all your hard work!

Launch your platform, supported by those exciting campaigns you rolled out ahead of time, and watch the engagement roll in. Supported by your Customer Success Manager and 24/7 customer support, you can measure what “success” really means to you.

Thanks for reading our guide to a smooth learning platform implementation. If you’re looking for an LMS that will help your implementation go off without a hitch, with a dedicated Implementation Specialist, Customer Success Manager and 24/7 customer support, book a demo for Thrive today.

More Stories

See all

See Thrive in action

Explore what impact Thrive could make for your team and your learners today.