LMS Implementation Strategy tip: Plan, plan and keep on planning

planning
Planning and preparation are the foundations of a successful LMS implementation.  Consider the below points in your planning and these will produce more aspects particular to your own organisation.
Set realistic timescales and think about the potential obstacles
Setting out a detailed plan of all tasks and activities will help you in defining the amount of time you need to effectively implement and roll out the system.  Consider the following:
  • How long will each of the activities take to implement?
  • What resources do we have and which are we missing?
  • What are our short, mid and long term goals for the system?
Think about the smaller issues that could be encountered such as:
  • Will the content we provide require additional browser plug-ins?
  • Are our internal computers powerful enough to deliver the content without issues for the learners?
  • Does everyone have access to a computer?
  • Where are we going to host the system:  internally on our servers or externally hosted?
Focus the training to be delivered on performance objectives
Training to be delivered must be targeted at learner’s performance objectives.
Make sure employees are clear on the goals of elearning
Internal communication to employees at all levels on the goals of elearning will ensure everyone in the business understands the reasons for introducing elearning and what the benefits to individuals and the business will be.
Do learners have the computer skills and equipment needed?
Overlooking this aspect can have major consequences.  Make sure that users have headphones if they are to take elearning at their desks.  Is everyone in your organisation competent in using web based applications….can they adjust the settings of a pop-up blocker?
Are Managers prepared to give learners time to take elearning during the working day?
This can be a tricky one, especially where Managers have strict deadlines to meet.  Taking an employee out of action for an hour per day can cause issues.  Meet with Line and Functional Managers to explain the benefits of elearning to both the individuals and the team.  Some companies have introduced “Learning Time Contracts” where an individual and their Manager agree a suitable schedule for learning time.
What support systems need to be put in place when learners have questions or need support?
Who will be the first line of support within the organisation?  Is there sufficient resource at present or are more people required?  What training will they require?  Being able to respond quickly and efficiently to learner’s questions and issues will have a positive impact to the ongoing success of the initiative.
How will the elearning initiative be marketed internally for the initial implementation and on an ongoing basis?
Successful take-up will depend on how learners are introduced to the system.  Making sure that users are fully educated on the system and its features is one of the best ways to achieve this.
Marketing the system prior to roll-out and then continuing that marketing will keep up awareness.  Some approaches to marketing initiatives are:
  • Drop-in sessions on the general use of the system
  • Scheduled classroom training events
  • Elearning courses designed specifically to instruct on using the system
  • Newsletters to users
  • Posters, mouse mats, pens and other marketing gimmicks
  • Internal Competitions
A mix of the above will work much better than a single tactic.
What provision needs to be made for locations where learners can take elearning; at their desks, from home, in a training room that is free from distraction?
Making provisions for learners to take elearning is an important aspect of the implementation.  Learners are the ones who will ultimately make the project a success and you must consider there needs in the overall plan.  Engage with employees to establish their preferred learning methods and factor these into how users will be able to access the system.
How will the learning be evaluated?
Learning and content evaluation are key tasks throughout the lifetime of an elearning initiative. Most LMS’s will have a mechanism within it to gather feedback from learners on specific courses. However, you should consider the sign off processes for in-house developed content to ensure it is accurate and true.  Also, making use of the built in reports will give you valuable feedback on the uptake and utilisation of content.
How will success be measured?
Many companies measure success differently, whether it is costs saved, number of people trained or time saved versus classroom training.
You must decide how you want to measure success and what you need to be able to make that measurement.  Get this process in place before you roll-out the system.

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