Implementing an LMS is no mean task. In fact, a slight distraction in the LMS implementation process can even make your decision on selecting the LMS look wrong. You need to have your homework done ahead of time so as to make the implementation process as trouble-free as possible.
Below are a few things you definitely need to take care of:
1. Create a team and an owner of the implementation: Early on, it is very important to clearly define a team for configuration and implementation of the LMS. Ideally, the team should include individuals from all stakeholder units, key ones namely HR/Training, Management, IT. Identify a clear owner of the team and define roles and responsibilities clearly. Set some milestones at a macro level to begin with but leave the team to come up with the plan in consultation with the vendor.
2. Get top management buy-in: It is critical that the top management is well aware of all the ongoing activities with respect to the LMS; after all they are the ones controlling the buck. Ensure that all key management people are on board and you have their full support and acknowledgement for a smoother implementation.
3. Get stakeholder buy-in: Stakeholders are the individuals and groups who will affect and, in turn, will be affected by the LMS. They may have a multitude of interests, expectations, and demands as to what the system must provide to organization. Identify these key individuals and ensure you have their participation right from the needs assessment stage through to the actual launch. The stakeholders should be kept informed & engaged throughout the process. Ideally these should be represented in the team formed in Step 1.
4. Arrange for IT support: This may not be fully applicable for a hosted LMS, but for an LMS that is deployed behind-the-firewall, it is important to have excellent technical support from the IT department throughout and post the implementation. Work closely with the team to determine what resources will be required to implement the LMS and what additional resources would be made available during the course of the implementation process. Get them familiarized with the application – they don’t just need to know how to implement and integrate technically, but also how the business is going to use it and the implications for the system configuration etc.