Anyone who’s ever been in charge of launching a company learning management system (LMS) knows that it takes a lot of work and dedication. Depending on the size of your organization, there are different factors to consider, including resources, time constraints, and the stakeholders that are involved in the process.
11 ways your LMS launch could go off without a hitch
Every company is different and has different training needs. However, there are things that you can do to make sure that learners will not only adopt the new platform, but will remain engaged for a long time.
That is why we have prepared this handy guide for a successful LMS launch:
Define your LMS goals
For a successful LMS launch, companies should have clear goals and a plan on how to achieve them. Conduct a training needs analysis to see what employees need to know and how this aligns with your business goals. You can also interview people in key positions such as managers to understand what they need the most from the LMS. This stage will also help you measure performance later on.
Get everyone on board
Important stakeholders such as the CEO and middle management should be on board from the very start. They should have a clear view of why using an LMS is important for the business, and should be provided with constant updates. For example, send a weekly email detailing what you’ve implemented and what you plan to do next e.g. adding more courses. Gather a team with different roles such as administrator, instructor, and instructional designers. They should work together well, even before the launch.
Create a learning experience map
A learning experience map helps you visualize the learner’s journey from the beginning to the end. Then, you can make important decisions such as whether learners sign up themselves or are given an invitation via email. Learners also need to see how training programs are interconnected and how to make the most of each learning opportunity. How? They can be automatically enrolled in a more advanced course after completing a more basic one.
Read more: Why each employee needs a learning path
Get to know the platform
Be curious. Get to know the different aspects of your LMS, such as the features and integrations. For example, you can integrate with your favorite web conferencing tools. Take some time to learn about automation, gamification, reporting tools, and other more advanced tools created to engage your learners. Keep in touch with your LMS provider and get help from them if needed.
Make the LMS your own
The platform should feel as 100% your company and a reflection of your brand. Customizing the logo, color scheme, and main portal are just some of your options. You can create a new portal for each department that is still connected to the main platform. If you need something extra, get a custom branded app! Your clients and employees will surely be more motivated to check it out.
Make learners a part of the process
Learners will be more likely to adopt the LMS if they feel involved in the process. You can ask for their opinions on what you should name your portal, their preferred content format, their favorite way to communicate with each other. In fact, they can give you so many ideas about what to do that you won’t need to look anywhere else. That should also make them eager to learn more about the platform and future training opportunities.
Have enough content planned out
The platform needs to be user-friendly and have a beautiful interface. However, the magic is in the content. Learners will grow bored of the LMS if there is nothing for them to learn. Plan ahead and create courses even if they are not published right away. Ideally, learners should find a few courses and at least a learning path to begin with.
Start with a pilot
Starting smaller is a great way to test the platform before a full launch. Choose a region or a department that can act as your testers and give valuable feedback for improvement. It also helps you troubleshoot if there are any problems that users might encounter. For example, you might find out that they don’t know how to ask for help with the platform. Plan accordingly so that it will be clear how to take different actions in the platform from the very start.
Create a launch campaign
To ensure that learners will adopt the new platform, you need to create some anticipation. For example, you can release teasers to create some hype. Polls or surveys are also a good idea since they can give their opinions on training and what you should implement next without giving away too much. Of course, the easiest way would be to also have an email campaign with updates ahead of the official launch day.
Create a comprehensive learner’s guide
If your LMS provider is anything like MATRIX LMS, you will have comprehensive guides and help to get learners on track from day one. You might also want to create your own internal documentation containing enrollment instructions, information on how to complete user profiles, etc. Use the learning experience map for optimum results.
Hold a launch event
The day of the LMS launch is very important. This is the moment to make a good first impression and celebrate your hard work so far. The company can host an offline office party, which is a great opportunity to get initial reactions. However, for a larger company with different offices it’s also possible to host an online event.
Ready to launch
An LMS is the most important tool that you will use for training. Making sure that you are taking the right choice and then that you are starting off on the right foot should be your first priorities. A successful launch ensures platform adoption, satisfaction, and that the company will be making the most out of this investment.
Ioana believes that learning never stops. When she is not writing about learning and ed tech, she can usually be seen reading a book and drinking lots of coffee.