The implementation project plan is the backbone of any successful LMS implementation.
It provides the structure and guidelines for your project to succeed.
As a team leader, it’s your job to make sure everyone is on the same page about how the implementation project plan should look.
No training programs, no material, and no software is worth much if the plan is incomplete or confusing.
The more detailed the plan, the better.
Why Is An Implementation Plan Important?
There are so many aspects involved when implementing Learning Management Systems, such as
- setting up your data structures,
- creating your content, and
- setting up your course shell(s)
You do all these while trying to get technologies integrated into your current environment.
Trying to take on these tasks all at once will cause your project to fail.
If you do not have an implementation plan or at least a basic outline of how you will implement your Learning Management Systems, you waste valuable time.
Below is a list of ideas why having a successful implementation plan is essential:
This should be obvious, but if you do not have a plan, it will take lengthier than required to get the job completed.
This extra time could cost your organization money in terms of lost hours or paying someone overtime.
With an implementation plan, you will know exactly what needs to happen next and when it needs to happen.
For example, in crafting an employee training, you can ensure that you have the correct content, at the correct time, and in the correct order.
And if there are mistakes, you can make sure that the mistakes get corrected quickly.
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Prevents “Scope Creep”
When there is no plan in place, it is easy for new tasks and assignments to pop up and delay the project.
Allowing this type of behaviour will cause your project taking longer than expected or, worse, never completed.
Plan Makes Communication Easier
With an implementation plan, you will know where to find the information, your goal, and who needs to see it.
The content creators need to know where the information is so they can start working on it.
The project managers and other team members need to know where to find the information so they can update it as needed.
It will also be easy to communicate changes to the plan throughout the project.
With an implementation plan in place, your organization will allocate more cost to the project and put investment on it versus doing it last minute.
Additional resources and people can be allocated to the project, while money is invested in the project.
You’ll also have a more positive outcome and everyone will have a more positive perception of the project.
The Project-Plan for A Successful LMS Implementation
Learning Management System implementations are not a project that should be taken lightly.
They are very resource intensive and demand a great deal of preparation and arrangement.
When an organization implements a Learning Management System for their user, they need to ensure that the implementation will be done correctly.
Not just by the trainer person who is going to use it, but by the IT department and the user as well.
LMS implementations can take anywhere from 1 to 3 months, and after reading this article, you will learn how to do it right!
The initial action in the implementation process is to create a project plan. This project plan should be created using Microsoft Project or a similar tool.
The Project Plan will contain all the tasks that need to be accomplished to implement your Learning Management System successfully.
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You must not skip this step.
Leaping this level will occur in a poorly executed Learning Management System. It could damage your company’s reputation and decrease employee productivity.
Often, companies skip planning and move right into creating the Learning Management System implementation structure without using the opportunity to consider what they are doing or how they will accomplish it.
If you are thinking about skipping the planning stage for your LMS implementation, do not!
Several components need to be considered when creating an LMS Implementation Plan.
The beginning action is to produce a framework of all the tasks necessary in order for your Learning Management System implementation to go as smoothly as possible.
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Once you have created an outline of the tasks you need to accomplish, it is time to break down each task into subtasks.
Assign them to someone in your organization and involve them in the implementation team.
The project plan should be created using Microsoft Project or a similar tool.
If you are using Microsoft Project and are familiar with the software, this process will be straightforward for you.
If not, take a class on how to use Microsoft Project. It will make creating your project plan straightforward and efficient.
Once the tasks are broken down into subtasks, an implementation team should be assigned.
The person in command of all implementation processes should be identified by name, and their role should also be defined.
This project plan should then be communicated to your IT department and other departments involved with the LMS implementation team, such as HR or payroll.
This way, everyone knows what they are doing and when they need to have it done.
Project Plan Tasks and Responsibilities
Once you have created the project plan and communicated it to everyone involved, it is time to work on the tasks.
The project plan is your guide on how to implement your LMS correctly, and if you follow each task step-by-step, you will implement it successfully.
The subsequent parts will cover some tasks that you need to include in your project plan.
Once you have decided on an LMS, you will need to think about the content courses that are going to be used for it.
You might already have some content courses or not, depending on your LMS vendor.
If you have content, it is essential to look at it and decide whether it can be reused.
For your LMS implementation to go as smoothly as possible, reuse as many content courses as possible.
This will help to prevent last-minute scrambles to get all the content ready for your new LMS.
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If you do not have any existing content, then it is time to get started creating some!
If you are an internal trainer with some PowerPoint slides and maybe a few videos, this process may not take too long.
However, if you are purchasing videos or training materials from another company, there is much work that needs to create your new LMS content.
It is essential to create a detailed plan on how you will develop your LMS content by creating content management.
This will serve you and your organization to stay organised and know precisely what needs to be done to create all the content needed for your new LMS.
User Training and Awareness
For the LMS technologies to be adequately implemented, it is imperative to train the user. If you only have a few users and are all in your office, this process may not take too long.
However, if you have users throughout different locations and countries, it might be a good idea to hire an outside company to train your users.
The users must understand how the LMS will benefit them and how it will be used.
If you do not do this, then your users will ignore the new LMS technologies and continue using paper or other inferior systems.
To help with user training, you can also create an awareness of the LMS in the workplace.
This can be done by putting up posters, creating an intranet page, and having a few meetings with the person who will use it.
The more awareness you create, the more likely your users will understand how to use the LMS and why it will help them.
Once you have trained your users and created an awareness of the new LMS, it is time to use it! In order for users to use the LMS, they need to know how to use it.
It would be best to create detailed training plans to train themselves with their new LMS.
If you already have an established training structure for other training, change it for LMS training.
If you do not have a structure in place, then creating one will help prevent confusion later down the road when users try to figure out how everything works.
It is also imperative that you decide on a delivery method for your LMS training.
Once you have decided on a delivery method, it is time to deliver your users’ training.
You might wonder why it is so important to have a structure for how you are going to deliver the LMS training.
This is so that when new users come along, they will know exactly where to go and what to do when they need help with the LMS.
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User Support and Training Materials
Now that your users are trained and using their new LMS, it is time to support them!
Your new LMS may not have all of your previous LMS features. It means you will need to look for workarounds or alternatives.
If there are any features missing or bugs in the system, then it is your job as a Project Manager to report these issues directly to the vendor or software company.
Make sure to get them fixed as soon as possible.
If there are any training materials you have created for your users, then it is good to post them on the intranet or other locations where your users can easily access them.
This will ensure that the training materials are always up-to-date and everyone follows the same guidelines and procedures when using the new LMS.
With reporting, it is essential to know how you will report and whom you are going to report it to.
It is good practice for a Project Manager to report back at least once a month about everything that has been done.
It is also crucial that you know how you are going to report back as well.
Are your reports going into an Excel spreadsheet? Are they being sent via email? Or are they being sent via an online portal?
In order for reporting to be successful, there needs to be a good structure and process in place for reporting.
It would help if you made time to look back at your LMS implementation team. See what went right, what went wrong, and how you can improve the project in the future.
It is also vital that you send out an email to all the participants. Let them know how successful the project was or if there were any issues with it.
This will help ensure that everyone is on the same page and that there are no surprises down the road.
Future Project Planning
Now that your LMS implementation has been completed successfully, it is time to think about your next one!
Before you plan your new LMS, make sure that there are no bugs or issues with your current LMS.
If everything is running smoothly, then think about what features you want to add next. You can also think about what the learners would like to see in the LMS next.
Chances are some features that you need to add to your current LMS.
If you can get feedback from your learners about what they would like to see added, it could make your life much easier when planning for your next one!
It is also essential to think about the future of your LMS implementation project. Are there any other projects coming down the pipeline?
To ensure that everything runs smoothly, it is a good idea for a Project Manager to manage multiple projects at once if needed.
It does not matter how big or small a project is. You must take the same steps for every project.
This way, you can make sure that everything comes together on time and within budget.
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Implementing the LMS
In conclusion, a Project Manager must know how to plan for an LMS implementation project.
It’s easy to forget minor details if you are not prepared, which could cause some issues down the road.
LMS implementations can be an enriching experience for a Project Manager if done correctly.
If you follow these steps, then there is no doubt in my mind that your LMS implementation will be successful!
Don’t forget to checkout on Cudy’s LMS today and make it your preferred LMS!