Implementing an LMS (or: Good Information Never Gets Stale)

Implementation, LMS  By: Mike Babcock

implement smallRecently I was looking for background information about implementing an LMS.  Naturally I did what most people do and searched the Internet for “lms implementation.”  After working my way down the list I noticed a link to the PDF “339 Tips on the Implementation of an LMS or LCMS,” by the Elearning Guild.

The document seemed interesting so I opened the link and noticed it was published November 20th, 2006.  Hmm, a document that’s almost ten years old.  In this age when technology changes so fast I wasn’t sure how relevant the information would be but I opened it anyway because certainly some of the 339 tips would still be useful.

Upon reviewing the document I realized that many of the ideas were quite helpful and still very important and relevant even in 2015, many years after the PDF was originally published.  For example, on page 11 the tip “Use a phased rollout to a small group of users first, then to a larger group, then to your largest group. Iron out the bugs with the small group.”  I used that advice a few weeks ago with a new Gyrus Systems customer, and there it was, published in black and white in 2006.  That idea, to start out small, is extremely important because if the learning program needs to be changed after the company goes live, it’s much easier to change it with a small number of users than with the whole company.

Another gem, “Test, test, test before going live with the new application to insure success.” on page 17.  That should be a no-brainer, but it’s amazing how challenging it can be to ensure that new customers spend adequate time testing the LMS during the implementation phase prior to going live.  Perhaps setting up and configuring the LMS took longer than necessary, limiting the testing time, because the planned “Go-Live” date is just around the corner and cannot be changed.  It’s a better idea to delay the go-live to guarantee plenty of testing time versus going live and being surprised by a failure that could have been caught in testing.

337 more useful tips are included in this informative publication.  I recommend downloading and reviewing it to prepare yourself with excellent advice for implementing your new Learning Management System.

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