Migration Checklist to Move from an Old LMS to a New LMS

Viren Kapadia January 25, 2023
Migration Checklist to Move from an Old LMS to a New LMS

The learning and development (L&D) landscape has transformed in recent years. Organizations today carry out a few classroom training sessions and more online and on-demand lectures. Hence, it's crucial that your organization's Learning Management System (LMS) supports this transition. If your existing LMS doesn't have social capabilities and features, doesn't leverage the latest technologies and resources, and requires time and resource investment, consider LMS migration.

How to Choose a New LMS?

While choosing a new LMS, look for the following:

  1. Design: The LMS must have a responsive design, i.e., it should be accessible on all devices, such as laptops, smartphones, and tablets.
  2. User interface: The user interface should be intuitive and easy to navigate.
  3. Features: Look for an LMS with in-built features such as assessment tracking that helps track the learner's progress and improve the learning experience.
  4. Reports and analytics: Choose an LMS with reporting and analytics features to track if learners are meeting the learning objectives.
  5. Data security: Unlike legacy LMS, modern ones are more secure and prepared for advanced threats. Ensure that the LMS you choose follows all data security measures, such as encryption protocols and protected servers.

Organize A Pre-Migration Planning Session

Before LMS migration, a pre-migration planning session is essential to gather information from all stakeholders who understand the existing LMS well. These stakeholders could include subject matter experts, Learning and Development head from the HR team, instructional designers, LMS administrators, and the IT team.

The pre-migration planning session's aim is to collect information from all stakeholders on what they want and use it to choose the proper LMS. It will involve identifying all the learning environment aspects the existing LMS covers and the ones it should cover in the future. Apart from that, the team must discuss ways to integrate the LMS with other systems and plan a strategy for documentation.

Identify Inventory Training Assets in Old LMS

To get the most out of the new LMS, you must migrate the existing eLearning courses and the supplemental materials, such as learning portals, social media sites, and all other training assets vital for training and development. So, identify all the training assets you manage within the existing LMS, build an inventory, assess them, and then plan LMS content migration.

LMS Migration 7-Point Checklist

We have created this 7-point checklist that you can refer to while creating the LMS transition plan.

  1. Communicate the Change
  2. Change is not easy, as most employees show reluctance to embrace the new LMS. Sometimes even leaders display resistance to change. The only way to overcome this challenge is to design a change management strategy. It means the LMS managers must alleviate the fear of change and align the team with the organization's goals. Find champions who can influence the team to embrace the new LMS. Train the team, and create FAQ sections, self-help portals, and demos to help them understand the new LMS better.

  3. Engage the Right Resources
  4. Choose an LMS administrator or one key member from the HR team who understands the existing LMS deeply and the associated challenges well. They can help in managing the transition smoothly.

  5. Choose the Migration Method
  6. There are two methods of LMS migration - phased migration and the big bang approach. The phased migration involves migrating the data in phases. The LMS manager has to parallelly manage two systems. However, if there are issues, they can be rectified easily due to the small data volume. Big bang migration involves migrating the entire data at once. While LMS managers don't have to manage the two systems, the downtime and errors could complicate the migration process.

  7. Plan the Migration Process
  8. Clean the data, categorize it, and migrate it to the new LMS. Arrange the data in a logical flow to avoid any confusion post-migration. Use an LMS migration project plan template to guide the team through each migration phase.

  9. Conduct a Pilot Run
  10. Before migrating the data, do a pilot run to check if the new LMS is compatible, scalable, and allows smooth data transition from the old LMS. Ensure that the new LMS supports all the features it proposed during sales.

  11. Migrate Data
  12. Start migrating the data to the new LMS. Reformat the data, if necessary, before migrating to the new LMS. Preferably use the .csv format to migrate the data smoothly and retain the configuration settings. LMS managers can also convert the course materials into a SCORM package for easy integration.

  13. Conduct Quality Checks
  14. After migrating all the data, perform a user acceptance test (UAT) among end-users to get first-hand feedback on the platform. Review the workflow in the new learning platform and ensure that all learning goals are met, and all data is in place.

Main Challenges of LMS Data Migration

Despite the checklist, you might face the following challenges during LMS migration:

  1. Data loss:
  2. Data loss is a common problem in the LMS transition plan. It could happen when the LMS team forgets to export the data from the old system or if the data doesn't exist anymore. That's why creating an inventory is so crucial. Review all the data in your existing LMS, export it in an industry-recommended format, and assess it again after importing it into the new system.

  3. Incompatibility:
  4. The LMS managers must also consider compatibility challenges while migrating the data to the new LMS. Sometimes the exported data format might not be compatible with the new LMS. For example, the new LMS might not accept a word doc of data. In such cases, the LMS managers must choose formats such as CSV that are universally accepted by all systems to complete the migration.

  5. Complexity:
  6. LMS migration also involves exporting training and course history, and additional information, such as certifications and competence allocation. For such complex training data, use special scripts for migration.

LMS Data Migration Process

  • Data cleansing: Categorize and delete obsolete, duplicate, and inaccurate data before migrating to a new LMS.
  • LMS feature mapping: List the features you want in the new LMS, identify the must-have features in the existing LMS, and map them to the features in the new LMS.
  • Set milestones: Set realistic deadlines, milestones for migration, and estimates for each task to complete them on time.
  • Do test runs: Do a test run before switching to the new LMS. Check if it is responsive, tracks performance, and provides training reports.
  • Change management: Educate the staff on operating the new LMS and explain the benefits to encourage rapid adoption.

Testing and Analytics After the LMS Data Migration Ends

To ensure that the LMS works smoothly even after the LMS content migration ends, conduct the following tests:

  1. Localization to ensure that the LMS has translated all the content in different languages correctly.
  2. Stress test to find out how the LMS functions during peak usage.
  3. Multi-device test to check if the LMS works seamlessly on all devices.

Our Expertise in LMS Migration

According to Brandon Hill Group's research, 48% of organizations are exploring new solutions that deliver a better learning experience. At Gyrus, we understand the need for smart LMS to keep pace with the dynamic learning environment. Hence, we work with you at every step while switching to GyrusAim. We help organizations with:

  • Project planning.
  • GyrusAim Learning Cloud configuration.
  • Course and curriculum structures.
  • Data migration for learning content and learner data.
  • Integration with existing tools and systems.
  • Customization.


The future of LMS will be innovative and engaging for learners as new features like gamification and social learning get added. So, if your organization is still using a legacy LMS, it's time to migrate to a new one that's more intuitive and aligned with the latest learning trends.

Explore the new LMS options and choose the one that can align well with your organization's learning goals. More importantly, plan and execute the migration strategy well to migrate all data and create a positive learner experience.