Sure, it sounds like a match made in eLearning heaven: A system by which you can deploy, administer, track and assess your efforts with learners. What could be simpler? But while using an LMS can make your job easier and more effective, making huge mistakes during deployment could cause your LMS to go off the rails before it ever leaves the station. Proper eLearning project managementcan be accomplished by knowing what it really takes to deploy an LMS, and subsequently watching for common missteps, all go a long way to ensure that you have realistic expectations and eventually, real results.. (Check this resource post if you’re wondering what is a learning management system.)
Planning a Too-Tight Schedule
The process of deploying a new learning management system from start to finish is going to take some time, but too often organizations don’t budget enough for the work that goes into the task. From choosing and setting up the LMS, to creating administrative roles, uploading curriculum structure and working on user profiles, deploying an LMS takes time: Around an average of four months.
Be realistic when planning a deployment timeline. Being generous with your schedule means you have the space, time and manpower to deploy it right the first time and only when you’re ready.
Overbuilding the LMS
Think about an LMS as choosing a car off of the showroom floor: If you wanted, you could load it up with all the bells and whistles, but if you’re just looking for a commuter car, do you need them all? Seeing all of the features that come along with your chosen LMS can get you excited, but it can also leave you with way more work and technical components than you really need.
Remember that the more features you add to your LMS, the more prone you are to technical difficulties and slow deployment. Instead, flip the switch on the features that you need right now and leave the other bells and whistles until you really need them.
Deploying without Testing
Even the most advanced LMS is going to have some bugs. Whether it’s sketchy audio, device incompatibility or interactive components that won’t interact, your LMS might be a little fussy at first. Deploying your new LMS to the masses without a few test runs only means headache for you in the future. Users will come to you with their questions, tech support issues and concerns, so it’s vital that you test, retest – and then test again.
Get a beta testing group together, made up of users who will interact with the LMS much like your eventual learner, but who are technologically savvy enough to understand why they’re experiencing errors. Log those errors and utilize that beta testing to make your LMS perfect. While it might seem like an unnecessary step, taking the time to test means fewer tech-related issues going forward. It also gives you a better chance to really get to know your LMS and what it can (and can’t) do.
We get it: Deploying an LMS is pretty exciting in the world of L&D. But don’t let the excitement of a new system cause you to deploy without the proper prep. Instead, take your time and work out the bugs so that deployment is smooth, simple and seamless.