How SkillBuilder® LMS Helps You Ace Your LMS Implementation
You just spent three years tinkering with an LMS that didn't work for you and another year searching for a replacement that's a better match. Now it's time to implement the chosen system and finally get your training program running properly. So what happens next? Will you be three days past your 'go live' date with two months of work left to do? Will you make your deadline only to find that half your learner accounts didn't transfer properly from the HRIS? Or will the whole process follow a well-thought-out and resourced plan, glitches identified and resolved well before it's time to go live, data transferred smoothly and everything ready to go on schedule?
A failed or problematic implementation has serious consequences. If your LMS doesn't work for its users, you can lose buy-in and face pressure to replace the LMS. Additionally, learners can transfer their frustrations with an LMS to the learning program, undermining your training. How can you avoid this? This article will discuss the two things a successful implementation requires: a good process, and solid support system, and show how SkillBuilder® LMS sets you up for success.
Let's first turn our attention to the implementation process, and the steps you should take.
Step 1. Determine your requirements and goals
- Which LMS features will you be using?
- What software integrations are necessary?
- What data will be migrated?
You can start by returning to your reasons for seeking a new LMS and focusing on those goals throughout the implementation process.
There is a tendency to be overly ambitious at this stage, but excessive expectations generally lead to disappointment. Focus on your priorities first and expand your requirements as your implementation progresses.
Step 2. Gather an Implementation Team
Your implementation team should consist of two or three groups:
- Core Team: The core team includes at least two people, an administrator who is in charge of the process and an additional person responsible for learning content. Other members can be included based on your needs.
- Support Team: Support team members are people who will have considerable input and an active role in configuring and using the LMS. They should include representatives from Information Technology (IT) and Human Resources (HR), as well as a representative group of learners and administrators who will complete a pilot program in the LMS.
- Stakeholders: You may also choose to list key stakeholders who will not participate in the implementation but who need to be kept informed of your progress.
Note sure who should be on your team? Talk to one of our learning experts; we're happy to help you figure this key step out!
Step 3. Develop an Implementation Plan
A realistic implementation plan is the key to effective implementation of all major software. Appropriate timelines and resources, including personnel and budget, are crucial to success. Your plan should include:
- Project overview
- Activity timeline
- Roles and responsibilities
- Communication plan
- Risk Management plan
Step 4. Integrate with Existing Systems
Your requirements list and implementation plan will list the systems that need to be integrated. They may include a human resources information system (HRIS) or membership management system. To help with this process, SkillBuilder® LMS has a number of API connections that are already configured such as Bamboo HR, TaxJar, Microsoft Dynamics 365, and Disqus.
Single-sign-on (SSO), which gives people direct access to the LMS after logging into another system, can also be set up at this stage.
Step 5. Migrate Data
If you're switching from another LMS, you'll probably have a substantial collection of courseware and user data to transfer. SkillBuilder® LMS is SCORM and TinCan (xAPI) compliant and can accept all courses developed in these standard formats.
LMS may export data for transfer in a number of formats, so care is required to ensure data is set up correctly. It's a good idea to transfer data in batches so you can identify any problems before you fill your new system with problematic data.
Step 6. Configure the LMS
In this step, you set up SkillBuilder® LMS to meet the needs you identified in Step 1. Some tasks include:
Branding: SkillBuilder® LMS is a white label LMS, so you will need to upload your logo, pick your theme colors and set up other aspects of branding.
Registration: SkillBuilder® LMS can be set up to allow self-registration or to restrict registration to those with the appropriate permissions.
eCommerce: If you're using eCommerce, it's time to set up your pricing structure and payment options.
Learning Items and Learning Paths: You'll need to spend some time thinking about how you want to structure your learning material before you set it up.
Gamification: Gamification can be an excellent motivator. SkillBuilder® LMS allows you to implement features like points displays, Open Badges and leaderboards that will take your training to the next level.
Step 7. Test your LMS
Once everything's set up, it's time for the all-important (yet often overlooked) trial run. If you have problems, this is when you want to find out about them. Serious issues in a live system will frustrate the people using it and can reduce buy-in. Besides, it's often easier to fix things before the LMS comes into active use. As you can expect your pilot to turn up some glitches, make sure your timeline includes ample time to deal with them.
The right implementation process is a pre-requisite for success, but you'll also need the proper support to make things run smoothly. With SkillBuilder® LMS, you can choose the level of implementation support that best meets your needs:
1. Independent Implementation
SkillBuilder® LMS was built with the user in mind. With its user-friendly design and comprehensive help system, you can complete the implementation on your own.
2. Implementation Coaching Session
If you'd like a bit more support, sign up for a trial run. Implementation specialists will provide an overview of the process or focus on your particular concerns, as you prefer.
3. Expert Support
Maybe you need few hours of support to help you with a certain difficulty. Or you might prefer expert advice and assistance throughout the process, from choosing your implementation team and building an implementation plan to carrying out every step of the implementation process. For personalized support from the experts, contact us for a quote.
The implementation stage is where you can either set your Learning Management System up for success or failure. After all the work you put into selecting the right LMS for your organization, make sure you do everything you can to usher it through the implementation stage in an effective and efficient manner. This article has walked you through both the steps you can take to make your implementation a positive experience, and the various levels of support that BaseCorp offers. Hopefully this gets you started on the right foot - contact us today with any questions!
Jill is an Instructional Designer at BaseCorp Learning Systems with more than 10 years of experience researching, writing and designing effective learning materials. She is fascinated by the English language and enjoys the challenge of adapting her work for different audiences. After work, Jill continues to leverage her professional experience as she works toward the development of a training program for her cats. So far, success has not been apparent.