While it may be true that hindsight is 20/20, a common characteristic of all successful software implementations is proactive foresight.

This is where the strength of your Implementation Partner really shows. While a mediocre Partner will ask you some questions, check some boxes, and stand up a site, a more dedicated and experienced Partner will help answer questions you may not have even known you had.

For customers considering or about to embark on an LMS implementation, the following are some valuable lessons learned, distilled from over 100 successful LMS implementations.

  • Keep your approach to Administrator Roles (which define what a given Admin may do), and any associated Domain Restrictions (which limit to whom or to what a given Admin may perform an action) as simple as possible for initial go-live. It is much easier to become more restrictive later based on real-life experience than it is to “walk back” an overly-complex structure, once it has been put in motion.
  • Begin internal conversation early about what is and isn’t training, and what you ultimately want living in your LMS. It’s easy to “junk up” your LMS over time if standards are not defined and enforced early on. For example: should SOPs really be delivered and tracked via LMS? Or would another system be more appropriate for that purpose?
  • If you will bring learning histories into your new LMS, begin consolidating disparate sources of data early on – and make sure you account for all potential sources. It is much less efficient to perform a second or third round of data migration later; make the most of the momentum you have now.
  • When mapping out your change management and communication strategy, don’t neglect your vision for elective vs. proscribed training (i.e. “pull” vs. “push”). Will your users have access to an elective Catalog of content, or will the training be assigned only? Where will you fall within that spectrum? Too often customers have a vague vision here, resulting in a muddied (i.e. what is in it for me?) end-user experience.
  • Consider what role your Supervisors will perform in the LMS. Will they play an active role in their employees’ training or a passive one? If your training culture has defaulted to a “top-down” approach in the past, does your new LMS bring opportunity to empower new stakeholders?

Finally – and this goes for any type of software implementation – put some real thought into who your project team members will be, and ensure that you give them adequate time to focus on the implementation. Lack of resource commitment on the customer side is one of the leading causes of failed implementations.