Project Managing your LMS Implementation

PlanIf you are a project manager you might want to skip this one! I am going to assume that anyone who reads this has either a) never had the joy of project managing a project before; or b) has done a little PM work, but nothing on this scale.

EDIT: Fantastic list of Project Management tools on

Any project needs to be managed. This is common sense. Someone needs to control the budget, review the workload and ensure the finished product is delivered on time. There are different established project management methodologies and bodies, e.g. check out the websites for Prince 2 or PMI to access information and some free templates/guides. Check out ProjectSmart for this useful PM Glossary and an excellent guide to PM (pdf). 

Project Management Office
Your first port of call should be your PMO. If you have a preferred (or mandatory) project management methodology in your company, then you should follow it. There’s no point in submitting a project update of your own making if it’s going to be sent back and cause delays. Keep your PMO updated, as required.

Project Plan
Are you building an apartment complex or implementing an LMS? Don’t make your project plan so complex that no-one else in your department can understand it. Microsoft Project is the obvious choice of tool, but there are open source alternatives (see this Wikipedia comparison of tools). And if you don’t have the time/will to learn a new tool, there’s nothing wrong with using Excel or Word. You can find project plan templates for all the Microsoft Office products on their support site.

At a glance, your project plan will probably have, at the very least, sections on the following:

  • Project Initiation
  • Process Mapping
  • Data Migration
  • LMS Review Cycles
  • User Acceptance Testing (UAT)
  • User Interface Design
  • End User Training
  • Project Close

Other Online Resources
There are various project management resources online at the Free Management Library and Business Balls.

Obviously, developing a good project plan is only step one on the project management process. As the project progresses you will have to monitor the plan, make adjustments for early/late milestones, motivate your team, engage your stakeholders, etc. We’ll get there!

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