First Steps when it’s not your chosen LMS

StepsSometimes the decision to procure an LMS is out of your hands. Maybe your boss has been working on the strategy, but you get to be the implementation monkey. Or you are new into a company and the implementation of a chosen LMS is your first task. Whatever the reason, the decision has already been made.

After all the background work has been done, the scene is set for the implementation manager to take over. Coming into a project like this without the background knowledge can be a difficult task and getting up to speed on both the organisation and the project concurrently can be challenging. Unfortunately, you are probably going to spend your first days reading alot of documentation and asking some really stupid questions. When faced with this situation I like to undertake a number of activities:

  1. Review the RFTs – what were they looking for and why
  2. Review the vendor’s submissions – what are they offering, but more importantly, what are they not!
  3. Review the unsuccessful vendors’ submissions – why were they not chosen
  4. Access the evaluation system and play with it – does it do exactly what it says on the tin? (Hint: No!)
  5. Read the user manuals (or in my case skim them…I’m more of a user manual as a last resort kind of person)
  6. Play at L&D administrator – sit in on meetings and learn the day-to-day tasks of the L&D department to absorb their processes and procedures.  Answer phone queries, help schedule events/pack materials/etc. This will be perhaps the most beneficial part of your “induction”. You need to know first hand the frustrations with and limitations of the existing systems and processes. You need to know where the department is trying to go. And why. While this learning period might not always be possible at the beginning of an implementation, I firmly believe that the knowledge gained in this time will prove to be a huge factor in the (hopefully) successful and smooth implementation of your LMS.
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