Let’s take a look at some of the things you can do to encourage instant and sustainable engagement with your new LMS.
You’ve got your new learning management system designed and built to your specification. It’s ready for your learners to use. But how do you promote the new LMS to the rest of your organisation to ensure a successful launch and a positive response?
Here are a few useful tips to help you get the best results when you launch a new LMS.
1. Have your roll-out plan in place
Think about the ideal launch, then put the plan in place to make it happen. Create a timeline building up to the launch. Start with your launch date, then work backwards to schedule everything you want to achieve before the LMS goes live. That might include launch meetings, pre-launch training for admins and activity plans – anything that will mean your organisation is ready for action when the LMS is launched.
2. Put together a learning management system team
A company-wide launch is a big job for one person, so create a team to work alongside you. Choose people from across the organisation who will represent a wide range of views. This will maximise the chances of the entire organisation getting on board with the launch. Your team should include at least one person from the HR or training team and at least one person from the IT department to ensure the two main aspects of the LMS are covered.
3. Know your LMS
Do your homework. Even if you’re not the person who will be managing the LMS on a day-to-day basis, it is important that you know how it operates so that you can promote its key selling points and answer any questions that arise during the launch process.
Take up the offer of any training and use the LMS as much as possible to familiarise yourself with how it works and the way it will benefit different departments. We’re able to train you and fellow admins to get you up to speed with your new LMS. Equally, we can act as the first point of contact for any questions learners about your LMS through our support services.
4. Understand your audience
Your LMS will be used across the organisation, from junior staff to directors. It will be used by people experiencing online learning for the first time and by administrators responsible for overseeing the entire process. The language, tone of voice and visuals you use to explain and accompany the launch will have a big impact on how the LMS is viewed throughout the organisation. Get input and feedback from a broad group of team members to ensure your message is tailored to their varying needs.
If you’ve taken advantage of the flexibility of an LMS like Moodle or Totara, you should have Audiences and Hierarchies features in place to deliver what each of your audience groups needs. It’s important that you’re able to communicate to each user how those features benefit them.
5. Integrate your LMS
Engagement with your LMS will be much higher if it feels like a seamless extension of your existing systems. Double and triple-check with your LMS hosting provider and in-house IT team that the LMS is stable and integrated with your CRM, intranet and internal communications systems, authentication platform and any other systems used by your team. This will make your LMS more accessible (which will increase engagement) and also help you to make the most of tracking and reporting functionality across all platforms.
6. Get your content ready
Prepare, upload and test all your training materials within your LMS well in advance of the launch date. The primary purpose of your LMS is to provide online learning, so people will expect to be able to use that functionality from day 1. Get all your videos, audio recordings, presentations and quizzes ready to go. You want your LMS to make the right first impression.
7. Run a trial with test users
Even if you follow these tips, there is still a risk of something falling through the cracks. Prepare a soft launch with a group of test users to help you catch anything that’s been overlooked. Your test users might be the LMS team or a focus group. Regardless, you’ll be able to make sure the user experience, navigation, course assignment, course flow, communication and reporting features are all working as intended. If they’re not, you’ve still got time to make changes or improvements before the launch.
8. Keep communicating
Throughout all of this process it is important to keep communicating with everyone in your organisation. Whether that means Slack, email, phone calls or meetings, keep your colleagues informed about the launch plan so that they feel involved from the outset. As well as encouraging ‘buy-in’, this also gives you an opportunity to manage expectations about the new LMS. If your learners know what to expect, they’re less likely to get any unwanted surprises after launch.
Keep the lines of communication open after the official launch in the form of feedback requests, opinion polls, FAQs and how-to guides. Even after the initial flurry of feedback, we would suggest you continue to actively ask for feedback from users on at least an annual basis. This will help you to plan any future developments and reduce the risk of anyone feeling disenfranchised if the LMS isn’t doing something they think it should be doing.
If everyone in your organisation knows what the new LMS will do and when it’s launching, you’ve prepared and tested everything your learners will need upon launch, and you’ve integrated the LMS with your existing systems and processes, you’re in a very strong position to successfully launch your new LMS.
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