Thursday, November 20, 2008

Best Practices for Implementing a Learning Management System

I have just co-written a white paper that is now available through Brandon Hall.

Here is the description of the paper - click the link if you would like to purchase it or stay tuned to my blog for further ideas and writings.


Imagine you've been given the job of researching and finding a suitable learning management system (LMS) for your company. Where do you start?

Everyone knows that selecting the wrong LMS can have terrible financial repercussions and hurt the quality of your learning initiatives. What is often forgotten, though, is that selecting the RIGHT learning management system but implementing it poorly can be equally painful.

This report, written by Gary Woodill, Ed.D., director of Research and Analysis at Brandon Hall Research; David Fell, vice president of Business Development at Operitel Corporation; and Christopher Woodill, Vice President, Solutions and Strategy at Navantis Corporation, is the first in a four-part series on the process of implementing an enterprise LMS.

A typical LMS can take months, if not a year or more, to implement and can cost hundreds of thousands of dollars. Getting it right is critical; getting it wrong can be a problem for both you and your business. Essentially, the process involves four stages:

Stage 1: Planning and Evaluating Business Needs for an Enterprise LMS
Stage 2: Purchasing an Enterprise LMS
Stage 3: Implementing the Selected LMS
Stage 4: Maintaining, Supporting, Operating, and Governing an LMS

This report focuses on Stage 1 and addresses the following:

  • Developing a business case for investing in a learning management system
  • Considering alternatives to an LMS
  • Articulating a vision and scope for the entire project, resulting in developing a “project charter”
  • Developing an implementation strategy and project management plan that includes presenting the business case, assessing the LMS's impact on the organization, and changing management strategy
  • Developing the communications and marketing plan for the project
    Identifying all stakeholders for an enterprise LMS
  • Conducting a requirements gathering exercise, including developing “use cases” for each business unit and group of stakeholders
If you have thoroughly carried out the above suggestions, then you are ready to prepare and send out an RFP, investigate products and vendors, and move toward purchasing a learning management system. It’s also important to note that getting this first stage right provides a firm foundation for success in all the later stages.


Margot said...

This comes to me at a crucial time in my career with synchronistic good timing for my career

bless u hope all is well in Toronto!

Margot (the artist formerly known as Margaret)
Gibsons, BC

Natasha Williams said...

As you said the first stage is very important. Understanding the business needs and aligning the LMS with the business objectives is the most important stage which leads to the further success of all the other stages. In similar lines i found another article, which speaks about the practicalities associated with implementing the LMS, which i would like to share here.

Gilfus Education Group said...

Thought you might enjoy this..

Our team at the Gilfus Education Group just released this white paper to provide critical insights to practitioners while clarifying "Social Learning" as a concept.

Social Learning Buzz Masks Deeper Dimensions Mitigating the confusion surrounding “Social Learning” (Download Here)

It is our hope that by leveraging socially based technologies the education industry can shape a new educational technology paradigm that realizes the promises of true “Social Learning”.

By understanding its applications we can create a unique opportunity to improve student engagement, student retention, academic success and overall educational outcomes.

– Stephen Gilfus, Gilfus Education Group

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