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13 LMS Best Practices for Successful Implementation

Perhaps you’re using a learning management system (LMS) for the first time or switching providers because your existing vendor didn’t offer the tools you needed.

 In either case, implementing a new LMS can be a long, daunting process.

You’re looking for a guide to help you successfully implement the new tool, get buy-in from your team, and see a return on your investment quickly. The problem? The learning and development industry is constantly evolving. Vendors release new features daily, making it challenging to identify the most current and effective strategies for your business.

This guide is here to solve that problem. We’ll share 13 LMS best practices to select the right tool for your L&D initiatives and get the most value from the platform you choose.

What is an LMS?

A learning management system (LMS) is a platform businesses use to create, deliver, update, and track learning across the organization. It has a variety of use cases; you can implement an LMS to build a customer education academy or treat yours as a way to onboard new employees and deliver compliance training. 

Read more: What is an LMS? A Guide to Learning Management Systems

What is LMS implementation?

LMS implementation is adding an LMS to your business’ infrastructure.

 It involves tasks like:

  • Setting up the software
  • Migrating learner data from another platform 
  • Organizing content so that it’s easily accessible for learners

In a nutshell, successful LMS implementation is the step-by-step action plan that L&D managers use to bring their tool to life, making it ready for end users to engage with courses, training materials, and educational content.

Read more: 9+ Steps for an Effective LMS Implementation Project Plan

LMS implementation best practices

  1. Determine expectations and goals 
  2. Create an implementation timeline
  3. Build an LMS implementation team 
  4. Prepare your data
  5. Carefully curate and organize content
  6. Customize the LMS 
  7. Offer regular LMS training
  8. Use LMS customer support 
  9. Encourage collaboration
  10. Evaluate and improve
  11. Prioritize ease of use
  12. Always demo the system
  13. Use gamification and incentives 

1. Determine expectations and goals

The first step is knowing exactly what you’re using your LMS for. Are you training customers? Or are you using your LMS to onboard new hires and roll out L&D initiatives to your team? 

While you can use WorkRamp’s All-in-One LMS for employee and customer learning, either instance would have a different use case and setup process.

If you’re using the LMS to train employees, for example, goals might be:

  • Ease the strain on your IT team
  • Reduce employee churn
  • Increase employee productivity

You can then shortlist LMS platforms with this in mind. Prioritize systems with integrations that pull data from your HR platform, like Workday, and sync training content, such as sales call recordings, from apps like Gong.

2. Create an implementation timeline

Implementing a new LMS isn’t an overnight task. It can take a few months to upload your training materials and get learners to use it. 

Creating a timeline helps organize tasks during the implementation stages. You can set realistic deadlines and prepare a smoother transition from any other software you use. 

Share your LMS implementation timeline with the wider team. That way, stakeholders can track progress and weigh in on potential bottlenecks. This will allow you to avoid things that throw you off track and allocate resources more effectively. 

Read more: Free LMS Implementation Checklist: The Ultimate Guide for Effective Deployment

3. Build an LMS implementation team 

Speaking of implementation, it’ll help speed up the process if you can assemble a team. 

The person owning the LMS migration usually acts as a project manager. It’s their responsibility to oversee the process, manage resources, and handle any queries from the people using your new LMS. 

Alongside the project manager, involve future users in the process. Learners can buy into the new software early, see its value, and give their opinions when they’re involved from the get-go. 

Plus, it’s easier to tweak things before you roll out the new LMS than go back over customization options when you’re six months in and realize an important feature is missing.

4. Prepare your data

An LMS is most effective when it stores all your important L&D data in one place.

 If you’re migrating from another platform or are investing in your first LMS after distributing training materials manually, prepare data like:

  • User profiles (including logins and permissions)
  • Learner progress (including courses they’ve enrolled and completed)
  • Course content

Before uploading new data or migrating from your old system, spend some time cleaning it. Inaccurate data can lead to errors, confusion, and inefficiencies in the learning process. That’s the last thing you want to happen when users interact with your LMS for the first time. 

Accurate data also helps you assess how effective your training programs are, understand learner behavior, and make informed decisions to improve your L&D program.

5. Carefully curate and organize content

LMSes are powerful tools that can store tons of information. To get the most out of yours, learners need to easily access the training materials they need. That starts with effective content organization. 

If you’re using the same platform to educate different employees (such as managers and newly-hired employees, for example), you could:

  • Tag courses by job role
  • Create learning paths specific to each role
  • Create folders to organize courses by skill level

The Learning Cloud from WorkRamp makes curating and organizing learning content easy. Whether you’re training employees, customers, or partners, you can store it all within the content management system and signpost people to the most relevant content. 

6. Customize the LMS

An LMS should grow with your business. Before choosing yours, check there is flexibility to customize the dashboard. 

The Learning Cloud, for example, allows you to customize:

  • The registration and login page
  • User registration fields
  • Reminder emails and notifications

Let’s put that into practice and say you’re using an LMS to educate customers. Your email marketing series points people towards your online academy when they buy something, but you sell many services. The training materials that appeal to one persona might not be useful for another.

In that case, use the Learning Cloud’s customizable reminder emails to signpost people towards the most relevant content. The software can pull data from your CRM, tag user profiles in your LMS, and send personalized training recommendations.

7. Offer regular LMS training

Since LMS platforms have many features, regular training helps everyone become familiar with your new software, regardless of their role or location. This is crucial, considering 64 percent of workers are fully remote. 

Also, regular LMS training boosts users’ confidence, knowledge, and skills, making them more comfortable using the system. When you educate learners and admins on how the LMS helps them, you’ll get buy-in and see ROI faster. 

As part of your implementation plan, offer regular LMS training that shows users the system’s features. If possible, customize the training to match their specific roles. An HR manager will be uploading content and assigning courses, whereas learners need to understand how to filter courses and participate in end-of-module quizzes.

Your shiny new LMS is the perfect place to store these training materials. Use the Learning Cloud to upload multimedia—such as webinars, text, GIFs, images, case studies, and audio recordings—to your LMS. That way, everyone can access the training materials and get first-hand experience using the software. 

8. Use LMS customer support

It’s not just learners that can benefit from regular LMS training. The best LMS providers offer tutorials to uncover features you might not have recognized so you can get the most value from your software of choice. 

“Some people think that using an LMS means logging in and out of one course or another, but that’s not true,” says Daniel Nyquist, Chief Marketing Officer at Crosslist. “Just like you wouldn’t read a book by reading only one chapter, you can’t get the full value from an LMS by taking one class at a time.

“In order to really make the most of what your LMS has to offer, take advantage of its flexibility by signing up for multiple courses at once and then working through them as a whole,” Daniel says. “If you do this consistently over time, you’ll gain valuable skills without even realizing it!” 

9. Encourage collaboration 

An LMS—particularly one that offers communication features—makes it easier for users to connect with each other and their training facilitator. But it only works if you’re signposting users towards these tools and making it obvious that they exist. 

As part of your LMS implementation process, demonstrate how people can use community features like:

  • Discussion forums 
  • Private messaging features
  • Forums 
  • Social learning tools (such as content authoring from subject matter experts)

Share real-life examples to demonstrate how the LMS works across a team for greater buy-in amongst users. 

For example: “When facilitators answer student questions in the comments section beneath a training course, it’ll help future employees get the same answers, reduce the time training facilitators spend answering the same questions, and ultimately build a more comprehensive L&D program that brings new hires up to speed quickly.” 

10. Evaluate and improve

Regularly evaluating your LMS software helps identify areas for improvement. Only when you know what you’re achieving (or what you’re missing out on) can you course-correct and make sure the LMS meets its business goals. 

WorkRamp’s LMS has a built-in analytics feature to track quantitative metrics such as:

  • Completion rates by course or module
  • Total active users
  • Average assessment scores

Supplement this information with qualitative data. Encourage people to comment on the user experience through surveys, feedback forms, or direct communication. Do learners have any suggestions to improve the LMS? Is there a feature facilitators would like extra training on?

Take this feedback seriously. If employees say they access course content on their smartphones, but your LMS isn’t mobile-friendly, prioritize this functionality in the next phase of the LMS rollout. 

Finally, conduct regular audits to assess your LMS’ functionality, security, and alignment with business goals. These audits might sound unnecessary, but they have the power to uncover areas that require improvement—whether related to LMS efficiency, the online learning experience, or compliance with industry standards.

11. Prioritize ease of use

Considering today’s workplaces can have five generations of employees working alongside each other, the user-friendliness of your LMS is particularly important in teams with diverse skill levels and varying levels of technological ability. 

A simple-to-use LMS ensures all employees can engage with the platform effectively regardless of their technical background. This helps everyone access the software equally and creates a more inclusive workplace.

An intuitive LMS also reduces the likelihood of users encountering difficulties or requiring extensive technical support. You’ll reduce the burden on IT support teams, allow users to troubleshoot common issues independently, and support microlearning since users feel confident navigating the interface themselves. 

12. Always demo the system

Implementing a new LMS is no small feat. It can take months for the new system to be up and running. The last thing you want is to realize it’s missing an important feature, that the tool’s customer service is subpar, or you can get comparable LMS features for a much lower price than other vendors. 

Make sure you’re choosing the best option by taking a demo beforehand. Most providers, including WorkRamp, offer a guided tour or free trial for you to experiment with the software first-hand. Check it has the features you need before you start migrating. 

Most importantly, don’t limit experimentation to just you. Invite other stakeholders (including learners) to demo the LMS before you sign on the dotted line. 

Want to try out an LMS demo to see the Learning Cloud in action?

13. Use gamification and incentives

There’s no beating around the bush: some eLearning topics are dry. Compliance training, in particular, has a reputation for being boring. Who wants to sit and read pages of text about health and safety? 

Gamification increases learner participation scores by making your training content more enjoyable. 

It uses interactive formats like:

…to ignite a competitive spirit and get people interacting with the content you’re providing, rather than passively reading a wall of text (and forgetting what they’ve read an hour later). Studies have shown that we retain information better when interacting with the subject. 

Plus, using incentives motivates users to complete courses or achieve specific milestones within the LMS. This creates a sense of accomplishment and builds a learning culture that promotes continuous improvement.

Get started with the easiest-to-use LMS 

These LMS best practices are a great starting point if you’re migrating platforms or using an LMS for the first time. But there’s one thing we haven’t covered yet: you need a great LMS for all these best practices to stand.

The Learning Cloud has all the features you need to develop world-class training programs. Whether educating customers or bringing new employees up to speed, you can do it all (and more) with the Learning Cloud.

Ready to learn more? Contact us to schedule a free, personalized demo.

Complete the form for a custom demo.

Elise Dopson

WorkRamp Contributor

Elise Dopson is a freelance writer for B2B SaaS companies. She’s also the co-founder of Peak Freelance and mom to an adorable Spaniel pup.

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