3 Common LMS Implementation Mistakes (and How to Avoid Them)

• 3 min read

What happens after you purchase an LMS? Avoid these LMS implementation mistakes

Gaining executive buy-in for new learning management system isn’t easy – after all, you have to convince your entire executive team that a sizeable investment will help your organization reach its L&D goals.

One of the topics that’s bound to come up during the decision-making process is implementation. What resources are required? Who needs to be involved? How long will it take? Having answers to all of these questions before purchasing an LMS is necessary for efficient implementation and setting the foundation for LMS success.

Let’s take a look at a few ways your LMS implementation can go awry – here are three common implementation missteps to avoid once you hear the executive “yes” on your LMS project.

Mistake #1: Not Setting Expectations

Perhaps the gravest error you can make when implementing your LMS solution is not setting expectations regarding timelines, milestones, and responsibilities. Loose timelines lead to missed milestones, which is incredibly frustrating and can cause your whole project to go off-track. Even worse is not understanding where hidden fees might pop-up in the implementation process.

To avoid these types of setbacks, be sure to vet your potential LMS vendors thoroughly. Ask questions and use an LMS RFP (Request for Proposal) if necessary.

Mistake #2: Falling Victim to Scope Creep

According to Techopedia, scope creep refers to “a project that has seen its original goals expand while it’s in progress. As the term suggests, scope creep is a subtle process that starts with small adjustments and ends up resulting in projects that take far longer to complete or even fail before they are finished. Even if the project is completed, scope creep can result in final deliverables that look nothing like what was originally envisioned.”

Scope creep can be incredibly damaging to the LMS implementation process. Brian Westfall, Senior Market Researcher for LMS software consultancy Software Advice, recommends the following to avoid scope creep: “Identify the key requirements for your prioritized use cases and focus just on those needs for ‘phase one’ of your LMS deployment.”

No need to get ahead of yourself – LMS implementation is a huge undertaking that should be conquered one step at a time. Again, setting solid expectations will also help to combat scope creep and keep your implementation project focused, on time, and within budget.

Mistake #3: Launching Immediately

For best-in-class solutions, your LMS implementation process should take a maximum of 12 weeks. Toward the end of the implementation period, it’s a good idea to work with your LMS vendor to coordinate a “soft launch” with a handful of beta users. During this stage, you’ll ensure that everything is working as anticipated according to your LMS use case(s) and you’ll have the opportunity to work out any technical glitches before you roll out your system to your entire learning audience.

Most importantly, ensure your LMS vendor offers thorough support during the implementation process. Your LMS vendor should be more like a business partner – make sure you have a clear plan for how you’re going to work together to get your LMS project up and running.

Set expectations to ensure a smooth LMS implementation process. Download our LMS Project Toolkit to learn more!