Switching to a new LMS? 5 essential tips for a smooth transition

• 4 min read

How do you know if your current learning management system (LMS) is the best platform for your learning needs today and in the future?

Many organizations are facing a number of challenges with their so-called legacy LMS platform. As such, they want to switch to a modern, user-friendly e-learning platform that’s loaded with the latest innovative features (like plug-ins, mobile apps, and course content) they need to create the a modern learning environment and deliver the best user experience.

If you’re looking to change from your current LMS to another, here are five steps guaranteed to make the transition smoother, while benefiting the overall learning needs of your company, today and into the future.

1. Define your problem areas

Before switching to any new LMS software it’s very important to understand why you want to switch to a new LMS. Your reasons need to be justifiable and could include any of the following: limited LMS features and functionality (e.g. your current doesn’t support gamification, mobile learning, real-time notifications, ecommerce, automation, compliance training, etc.), recurring costs/pricing, obsolete technology, after-sales support, poor adoption, outdated user interfaces, lack of authoring tools/capabilities, etc.

Switching to a new LMS must be a well-considered decision as it involves investment and mindshare for organizations. If you can’t identify the problem areas with your existing LMS, it will be difficult to justify the change.

We recommend having a small problem description workshop and checklist creation exercise to illustrate a clear understanding of what you are looking for.

2. Write down all the expectations you have from the new LMS

Once you do a problem description exercise, jot down the expectations you have of the new LMS. In this step, you can rewrite all the specifications according to business goals and employee training initiatives (e.g. making e-learning courses accessible via mobile devices to support a remote workforce). If need be, you can involve your various stakeholders to understand what new features they are looking at.

Create a detailed requirement specification document and verify whether this is adding substantial value to the overall current situation. Remember, this document should be able to take care of all the problem areas mentioned in the first exercise.

3. Identify key technical challenges and do a feasibility check

Once the problems have been described and the expectations from the new system specified, do an LMS implementation feasibility study. This is where you identify some of the key challenges you may face during the implementation of the new LMS.

These challenges can be categorized into groups such as data migration challenges, training history challenges, adoption willingness by end users, competency of the existing team to cope up with the new system, workflow management, etc. You must ensure most of these challenges are well thought out and are discussed with the respective vendors.

4. Plan for data migration

This is one of the most crucial processes in switching from one LMS to another. Given the fact that the new LMS will be different in technical nature from the first one, it is crucial to ensure there is no data loss during this switching process. The key goal is to migrate existing legacy data about users, courses, SCORM packages, assignments from LMSX online to LMSY.

This will be an iterative process which will involve all parties, customer and LMS vendor resources, working in a collaborative, well-defined process. This situation can be taken care of by making data available in CSV format and importing the same into the new system. This will allow greater flexibility in managing the migration smoothly.

5. Understanding limitations and exclusions

During the changeover process, it is imperative to understand the limitations and exclusions of the new system as well. As mentioned above, the data migration activity may import legacy data that is managed in a new LMS, however, often actual content users have submitted in the past (physical files, like webinar recordings, video tutorials, and even presentation templates) will not be imported (only the result—scores from quizzes, or courses they’ve, passed/failed, and date—of each assignment).

Also, ideal workflows and other business processes need to be rebuilt. These are some of the unknown factors that may impact your learning programs which must be considered beforehand, and not after making the decision to switch over to a new system. Writing down the use case scenarios and understanding the feature-readiness of the new LMS may also help you take care of the points mentioned above.

Why choose Docebo LMS?

While traditional enterprise learning technologies have dictated the way people learn with formal courses pushed from the top down, Docebo’s award-winning learning suite facilitates personalized and automated learning experiences in the flow of work to drive growth, organizational performance, and revenue.

Docebo Learn is a SaaS LMS that aligns the needs of your organization with those of your learners by using learning-specific Artificial Intelligence (AI) algorithms to produce deeper and more effective learning experiences. Docebo Learn is powered by AI, automatically tagging your content and making it easier to find, while also automating tedious tasks for L&D admins. In other words, it’s able to serve up training courses (including third-party training content), modules, and other online learning material that are relevant to each specific learner.

Docebo Learn powers your learning and development training programs (from onboarding to ongoing employee development and retention) and ignites employee growth through formal and social learning. With Docebo, you have the ability to centralize, organize and create online training and learning content, distribute and manage instructor-led and online courses, automate enrollments, track certifications and measure results with interactive dashboards and custom analytics.

See how to supercharge your learning platform with our free 5-step guide.