Ditch the unexpected expenses of LMS implementation with these 7 tips
Planning for every eventuality will only get you so far. There are times when the unexpected happens, and takes a bit out of your corporate eLearning budget. This is often the case with the hidden costs of LMS implementation. You’ve already invested a sizable sum into purchasing the software and developing your eLearning materials. The last thing you need is hidden fees piling up when it’s time to launch. This article can help you cut costs of Learning Management Systems and steer clear of surprises. Download the checklist here!
1. Identify Your Assets
There are a variety of reasons why you should identify your assets before choosing your LMS platform. First and foremost, it allows you to determine the LMS features you need based on your use cases. Your eLearning materials also dictate which support services and additional resources you’ll require. For example, you may already have everything you need to create a PDF-based eLearning course. But third-party tools, add-ons, and IT support may be necessary for interactive eLearning course designs. Lastly, you can’t test your new LMS platform if you don’t have existing eLearning content. Gather a broad range of assets to try out the features and functionality beforehand. This will help you choose the best LMS from the start instead of going through costly trial and error.
2. Pinpoint Your Objectives
Your core objectives are also a key consideration. Before you pick the perfect LMS platform, hold a brainstorming session with your eLearning team. Discuss the needs and preferences of your online learners, as well as the goals of the organization. Create a final list that features all of the things you need to achieve with your LMS. If you don’t have your objectives in order, you run the risk of runaway costs. Research and planning now can save you time and money later on. Nail down the objectives and use cases that are a priority now instead of trying to foresee every eventuality. Remember that implementing an LMS doesn’t happen all at once. It’s a gradual process in which your strategy evolves as your organization evolves. So, take one step at a time and focus on your current objectives.
3. Assess The Skills Of Your Team
Skills training or outsourcing are some of the most significant hidden fees of LMS implementation. If your eLearning team doesn’t have the experience or skills to use your new LMS, they may require additional training or guidance. Otherwise, you won’t be able to take advantage of the LMS features. This is why it’s important to assess the skills of your eLearning team in advance to ensure that they are prepared for the task. In addition, ask for the input to determine what they need from the Learning Management System.
4. Schedule A Meeting With Your LMS Vendor
Your LMS vendor should be ready and willing to answer questions and address concerns. They are the ones who know the system inside and out. As such, they’re going to be able to tell you how the features and functions meet your specific needs. More importantly, how you can use the platform to provide the best possible eLearning experience. Prepare a list of questions and set up a meeting with your representative. You can also refer to your objectives list and ask how the system can address each point.
5. Evaluate Your Support Options
Many people naturally assume that their LMS package comes with built-in support. However, some LMS vendors charge extra for personalized support services. Thus, you may have to pay out of pocket if you run into a problem. The same rule applies to upgrades and regular maintenance. In some cases, you may even have to hire a consultant to modify or enhance the Learning Management System. For example, integrating third-party tools that aren’t necessarily compatible. Ask your LMS vendor about the support options and what your package entails. Evaluate all of their services and calculate the costs of LMS. For instance, you may have to pay for additional support or upgrades now, but it will help you avoid hefty fees in the future.
6. Assign Roles Early On
Everyone on your eLearning team plays an important role in LMS implementation. But it’s important to assign these roles early on to give them time to prepare. This also ensures that all of the tasks are covered and your collaborators know what to expect. You’ll need someone to handle the technical aspects, such as your IT manager, as well as a Project Manager. However, your entire eLearning team should be part of the process at one point or another. This is because they are going to be using the LMS platform from day one. As such, they should know how it operates, what it does, and how to handle glitches.
7. Test The LMS Waters
Test runs are an absolute must. In fact, you should do at least 2 to 3 test drives before you officially implement the LMS system. This gives you the opportunity to assess every aspect of the LMS while it’s in action. You may also discover some glitches or mistakes that you overlooked the first time around. It’s best to face these issues head-on now, instead of hearing about them from unhappy online learners. Additionally, set up a realistic roll-out schedule that accounts for unforeseen problems. Add an extra day or two onto each phase so that a minor issue doesn’t push you over deadline. In fact, meet with your eLearning team to get an accurate estimate for each task and get your sequencing straight. For example, your IT staff may have to tackle their task before anyone else can work on their projects.
Organization, research, and needs analysis can help you avoid the hidden costs of LMS implementation. You can also take advantage of free demos and trials to find a fit for your needs and to prevent buyer’s remorse. Experience Docebo for yourself, activate a 14-day free trial today!