How to Replace Your LMS Efficiently
Is your Learning Management System (LMS) not able to satisfy your dynamic training management needs? Do you believe that your LMS is limiting your options to provide effective training to your people? Are you looking for an LMS that is cheaper to operate and more efficient? Then, you need to replace your LMS with a new and effective system that allows you to manage your training programs well.
But, how can you choose a new Learning Management System (LMS) that meets your needs effectively? Well, you can get the ideal replacement for your existing LMS by following the below mentioned steps.
- List out the drawbacks of your "current" LMS
- Plan effectively for data migration
- Choose the right replacement
Let us now look at each step in detail.
List out the drawbacks of your "current" LMS
This is the first and most important step in finding the right substitute for your learning management system (LMS). You need to understand the problems with and limitations of your existing system and list them in detail. This list can be very useful, as it acts as a baseline document that guides you through the remaining process.
Writing down the issues with your existing learning management system (LMS) goes a long way in developing an effective Request for Proposal (RFP) for its replacement. You can develop the requirements specifications for the new LMS, based on this list, quickly and effectively. For example, you find that your Learning Management System (LMS) is not able to track your mobile learning (mLearning) courses and support multi-lingual online training programs effectively, you need to list the two drawbacks clearly. This will help you prepare a comprehensive RFP that helps you select a replacement that meets these needs efficiently.
Plan effectively for data migration
It is necessary to have a clear idea of the data that you need to migrate to prevent any problems. As the database and the workflow of the learning management system (LMS) used currently are not identical to its replacement, the scope of the migration has to be finalized very carefully.
You need to migrate the online training material in a very systematic manner. It is advisable to prepare a chart to classify the components of the learning content and determine how each component is related to the other.
You also need to take adequate care when you migrate the data related to the training records and information generated by the learners, administrators, and other users. You need to make sure that the data is archived properly, so that the process of its migration is completed smoothly. It is better to prepare a detailed description of various data elements.
Choose the right replacement
After listing the drawbacks and preparing a detailed plan for the migration of the data in your existing Learning Management System (LMS), you need to select the system to manage your training needs efficiently. Here is a list of things that you need to keep in mind, while selecting the new Learning Management System (LMS).
- Constitute a selection committee: You need to remember that the replacement of your Learning Management System (LMS) will have an impact on various sections in your organization. So, you need to appoint a committee comprising of competent and experienced staff drawn from various departments who are going to be affected by the change to select the new LMS and oversee its smooth integration with other systems of your organization.
- Ensure effective communication: It is very important to communicate your requirements about the new Learning Management System (LMS) to the vendor in a clear and effective manner. You need to make sure that there is no ambiguity to get the right learning management product.
- Understand your vendor well: When you change your Learning Management System (LMS), you are entering into a partnership with a new vendor. It is essential to have a good idea of how the vendor implements the system. You also need to know his policies regarding provision of support and other important aspects.
- Satisfy yourself about the promises: You need to check meticulously to ensure that the vendor has fulfilled all his promises. You need to conduct a little research and ask the vendor pertinent questions to clear all your doubts.
- Use the Internet effectively: The web is a treasure trove of information about LMSs. You find tons of information about choosing the right LMS, details of prominent LMS vendors and a whole lot of other information.
- Focus on the learning needs rather than the technology: Many a time, organizations tend to concentrate on the technical aspects more than the learning needs. This needs to be avoided. While evaluating the technical parameters is important, you need to be guided primarily by your learning management objectives in the selection of an Learning Management System (LMS).
- Ask for access to try the system: You need to ask your vendor a “full trial” version of the LMS. Get the people from your IT department, LMS administrators and end-users to try the system comprehensively. It is important that you have a first-hand feel of the system before you purchase it.
We have seen the process of selecting a replacement for your existing LMS. We will now look at 2 tips to use your new LMS effectively.
Tip 1: Explain the necessity for change
It is very important to tell the users of your Learning Management System (LMS) the reasons why the system was changed. This goes a long way in the effective adaption and use of the new LMS. It is essential that you do not “coerce” your staff to use the system. You need to remember that people find it hard to appreciate a change when it is thrust upon them. Replacement of your existing LMS is a major change management task and it needs to be viewed as such.
Tip 2: Provide better user experience
Often, all the features of the discarded LMS may not be present in the new system. This may confuse the users. To avoid this, you need to provide an intuitive GUI that is simple to use. It is a good idea to provide learning resources to your users such as FAQs and tips to use the system effectively. It is also necessary to have a dedicated team to help resolve the issues faced by your learners.
It is necessary to document the issues with your existing LMS. Then, you need to devise an effective plan for migrating the data in it. Finally, you need to zero-in on the right Learning Management System (LMS). You can ensure effective use of the new system by explaining the need for changing the LMS used currently and providing better user experiences. Hope you find this article useful. Do share your views.