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Tips to plan smooth training deployment

If you’ve recently made the switch to a new LMS or online training system, you’ll no doubt want a smooth and successful deployment plan for your staff. Here's how.
Kerrie-Anne Chinn, Content & Editorial Manager

With an increasing number of organisations adopting online learning for staff training, eLearning has become a very popular and effective tool for employee learning and development. If you’ve recently made the switch to a new LMS or online training system, you’ll no doubt want to achieve a smooth and successful deployment of the solution to your staff.

It’s no good simply rolling out a new training product and hoping staff use it. Before deploying a new system across your organisation, you need to develop a solid plan for how you’re going to introduce it to your employees.

There are many things to consider before rolling out your online training program if you want to avoid any stress or hiccups. You’ll need to have a clear and concise deployment plan, that allows you to achieve the desired outcomes.

Today, we’ll share with you some tips that will help you plan for a smooth, successful deployment, whether you’re a small company of 10 employees or a large global organisation.

Define Employee Training Goals

The best way to achieve the desired outcome is to have it clearly defined right from the start. So before deployment, think about your goals and objectives.

You’ll want employees to use and accept the training solution, and become proficient in it. You’ll need individual staff members to be able to complete certain tasks within the system. You'll expect them to know why the LMS is being used and what purpose it serves, as well as how it will benefit their work life. If you’re using an LMS for compliance or safety training, think about the workplace safety figures you want to start seeing across the company.

Be really clear and drill down to the specific business objectives you want to achieve after rollout. Once you have an end goal in sight, it’s much easier to map out your plan to get there. You can then create a detailed rollout schedule that clearly outlines every step along the way to deployment.

As Nikos Andriotis, writing for eFront Learning, says, “your online corporate training programs will only be successful if you can pinpoint how your business operates, what it needs and how it can grow.”

Know Your Target Audience

There’s no harm in admitting that it can be challenging to get employees excited about workplace training. But knowing your audience gives you a far greater chance of success, as you’ll know the benefits that speak to their needs.

Identifying your audience (or audiences) helps you to plan how you’re going to deliver an online training solution to your employees.

There are three distinct groups that you need to consider: your end-users, the operations staff responsible for running the software once it is in production, and the support staff who will be there to help your learners use the software. And it’s important to tailor your deployment to each specific group. Your key messages and communication style throughout the rollout will be targeted to these target audiences.

Think About Change Management

On that note, this is also the time to think about the change management aspect of deployment.

The fact is, many people are quite change-resistant, particularly in the workplace. We get used to performing tasks in certain ways, using certain systems that are familiar to us. When faced with a new system or software, you’ll often need to convince employees exactly why they should embrace a new system.

Before deployment, make sure you’ve taken the time to speak with all levels of management and employees about the role and benefits of the new LMS. Address any questions or concerns that staff might have about the new product and keep referring back to its benefits. Your goal is to minimise business disruption and ensure that all corporate stakeholders are on board.

“This is crucial,” Andriotis says, “because not only do you don’t want them to sabotage or downplay your training program’s importance, but you also need their full support in getting the employees they manage engaged and fully cooperative with their training.”

Venga Global has this good advice for your deployment strategy:

Talk to other departments about their experiences with software deployment. Identify the change management issues they encountered and learn from their mistakes and successes navigating social nuances within the company.

And remember, just because you’ve completed deployment of your new LMS or online training program, it doesn’t mean your work is done. You’ll need to measure the success and ROI of your new training solution, to show senior management that the money the company is spending on employee training is getting a solid return on investment.

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