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What to include in your communications plan when launching your new LMS

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John Sherman
2018-10-07

A Learning Management System, or LMS, is an excellent way to deliver automated training. In today’s working world, an LMS is a vital part of any company’s learning and development strategy. Not only does this benefit your leadership team, but also every employee within your organization.

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If you plan to launch a new LMS, you need to develop a communication plan to ensure that everyone involved is on the same page. For this system to work, there has to be a cohesive effort. Otherwise, you could end up with an LMS that either falls short of expectations or fails entirely. Remember, a successful implementation will drive your business results.

As part of your communication plan, make sure you have each of the following objectives on the list.

  • Vision – You, as the business owner, along with each member of your leadership team, must discuss and define the vision of the learning experience you want your LMS to provide. Because every department has a unique role, this can be challenging. The goal is to communicate what each area of the company needs and then determine how to shape the architecture of the LMS so that it accommodates.
  • Team assembly – Especially when it comes to launching a new LMS, you and the leaders of your company need to discuss the various roles involved and who has the required skillset for each. Also, when talking about the best employees to work on the LMS team, you want people who can effectively work together. As for the project team, it should consist of members of each department, including HR, sales and marketing, customer support, and IT.
  • Define roles – After selecting the right team to work on the LMS launch, you and your leaders must carefully define the roles of each person and his or her accountabilities. During the planning phase of the project, communication as to special assignments, what each person will contribute, and to whom that individual is accountable, is crucial.
  • Team activation – The next communication aspect is informing the team members of their newly assigned roles and discussing their functional requirements. Also, make sure the newly formed LMS team has the name of a go-to person if issues arise to keep the launch date on track.
  • User experience – The LMS team needs to continue communication so they can accurately analyze the needs of the audience. For example, some people using your LMS may want to explore learning options while others want to sign up for training courses right away. With good communication, your new LMS will accommodate everyone who uses it while ensuring a positive experience.
  • Business processes – For success with your LMS launch, you need to communicate with the assigned team the primary business processes the system should support.
  • Learning the LMS – Unless each member of the core team has a full understanding of how the LMS functions, the project will struggle to succeed. Because this group of people will make decisions that affect the business, they must have open communication about the right software and its capabilities, formal training, hands-on practice, and more.
  • Solutions – Initially, you will have a limited number of available courses. However, you need to communicate to the project team the importance of conducting a formal assessment so you can populate the LMS with content people want and need. That way, you end up with an LMS with thousands of courses that support business, as well as employee growth and development.
  • Mitigation plan – Even when doing all the right things, there is a risk of your new LMS having low usage. To prevent this from happening, make sure you include user experience, management planning, communication, user support, and content marketing in your overall strategy.

Your launched LMS will impact virtually all departments and employees within your organization. However, with only a handful of individuals on the project team, good communication for every aspect of the launch is critical.

The goal of launching a new LMS is to serve your users. However, even the dedication, knowledge, and skills of the project team are not enough to automatically equate to success. For your LMS to succeed, communication is crucial before, during, and after the launch. Along with making changes to the system, the LMS team must support the users. That means it must have ongoing discussions as to how best to resolve issues when they arise.

Achieving success

  • LMS data – Use this data as a storytelling tool to show online training is a practical way to transform skillsets.
  • Identify gaps – Rely on your executive-level staff to identify emerging gaps in the skills learning can help.
  • Diversity – Offer courses that cater to a broad audience, including leaders, employees, contractors, and even outside users.
  • Content – Make sure the content provided on your LMS meets established goals.
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