6 hassle-free ways to switch to a new LMS

If your organization has used the same Learning Management System (LMS) for a long time, switching to a new system can seem like a daunting prospect, particularly if your workforce is comfortable with your existing LMS. In a new NetDimensions Insight, we’ll show you how to make the change smoothly.

Learning leaders are often held back from enjoying all the benefits of a modern, optimized learning management system, instead finding themselves working with an old LMS which lacks the capability to enable the kind of eLearning which can accelerate organizational success.

L&D managers can plan to switch from their old LMSs to a new mobile-friendly solution

When to change your old learning management system

A new LMS is likely to reward you with in-depth reporting capabilities and mobile compatibility so that employees can learn on the go, with an attractive, intuitive look and feel.

Implementing an LMS, though, can be a rigorous process requiring lots of resources. So how do you know when it’s time to change?

  • Start by asking yourself which specific problems your current LMS is causing you. You might be experiencing:
    frequent, increasingly costly upgrade charges from your current vendor
    difficulties integrating the LMS with multiple systems
    obsolete technology or a lack of actionable L&D data

If you decide the time is right to switch, clear expectations, a detailed plan and allowing sufficient time to launch (a new LMS can take between three and six months to implement) are crucial.

As well as those foundations, the Insight will tell you about six steps on the path to creating a great new LMS:

Planning for your LMS – this stage includes defining what you’re looking for in your new LMS, establishing a core team and setting out a timeframe for implementation

Data migration planning – deciding which data to transfer is complex, and needs to be done in an accurate sequence which address any incompatibilities

Data migration process – your original data will probably be stored in multiple locations. Extract, Transform, Load, known as ETL, is a key process used to bring all the data together

Data migration risks – data loss, corruption and semantics are potential risks. Carefully assessing the data before and after migration, data validation and early detection of issues will help you ensure a smooth transition

Testing and winning over users – quality assurance, acceptance testing and engagement analytics are all key to ensuring the new system is ready to go and becomes a hit

Going live – in this final stage before your exciting new LMS becomes reality, it’s important to consider setting up a helpdesk, preparing for a blackout period and internal marketing.

Good planning is critical throughout your switch to a new LMS, and a high quality solution, such as the NetDimensions Talent Suite, will help you to create an end-to-end strategy.

A team of Learning and Development professionals discussing their plans to migrate training data to a new LMS

Making the switch successfully

There are a large number of factors to consider at any one time during the process, but by working with a strong core team and being prepared for some of the potential hurdles involved, you should find yourself looking back on your old LMS and appreciating the dramatic improvement your new system brings to your organization.

Remember that some people will be slow to adapt to change. Without an element of hand-holding, they may revert to old habits during the early days of implementation.

Switching to a new LMS can be a rigorous process requiring lots of resources, but a clear vision and attention to detail will lead to the kind of eLearning system your organization deserves: enhancing training and giving people the flexibility to learn at their convenience. It’s one of the best long-term investments you can make.

For your comprehensive guide to switching to a new LMS, read our free Insight, ‘How to switch from a legacy system to a new LMS’. Click here to download the Insight.

The cover of the NetDimensions Insight 'How to switch from a legacy system to a new LMS'

If you found this blog useful, you might also want to check out ‘The 6 main advantages of a mobile LMS’.

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