Learning Management System: Our how to guide for a successful deployment

Ongoing professional training, alongside skill development, is irrefutably one of the biggest challenges companies face. There is a huge investment demand required, in terms of time, organisation and financial resources. Here we will explain thanks to our experience and expertise, the characteristics of a Learning Management System (LMS).

Ongoing professional training, alongside skill development, is irrefutably one of the biggest challenges companies face. There is a huge investment demand required, in terms of time, organisation and financial resources. Here we will explain thanks to our experience and expertise, the characteristics of a Learning Management System (LMS). The installation of an LMS is unique to each company and project. Our objective here is to highlight some of the major functions of this tool.

Learning statistics
LMS, what is it?

LMS refers to an on-line learning platform, and as an acronym it is quite easily explained:

  • Learning: An LMS allows you to access all different kinds of continuous learning materials, to give you the opportunity to connect your way, from where you are.
  • Management: The company can oversee available trainings. They are able to manage the content, evaluate the system and learning, and to provide recommendations.
  • System: Via the platform you have the ability to manage your training offer, and to make it accessible to all employees.
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How does a Learning Management System work?

If we can take the SAP SuccessFactors LMS module here as an example, its functionalities can improve employee skills, reduce compliance risk and train large audiences based through one of the best cloud based online management systems. The system has some great pillars: learning, an individual’s journey, the acknowledgement and validation of skills, feedback reporting regarding your trainings and personalised plannings.

Each LMS platform proposes different options that can be modeled around the needs and functions of each individual company.

The great thing about an LMS like the one from SAP SuccessFactors:

The main functionality of an LMS is to deliver trainings via personalised pathways.

Example content: Courses, Exams, Quizzes, Gamification…

Format examples: Virtual learning, webinars, in-person learning, mixed learning delivery…

The LMS platform facilitates role attribution for users and delivers targeted content. 

It is relatively simple for the software administrator to attribute profiles to each employee, ensuring that the trainings they are targeted with are more relevant to their position and potential career progression.

Nonetheless, the difficulty with the platform resides in the plurality of profiles. This, as well as the fact that each individual user will have unique and different requirements. The integration capacities of the technical data will be more appealing and/or important for some, whereas for others they will base their intuitions off of the aesthetics and feel. A successful LMS implementation will integrate both the expected outcomes and feedback of all of the aforementioned users. The team must therefore pay special attention to the primary functionalities, those that are able to ensure an accurate objective delivery for the platform.

The easier the platform is to use the more comfortable the users will be and the more time they will spend, making the most out of it. Firstly, an LMS offers the possibility to personalise their system, the design and the navigation. Employees have access to personalised content in regards to their progress and results. On the SAP SuccessFactors LMS platform, each employee has a personalised dashboard indicating which certifications they have completed, which studies are ongoing, and what comes next.

The LMS software must also take into account its compatibility with other internal management tools (for example: The HR software, and talent management).

You can follow the progress of your teams and determine if the target has been achieved or if it requires adjustment. The same rule applies to the performance. Employees have the opportunity to evaluate the relevance of their training course using an integrated evaluation system built into the tool. There is also the possibility for managers to track the trainings of individuals or of groups. For example, determining the percentage of your teams who have completed the training or the average time necessary to complete the training. It is even possible to receive the analysis’ directly to your email.

What are your training objectives and which tools are at your disposal?

IRH is here to accompany companies in the deployment of their HRIS tools. Our project management experts accompany our clients during the deployment of all of their SAP SuccessFactors modules, including LMS, an important software tool in the digitalisation of the world of HR.

The deployment of an LMS requires not only time, but also analyses and mobilisation of your teams. Throughout the project, the configuration structure must be defined and the standards must be respected in order to handle the training offer (SCORM, AICC, TinCan/xAPI…). The objective is to guarantee the clarity of information, as well as the traceability of it (evaluations, tracking, progress follow-up, history…). 

First of all, it’s vital to determine your organisational and pedagogic objectives before to begin the selection process concerning your LMS platform. LMS service providers may have different responses to your different needs and this clarity will help you in making the right decision.

What are you looking for? Increased productivity? Ensuring a follow-up of skills? Retaining talent? In which direction are you headed for the future?

Once your objective is clear, you must review the resources available to you.

What means are at your disposal? What budget will be dedicated to the LMS deployment project? Is there a compatibility with your current systems e-learning tools? Contingencies must not be overlooked, and you must involve planning for the possibility that data migration and software integration problems could compromise the fixed deadlines for the implementation of the LMS.

The starting phase of your project is one of the most important steps as it structures your training strategy. There is a significant level of engagement required by the projects directors as well as the concerned subsidiaries in the event of a projects delivery on a global scale.

To ensure the success of your company’s LMS project, it is crucial that the largest number of stakeholders are involved as possible.

This involvement begins with the IT Department. The reason for this is the LMS will be integrated directly within the current IT system, or at least will need to communicate with other company software programs. For example: Integration within the CRM or Intranet.

Following this, it is advised to have a follow-up, pilot committee, to ensure the projects advancement. Hiring a consulting firm like IRH to accompany the project right from the creation of the project specifications until the end of the warranty period helps to ensure its success.

Furthermore, to increase the likelihood of this success, you will need your direction committee at the heart of the project.

Finally, the involvement of other members in the company can be a real added value to the project. It is essential to communicate about the LMS before the project launch to prepare your teams and to increase the chances of their adoption to the solution.

During the installation of the e-learning strategy, the SAMR method is often used as a training tool. This tool is often one of the first steps employed in the preparational stages of a digital transformation.

SAMR Method: What changes are coming?

Substitution: This is a replacement system, for tasks that were previously carried out otherwise.

Augmentation: The new tool is here to not only replace the old system, but also to propose new functionalities.

Modification: The classic user, and trainer roles are being redefined by this solution. These roles are no longer passive players, but are now contributors, able to create content and share it via the system.

Redefinition: The solution proposes new tasks, that up until this point were impossible to offer (the online program regroups the entire system on a global scale). There are new options, that didn’t exist before, to explore too (training personalisation, activity reporting, etc.)

Furthermore, the implementation of an LMS demands a deployment plan that must include the global strategy of the project. It needs to cover the decision of which external service providers will propose the most adapted LMS solution, as well as the implementation of the platform, including the purchase decision.

Once you have clearly identified the processes that are to be installed, as well as the different roles, it is crucial to establish precise deadlines regarding the timeline, including any unexpected delays, so as to not affect the launch of the project. IRH is here to support their clients through the definition and outlining of needs, and then accompaniment throughout the implementation of the LMS.

In change management, the main challenge is the adoption to the changes by your employees. Change resistance is often underestimated by companies. The danger with this is your investment being wasted, if the new system remains unused, or is used inefficiently by your teams.

The adoption of the solution cannot be acquired without the deployment of adapted and continuous action levers.  In the absence of these levers, the employees impacted by the change are less likely to be open to the adoption of the new systems and processes.

The three pillars of Change management:

  1. Communication

The first lever of action, communication, must be deployed as an internal marketing tool, for the organisations stakeholders: It is extremely important to communicate with your employees, the advantages of the new tool, and the targeted objectives you are hoping to reach thanks to its implementation. The way in which you communicate this may be different, based on your receiving audience. The communication, however, remains a crucial component for the success of your LMS, as your employees may perceive it as a surveillance tool (tracking and evaluation features), and not as the digitalisation upgrade advantage that it is.

  1. Training

The second lever, training, is common practice when it comes to the processes used in change management. The primary goal is to train individuals on the knowledge using both theory and practice.  The first step involves the management teams. They need to get on board with the solution, and promote its adoption. Before the software launch, it is important to communicate with them everything that is relevant to the LMS, as they will be your best source to relay information. Following this, you must then implicate them in the advancement of the project and the results obtained, so as to create a connection and feeling of implication within the project.

  1.   Accompaniment

Finally, the third action lever is, accompaniment. Sometimes the projects that involve changes can affect a large majority of users. The objective is to create new habits, new reflexes and user’s processes, all whilst communicating daily about the tool and the value it brings. Accompaniment can be offered by means of workshops, events and challenges. It is important to create a pattern you’re your publications, and to produce regular trainings (at least once per month). The training accompaniment and follow-up must be performed during work hours or in an exchange for time (flex hours, work-time recovery, etc.) so that the users have more flexibility to adapt.

There are, of course, other pathways in which you can intervene. To find out more, please don’t hesitate to contact us directly.

Juliette Perrot

Juliette Perrot

Business Analyst

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