Planning and Evaluating Business Needs for an Enterprise Learning Management System

Planning and Evaluating Business Needs for an Enterprise Learning Management System
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    Best Practices for Implementing a Learning Management System

    Imagine you've been given the job of researching and finding a suitable learning management system (LMS) for your company. Where do you start?

    Everyone knows that selecting the wrong LMS can have terrible financial repercussions and hurt the quality of your learning initiatives. What is often forgotten, though, is that selecting the RIGHT learning management system but implementing it poorly can be equally painful.

    This report, written by Gary Woodill, Ed.D., director of Research and Analysis at Brandon Hall Research; David Fell, vice president of Business Development at Operitel Corporation; and Christopher Woodill, vice president of Solution Strategies at Navantis Corporation, is the first in a four-part series on the process of implementing an enterprise LMS.

    A typical LMS can take months, if not a year or more, to implement and can cost hundreds of thousands of dollars. Getting it right is critical; getting it wrong can be a problem for both you and your business. Essentially, the process involves four stages:

    Stage 1: Planning and Evaluating Business Needs for an Enterprise LMS
    Stage 2: Purchasing an Enterprise LMS
    Stage 3: Implementing the Selected LMS
    Stage 4: Maintaining, Supporting, Operating, and Governing an LMS

    This report focuses on Stage 1 and addresses the following:

    • Developing a business case for investing in a learning management system
    • Considering alternatives to an LMS
    • Articulating a vision and a scope for the entire project, resulting in developing a “project charter”
    • Developing an implementation strategy and a project management plan that includes presenting the business case, assessing the LMS's impact on the organization, and changing the management strategy
    • Developing the communications and marketing plan for the project
    • Identifying all stakeholders for an enterprise LMS
    • Conducting a requirements gathering exercise, including developing “use cases” for each business unit and group of stakeholders

    If you have thoroughly carried out the above suggestions, then you are ready to prepare and send out an RFP, investigate products and vendors, and move toward purchasing a learning management system. Getting this first stage right provides a firm foundation for success in all the later stages.