Interviews / Opinions

We need an LMS – who’s up for the task?

LMS Implementation: The Ideal Project Team and the Roles - TalentLMS Blog

It’s official, the company that you are working for has concluded that using an LMS for corporate training is of vital importance and including the workforce training into its internal procedures is nowadays a necessity.

Disclaimer – This prologue is a work of fiction. Names, characters, businesses, places, events, and incidents are either the products of the author’s imagination or used in a fictitious manner. Any resemblance to actual persons or actual events is purely coincidental.

Margaret from HR was the first to arrive, followed by Jacob from Marketing and Tae from Creative.

“Did you also receive an email that involved the implementation of the LMS this morning?” asked Jacob. The group nodded “yes” and right after Joanna from L&D joined.

“I guess that what you are discussing is today’s’ LMS email, right”, she asked while laughing out loud!

The others, when noticed Joanna’s reaction, felt much better. Joanna was going to lead the implementation of the Business LMS project and having her react in such a way was very comforting.

Assembling your team

“Avengers Assemble!”, is a famous quote that Iron Man, Captain America or any one of the mighty Avengers would say before embarking on yet another effort to save our precious planet.

What makes them special, is the fact that the team consists of individuals that share a common goal and an underlying vision.

When a company decides to implement a Learning Management System and invest in its eLearning, which by no means is a project that should be dealt in a light manner, the LMS implementation project team should share the same mentality and envision the same goal.

Another personality trait that the Avengers share, is the fact that each of them is “T-Shaped” and as a result, they complement each other. Just give it a thought, all of them posses physical strength in a way or another, but each of them has also a special power which is exactly what that term is all about.

A T-Shaped person, in our case employee, is someone who is characterized by the fact that he/she has a wide array of knowledge in a number of overlapping disciplines and at the same time deep knowledge or expertise in one or two of those principles.

Ideally, the core team members should be T-Shaped, whereas it’s not mandatory for the extended team. Speaking of teams, the LMS implementation project team should ideally consist of two sub-teams, the Core and the Extended.

The Core Team

As its name suggests, the Core Team is the pillar of the LMS implementation project team. Usually its size, is directly analogous to the size of the company and members that comprise it are the following:

  • Team Leader
  • Project Manager – Owner (in the case that the project is following the Agile methodology)
  • eLearning specialist
  • Training Administrator
  • Scrum Master (again, applicable only when Agile, will not be discussed in this blog post)

Let’s examine the roles in a more detailed way.

Team Leader

This is a key role, mainly because the Team Leader is perhaps the person with the largest number of responsibilities and at the same time he/she should be able to deploy a wide array of interpersonal as well as people skills.

The person who is responsible, should have a clear goal and should focus on reaching that within the project’s’ time frame. Any obstacles that would arise, must be dealt in a timely manner.

Throughout the project’s’ life cycle, the team leader is the one that the team members go for guidance and is responsible for handling any problems that might arise within the structure of the LMS implementation project team.

Project Manager

Implementing an LMS can be quite the project and as such an experienced Project Manager is needed to be on top of things.

They should be responsible for creating the time plan of the project along with the creation of a high-level project spec.

Choosing and setting up all the necessary project management tools, creating all the tasks, holding and maintaining the LMS implementation project team meetings and making sure that all the deadlines are met within the defined time frame are the key responsibilities of this role.

We need an LMS : Who's up for the task?

eLearning Specialist

Ideally, due to the fact that eLearning is an industry by itself, the eLearning Specialist should be someone with deep and quite extensive knowledge of the landscape and knows how eLearning creation works.

A person with an Instructional Design background or a Course Authoring Specialist would be the ideal candidate for this role.

Training Administrator

The individual who will be bestowed upon this role should ideally come from the L&D department (if there is no L&D within the company, then a T-Shaped person from the HR could fill in the position quite successfully).

The Training Administrator will have a vital role when it comes to deciding how to configure the LMS in order to successfully accomplish the company’s’ training needs.

The structure of the LMS and the way that the training will be “served” to the company’s’ employees, is this role’s responsibility.

The corporate onboarding process should also be initiated by the Training Admin.

The Extended Team

Throughout the implementation of the project, several people – from different disciplines – will be needed. These people will be the ones who will use the LMS – once completed – most often and it is exactly these individuals who should test and provide feedback throughout the implementation, and after the completion, phase.

You may have noticed that we have not included any IT related individual into the LMS implementation project team. The reason for this has to do with the fact that when the LMS that is going to be implemented is a SaaS, like TalentLMS, there is no need for an IT role.

Conclusion

Having reached the end of this post, it is now clear that when a company is in a need for a learning management system, an LMS implementation project team should be assembled in order to successfully execute the project.

There is no golden rule, or a handbook with LMS best practices.

It is the right choice of the people which will form the A-Team that will enable the upper management of a company to have a good night’s sleep and not feel anxious on whether or not the LMS implementation project will be successful.

How about sharing your experiences, perhaps any issues you might have encountered with the creation of your LMS implementation project team and how you managed to overcome them.