Are you looking to implement a learning management system (LMS), but aren’t sure where to start? If you’ve never been through this process, it can be overwhelming to think about the number of tasks your internal implementation team needs to accomplish before launching the new LMS. But with a project planning template, the process can be broken down into manageable steps. 

What is the LMS implementation process?

LMS implementation is the process of connecting a new LMS into your tech stack to streamline processes, enable data sharing for reporting, and improve the overall learning experience. The process typically involves identifying implementation needs, reviewing LMS features, integrating with existing systems, testing and validation, and deployment and ongoing maintenance.

Download the LMS project planning template

Implementing any new system requires careful planning. Our LMS project planning template provides everything you need for each implementation phase.

Next to each task, there’s space to fill in status, due date, owner, and next steps. Your LMS project manager can use this template throughout the implementation timeline to stay organized. 

How to use Skilljar’s LMS implementation checklist

The LMS project plan template includes a checklist for each implementation stage required for a successful launch. Here is an overview of the eight steps in the LMS implementation process.

Step 1: Define your training strategy

The foundation of a successful LMS implementation lies in a well-defined training strategy that aligns with the organization’s goals and ensures user adoption. This stage involves gathering stakeholder input, building clear goals, and outlining a detailed implementation plan. Below are the questions to answer during this stage:

  • What are your goals and success metrics?
  • Who will use the LMS and what are their specific needs?
  • What are the key learning outcomes you want learners to achieve?
  • What are the metrics for evaluating the LMS’s impact and success?
  • What is the timeline for LMS implementation and rollout?

Step 2: Create content 

Content creation is the cornerstone of a successful LMS implementation. It involves developing engaging and informative materials that align with your training goals and target audience. This step entails systematically planning, designing, and developing high-quality course content. In the project plan, you’ll add details on sub-steps like:

  • Determine your content needs
  • Identify content gaps
  • Define course structure
  • Map content to objectives

Step 3: Refine user experience and customization 

The customer’s experience using your LMS is critical to its success. Make sure you’ve set the stage for an easy, smooth UX with sub-steps like:

  • Review user interface and theme options
  • Define brand guidelines
  • Incorporate brand elements
  • Decide and validate a domain name
  • Evaluate login and authentication options
  • Create a user-friendly login process for end-users

Step 4: Build a communication and marketing plan

You’ll need to communicate your product updates to customers clearly. Use the LMS project planning checklist to walk through steps like:

  • Define marketing goals
  • Decide who will send marketing communications
  • Determine the content used in communications

Step 5: Review technical set-up and integrations

You’re in the final steps before launching your LMS. It’s time to button up the technical aspects of the new system with steps like:

Step 6: Test

This step involves conducting comprehensive testing to identify and resolve any bugs or glitches that could impact user experience and overall functionality. Among other things, make sure to:

  • Assess user flow and navigation
  • Test course creation and management
  • Evaluate reporting and analytics for learner progress
  • Verify platform integrations
  • Test manager experience
  • Review the admin experience

Step 7: Launch

It’s here! You’ve successfully planned for and launched your LMS to customers. You can still use the LMS project planning template to make sure you’ve covered steps like:

  • Review analytics to ensure people are signing up
  • Obtain feedback from users
  • Roll out to new customers

Step 8: Post-Launch

The successful implementation of an LMS is not a one-time event; it requires continuous optimization and maintenance to ensure long-term effectiveness. This stage involves gathering feedback, making adjustments, and planning for future enhancements. Here are some key sub-steps to consider:

  • Review feedback from users
  • Identity common user issues
  • Develop a roadmap for enhancements
  • Plan follow-up phases of the project if applicable

Skilljar has an LMS software solution for customer training

Skilljar is a customer training platform and education software that enables businesses to create, manage, and deliver effective customer training programs. Skilljar provides a comprehensive onboarding experience that helps new customers get up and running quickly. With personalized learning paths, interactive tutorials, and self-paced modules, customers can learn the basics of your product or service at their own pace.

View our online demo to learn how it transforms customer training and education initiatives.

Editor’s note: This post was originally published in 2021 and has been updated in March 2024.