Points to Consider
Learning Management Systems have become an accepted norm in training departments throughout the world over the last 10 years. Between consolidation and new vendors entering the market, it’s a good bet that many organizations are on their second or third LMS by now. Having worked with hundreds of clients over the years who were switching learning management systems, I thought it might be useful to outline important LMS migration points for organizations to consider moving to a new LMS.
Don’t Assume Anything
If your current e-learning system allows you to schedule a report to be sent automatically on a weekly basis, don’t assume the next LMS will do the same thing, or the same way. There are no hard and fast rules on how training needs to be managed, and therefore, each LMS vendor is free to design features how they see fit. It’s in your best interest to make a list of all of the features in your current LMS and rate them according to their level of importance to you. Then look at your current LMS options against those priorities to be sure you aren’t losing anything you want to keep.
What about Your History?
If you plan to port data from your old LMS, you’ll need to keep a few things in mind:
- Make sure you can get the data from your current LMS. You’d be surprised at how difficult this can be.
- Find out from the new LMS vendors what if they support import, and if they do what kind of data they accept and how you’ll match up users and course records.
- Check to see what special rules might be required to import completion records. Does the system count them towards next due dates for annual training requirements? If they are set as a prerequisite, will the system recognize the prerequisite as being completed? Again, you’d be surprised at how many different ways this can be handled.
Making the Move
From an IT perspective, are you going with a SaaS model or will you be installing the LMS. If installing, what software is needed to support the new LMS. For the Learner, how will their new login and password be established - will they register, be imported, or logged in via Single Sign On services? If Learners have courses that they’ve started and haven’t completed yet, what will happen? Chances are that the content will either need to be completed before the move or started from scratch after the move. Think about what works best in your organization and get the word out and then keep getting the word out to let people know what they need to do before the move.
Best of Both Worlds
The LMS data migration process doesn’t need to be a gigantic struggle as long as you can keep your eyes and the prize and avoid surprises. Decide what’s important, verify if the new LMS will support it, and then make sure it comes together. Before you know it, you’ll have the best features of your old system on a new platform with the additional features you’ve been looking for.