We are very fortunate to welcome some great new clients to our community.  As we commence these implementation projects we have been engaged in conversations about how best our new clients can develop a communications strategy to ensure a successful ‘go-live.’  I have captured a few of the tips in the following bullet points.  You will notice the process is virtually identical to a branding initiative.

  • Develop strong awareness and a reputation before the LMS reaches the ‘go-live’ stage.
  • Build loyalty in your organisation by establishing a great name for the LMS environment and focusing on the benefits that will flow to all persons in the organisation willing to use the LMS.
  • Get to know your audience[s] for the LMS.  You may be rolling out to only a pilot group or your entire enterprise.  In either case you should research your audience demographic profile to help you understand their expectations and preferences.  When you understand your audience you are better able to cater for diversity.
  • Adapt and configure the LMS to suit your audiences.  You might be able to segment the user population to cater for the diversity of users.  Learning and other content can be designed to meet the needs of different audiences and avoid the bland one-size-fits all style that plagues many learning environments.
  • If you don’t know then ask your people.  Get out and meet with different types of people in different parts of your organisation.  You can set up webinars or short face to face meetings to gain a better understanding of your audiences.  You will also be doing a great job at establishing awareness and loyalty to the LMS project.
  • Keep the messaging consistent in all of your communications.  If the system will have only limited accessibility or content then make sure you communicate this.  One of the biggest mistakes you can make is sending mixed messages.  For example, some people will become very enthusiastic about online learning and other capabilities of the LMS.  If the system is only going to be used to store competency profiles, there will be discontent.
  • Make sure the user experience is consistent with the expectations of the audience.  If there is going to be a staged roll-out of certain features make sure you communicate this up front.  First impressions count.  Consider using different learning environments for different audiences.
  • Use the power of association to foster greater interest in the LMS.  For example you may include content from the organisation’s leadership team. Engage thought leaders both inside and outside your organisation to contribute content.
  • Use familiar domain names for your LMS.  Using familiar domain names ensures the LMS is seen as part of your IT systems architecture and not simply a bit of software ‘we have for the fun of it.’
  • Promote using your organisation’s social and collaboration tools and events.  In these days of enterprise social platforms and knowledge portals, signs and posters around the workplace are still effective.  Keeping a blog about the LMS roll-out is another great way to engage your audience.  Use whatever you have and keep it updated and fresh to instil the importance of this project in all your people.
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