Sound planning techniques are the best first step to implementing an e-learning system. Good planning should reflect a strategy aligned with your organization’s resources so you won’t be caught in the middle of an implementation without funds or personnel to finish.

The first step in developing a workable plan is to analyze the current situation by gathering factual data.

If you have a system in place now, evaluate its effectiveness…both in terms of throughput and user satisfaction. Even if this is the first time your organization will have its dedicated training platform, you can still develop some statistics. Consider these elements:

The next step is to find internal stakeholders to help you with a needs analysis and become part of an ongoing team evaluating potential vendors. Establish ground rules for team operations, such as meeting times, roles and responsibilities, etc.

With the team engaged, develop a set of objectives. I think it’s important that these objectives are based on the statistics you made in the first step and are in line with the team’s expectations. From these objectives, create an outline of what features are needed to meet these objectives. Often, this is put into the format of a Statement of Work. List features as “required” or “desired” so you can get the necessary elements before using up your budget.

Next, could you set a timeline for the project, outlining each of the steps that will be required and the time it will take to complete? You will also need to indicate which team member will lead in completing each task. You can work this into a calendar format so you will know what element is due when and what tasks must be completed before going on to the next.

Then, research the e-learning systems provider market. Determine what LMS suppliers are potentially qualified based on the team’s criteria. Request a proposal from each relevant vendor, addressing their ability to meet your detailed requirements. Ask yourself if their systems meet your needs and where the gaps exist. Most e-learning providers will have a free trial available so that you and your team can test-drive their system. eLeaP, for example, offers both online demos and a free, hands-on 30-day trial.

Once you have established your objectives and criteria, researched the market for systems that fit, and created a short list of two or three platforms that meet your needs, go on to select an e-learning vendor.

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What makes e-learning effective? Or, importantly, what pitfalls must you avoid to have a successful e-learning program?

Here’s what you’ll find covered:

To download the valuable research white paper, “7 Critical Questions About eLearning“, click here.

Additional e-learning resources: