Every company needs a skilled workforce. But during these changing times, it can seem difficult to build and manage a team. That’s why it’s even more important than usual to keep employees up to date with the knowledge or skill sets they need in order to work efficiently.
Until quite recently, companies and organizations used to heavily invest in in-person classroom training sessions for their employees. But, of course, this meant it was necessary to pay their employees as well as trainers for their time. Sometimes these trainers are hired on a contract basis that lasts for the duration of the training period, and at other times they’re on the company payroll. In ordinary times, this option is still available, but it’s more costly than online training software.
With the increased use of online training software, this scenario has changed completely. To save on the overall cost of training employees, companies are now moving to online systems. This allows them to efficiently onboard and train their employees, whatever the subject matter includes.
But switching to a virtual training software from a traditional setup can, at first, seem like an overwhelming task. It’s best to move forward in a step by step manner with some clear planning. In this piece, we’ll walk you through the various steps that are involved in transitioning to an online training software so you feel prepared.
Set Definite Goals
Before anything else, set a goal for the transition process. This will help you put together the right team to help you achieve clear goals. During this step you can set a timeline with milestones for meeting goals and objectives. In this way, all of your goals can be met and checked off, one by one in an organized manner. When you sit down to outline these goals, you can then prioritize the ones that need to be accomplished first, as well as the ones that can be taken care of later on.
Putting Together the Right Team
This is the phase where managers will select the best team members to be responsible for implementing the transition process. Since this process will involve a lot of different tasks, you’ll need to choose the right people to test the system. You may want to choose employees from various departments within your organization, too, in order to get better feedback.
The members who are selected need to have a proven track record for consistent performances in their respective job roles. They also need to be team players who can work towards shared goals without any issues. With this in mind, it always helps to choose team members who have good communication skills.
Assign Key Roles and Responsibilities
When selecting the right team members, you need to ensure that each of their skill sets matches the role or responsibility that you’re assigning them to. But first things first, selecting a team leader helps to ensure that there’s accountability and unity. This is also helpful because it means that there’s one person or point of contact who’s responsible for running the entire collaborative project. The team leader will need enough time to help manage the transfer, as well as experience in efficiently keeping others on task. This person may also coordinate with the LMS vendor to resolve any issues that come up during the transfer.
It’s likely that you will also choose to assign a project manager to ensure that all goals and deadlines are met, and that the timeline stays on track. This person keeps an eye on the big picture.
You will then need an e-learning specialist who can help you make a smooth transition to the new learning platform and tools.
Next, you may want an IT expert to help you fully incorporate the software and get it up and running throughout your company. But this likely isn’t necessary because the LMS vendor will be able to offer tech support if it’s needed.
Finally, if you don't have one yet, a Learning and Development Director needs to be appointed. They will ensure that the LMS system and modules are in complete sync with the policies of the organization as well as the course’s objectives. The user reports should be incorporated, too.
Related Content: 7 Best Online Training Hacks for Instructors
Set a Definite Timeline for the System Launch
After your team members are chosen and understand their roles, you need to make sure that a timeline is in place for the LMS launch. Ensure that the timeline and goals are realistic so that if any of these essential milestones are not met, the delays won’t derail the entire process.
To make sure your goals are realistically defined, find out whether the LMS system is a cloud-based or an in-house software system. Then, consider the existing data of users and any training modules. If the size of the existing data and modules is large, it will take more time than usual. Schedule a call to meet with the LMS vendor and their IT experts to figure out the approximate amount of time that may be needed for the transition.
Planning the Data Transfer
Take stock of the amount of data that needs to be transferred to the new training system. At this time, you may choose to let go of any obsolete data and only migrate the data that is absolutely necessary. Having said that, you may want to consult with your legal team to check which records need to be preserved.
When planning the data transfer, have your current system examined by the IT team to check which components are compatible, incompatible, and the amount of data that can be transferred or integrated into the new system.
Testing the Online Training Software
Once the new system has been installed in some areas of the company, it’s time to give it a trial run. This means testing the system and its modules to get the hang of its features.
Have a small group handle the testing. Administrators and technical experts can standby to resolve any issues that come up during this phase. This will help you receive important information regarding the system’s effectiveness, ease of navigation, and areas for improvement, etc.
At this stage, any issues that can’t be fixed internally can be reported to the online training software provider to resolve.
Related Content: A Key Guide for Online Training Software Testing
Outline a Proper Training Program
Before the final rollout of the learning platform, it’s time to develop a solid training program. The program’s aim should be to ensure that all users at all levels can access the courses they need without any issues. To accomplish this, you may have to have multiple meetings with your LMS platform service provider. The vendor will provide you with various options to ensure all company employees are in sync with the training platform.
You can, in the meantime, put together documentation and training materials for your employees to review before using the online training software. Courses can be incorporated into the system by the LMS provider. After the training is taken care of, you can then plan a launch date for the platform.
Transitioning to the New Online Training System
There are two ways to transition to any new system. Either you can take some downtime and migrate the whole system overnight. Or, you can do it in a phased manner. You can even plan to run both the old and the new systems together so that if there are any issues with the new system, the old one can still help you meet your learning objectives. Phased transitions allow users to become familiarized with the new system before completely switching over.
No matter what transition method you choose, make sure your employees know that the system may not be completely available for some time, and inform them of any downtime in advance. This is why it’s best to schedule things like data migration during non-business hours.
Measure the Performance and Evaluate the Results
Once the new system is implemented, allow it to operate for a while, then measure how well it’s working out for employees. Evaluate the results by checking in with users to ask for feedback. This will allow you to find out if there were any technical issues, lags, or system crashes, etc. Then, based on the results, check to make sure that your business objectives have been met.
Prepare a Post-implementation Testing and Maintenance Plan
Once the new system is live, you need to ensure you have a plan in place for any future maintenance. Work with your vendor to come up with a post-implementation plan that will help you keep your system up and running. Ensure you have enough information outlined in the plan to help you fine-tune your learning system’s performance. You can always make small adjustments.
Online Training Software
Online training software and LMS systems are sure to remain in high demand in this era of remote employment. It is important for a company to plan the transition process well before making a move to an online training platform.
Through careful planning, you can achieve the outcome that you need for your employees. You can make use of these tips to help you get started. Let ReadyTech help you plan your transition in steps and you won’t be disappointed with the results. Call us today to learn more.