LMS implementation gives your LMS launch the best chance of success

Congratulations on your new LMS! How can you ensure that your LMS purchase has the best chance to deliver immediate and ongoing success? With LMS Implementation!

What are your options for implementing your new LMS?

Whether you’ve selected your first LMS or are switching to a new online training platform, you can make one more decision to ensure you and your team receive the earliest maximum benefit from your new software purchase.

Enterprise-level learning management systems are complex pieces of software. While different platforms may share some features in common, there are many things to consider and some new skills to master to help maximize your LMS investment.

No matter what LMS you have chosen, there are key steps to a successful implementation:

  • Learn the features of your new LMS
  • Configure your new LMS
  • Upload and/or create content
  • Add users and assign permissions
  • Build or configure third-party software integrations
  • Ensure LMS Administrators are thoroughly trained
  • Test and verify all aspects of your LMS with a pilot group
  • Communicate and prepare your learners for using your LMS
  • Launch your LMS

You can choose one of three paths to execute those steps – self-implementation, onboarding, and managed implementation services.

Every learning system vendor structures their LMS implementation offerings slightly differently, so this comparison chart is generalized to show the differences between the average level of vendor engagement. Your chosen vendor may offer more or less than indicated here.

Task / Stage
LMS Onboarding
Managed Implementation
Access to help resources & documentation
Access to Support Desk
Administrator coaching
Administrator training
Limited to online resources
Scheduled coaching calls
Account configuration
Learner Provisioning
Course uploads
HRIS and other software integrations
Historical data uploads
Content review/pilot test
Needs analysis
Dedicated Implementation Manager
Project wrap-up and hand-off to Account Manager
Range of costs
(based on best available industry data)


As the name implies, you perform all LMS implementation tasks yourself or with your team. You may have access to learning system vendor resources such as a support website, templates to assist you in your planning, and support desk personnel to answer some questions, but there is little to no coordinated assistance from your vendor.

This is most commonly the case with smaller, less robust, or less complex LMS platforms that operate fully on the software-as-a-service model.  As you are largely on your own, and even if you have experience deploying an LMS, you simply don’t know what you don’t know, which can cause problems down the road.

For more experienced LMS users, you may not maximize the power of your new system, or you risk replicating old configurations from a previous platform and not receiving the net benefit of your new system. After all, you are changing LMS to have your platform work harder and smarter for you.

LMS onboarding

Many vendors offer a low-cost and sometimes mandatory onboarding plan for your LMS purchase. Onboarding in and of itself is not implementation; it provides you with a streamlined process for making your LMS implementation plan.  You may receive consultative support and helpful resources from your learning system vendor, but your success depends on your team's ability to get your LMS up and running.  You are managing the project and responsible for all areas of execution, with minimal help from your vendor.

Generally speaking, vendor-supported onboarding involves scheduled phone calls to supply coaching, some instructive documentation, and access to a help system and support desk personnel resources after your consultative time is used up.

This approach works best for clients who do not have complex use cases, who don’t require complex permission setup, or who have simple reporting needs.

Managed implementation

Managed LMS implementation provides you with a firm foundation for successfully launching your new learning system within your training program to align with your goals.  A professionally managed implementation ensures that your LMS deployment happens as smoothly, quickly, and comprehensively as possible based on your unique use cases and requirements. 

While each learning system vendor’s process may differ slightly, a thorough LMS implementation will include the following steps. You will:

  • Meet your assigned LMS implementation manager
  • Define your success criteria for launching your LMS and align it to organizational goals
  • Manage integrations to your HRIS or other software
  • Define stakeholders and gain buy-in for the project plan from all team members
  • Create an account permission structure to allow users to access the features and workflows they will need
  • Upload and configure your training courses and content (may be optional)
  • Testing and pilot group launch
  • Fine-tuning for identified changes from the pilot group
  • Launch of your LMS
  • Connecting you to support desk personnel and resources offered by your LMS vendor
  • Throughout your entire LMS implementation process, all change management, project coordination, and other requests are handled by the learning system vendor

Can't decide which LMS implementation service is best for you? We can walk you through all the details you’ll want to consider to make your choice.

Book your call now!

Should you select self-implementation, onboarding, or managed implementation?

By now, you should be getting a sense of what program will best fit your needs, available resources, and prior LMS experience.

Review the following lists and see how many of these points apply to you. That may help you determine the best path forward for your LMS investment.

Choose self-implementation for your LMS if:

  • Your learning system budget has no dollars earmarked for LMS implementation
  • You have under 100 learners to enroll in your LMS
  • You have experience with learning system deployment and day-to-day management activities
  • You are comfortable uploading and testing your content, users, and workflows
  • You are confident managing the LMS implementation process for you and your team from purchase to roll-out with only support documentation from your learning system vendor

Choose onboarding for your LMS implementation if:

  • You have budget restrictions on what you can invest toward LMS implementation
  • You have straightforward training use cases for under 300  learners with minimal complexity for permissions or reporting requirements
  • You have experience deploying a previous LMS that is as robustly featured as your new purchase
  • You have a documented gap analysis to help you avoid the challenges you faced with your current LMS
  • You are comfortable with limited coaching and administrator training and then relying on documentation and help-desk support

Choose managed implementation for your LMS if:

  • You have more than 300 learners
  • You are new to using an LMS or moving from an existing LMS to a more robust platform
  • Your new LMS offers customized dashboards, content automation delivery, and other enterprise-level features you want to maximize but have no experience using
  • You have complex use cases, many users, specific reporting, permissions, and account structure requirements
  • You are managing learners and/or administrators across multiple business units with varying levels of supervisory permissions and business needs
  • You want to roll out a pilot program to a small group of test learners and are unsure how to start, manage, or collect outcomes from your pilot program
  • You want to avoid delays or the risk of failure to launch by having an external project expert driving the process and ensuring all aspects of the implementation are addressed
  • Your deployment includes third-party software integrations, historical data imports, or other technical components
  • You want to ensure that you maximize the features and functionality of your LMS purchase to deliver maximum return on your training investment

Unsure which LMS implementation process will serve you best? Our team is available to discuss the advantages and disadvantages of each with you.

Reach us to chat!

How can Neovation help you with LMS implementation?

Neovation offers the following options for LMS implementation services:

LMS Onboarding
Managed LMS Implementation
Offered as Standard Implementation or White Glove Implementation – we’ll dig into the differences shortly

Each LMS implementation service tier is available for SmarterU LMS and supported third-party learning systems. We will help get your training program started on the right track.

Option 1: LMS Onboarding

Neovation LMS Onboarding is comprehensive, guiding your organization through the essentials and leaving you and your team the freedom to implement your LMS.

Our LMS Onboarding package includes three calls that will guide you through discovery, account structure, and building an actionable project milestone timeline.

The phone calls can be best described as coaching calls, where your team and your LMS onboarding specialist will walk through various exercises, activities, and thought-provoking questions to ensure your LMS implementation will meet the needs of all users at your organization.

In addition to your three calls, you will have full access to all our Success Desk® resources. The resources include our Success Desk website containing hundreds of tutorials, unlimited use of the SmarterU LMS Training Administrator Academy, SmarterU’s blog and YouTube channel, and the Neovation Learning Hub.

Our Success Desk team is available to answer any questions you have. Their meaningful response time under 30 minutes during extended business hours ensures resolution to your questions quickly so you can return to building your training program. 

Option 2: Managed LMS Implementation

Our Managed LMS implementation services avoid roadblocks and risks by having our Implementation Managers guide your project, reducing the dangers of rollout frustration and misconfigurations, and ensuring your LMS launch is strong.

By starting with our fully guided implementation to launch your LMS, your administrators get the benefit of hands-on training, access to trusted, experienced Implementation Managers during the implementation process, and a robust understanding of the complexity and power of your new LMS.

That makes Managed LMS Implementation a win-win scenario for your online training program’s future growth. For the best experience and long-term results, we recommend Managed LMS Implementation.

Why trust your LMS implementation to Neovation’s Implementation Managers?

At Neovation, our Implementation Managers are expert project leaders. They have years of experience managing LMS implementation projects, and they also have practical business experience. The combination of complementary skills helps your LMS is implemented in a manner that provides room to grow and ensures your stakeholders are engaged.

If software integrations are part of your project roadmap, your Implementation Manager will partner with your technical team. We will ensure your integrations are properly configured, and together, we will monitor for dependencies at launch.

Let’s summarize why investing in Managed LMS Implementation with an Implementation Manager leading the project makes sense:

Years of Experience
Strategic Partnership
Training & Coaching
Saving Money, Time, & Resources
  • Years of LMS implementation and business experience
    Our Implementation Managers are product experts, knowledgeable about all the features and functionality of their LMS platform. They are aware of the possible pitfalls that can cost your project time and resources if your configuration is not optimal for your needs. They have worked with many companies, each with individualized use cases. They draw on their ever-growing expertise to ensure your implementation meets your industry, organization, and learners' unique needs.
  • Strategic partnership invested in your training success
    Because of their deep familiarity with their LMS platform, your Implementation Manager can prevent you from accidentally going down the wrong road, and they have resources at hand that can help solve problems with integrations, data uploads, or other more technical issues that may arise. As one of our senior Implementation Managers says to all her clients, “I’m here to help you ask the questions you aren’t asking because you don’t know what you don’t know.”
  • 1:1 hands-on training & coaching
    A managed implementation is, in some ways, an 8- 12-week hands-on training program for your team. We walk you through each step, guide you to make the right choices, and have a weekly meeting to get answers to your questions throughout your LMS implementation project. Our proactive approach leads to fewer calls to your vendor’s client support desk post-launch, higher satisfaction as the project progresses, and a better understanding of your learning system.
  • Saving money, time, and resources
    By instilling a firm (but flexible) schedule and adhering to LMS implementation best practices, your Implementation Manager ensures efficiencies, keeps your project moving forward, and allows you to maximize the robust features of your platform. Since we’re doing the heavy lifting with your project, you don’t need to hire temporary staff or reshuffle the priorities of your existing L&D team. 

Your dedicated Implementation Manager can be invaluable in guiding you through the overwhelm and keeping you out of analysis paralysis. All this creates long-term savings that far outweigh the additional costs of managed implementation services. 

Did you know? Our lead Implementation Managers used to be clients for our LMS platform, so they have been exactly where you are in launching new and next LMSs.  They work closely with the rest of our Client Success team to ensure they have all the resources to ensure your Managed LMS Implementation is successful.

Want to talk to someone about your LMS implementation needs? Our learning experts are ready to listen and help answer any questions.

Let us help you!

What do our Managed LMS Implementation services entail?

Our Managed LMS Implementation provides a proactive, collaborative experience as we guide your organization through a 12-week implementation process. Sounds great, right?

There is one more decision for you to make: Standard Implementation or White Glove Implementation.

Standard Implementation

While we refer to it as Standard Implementation, it’s anything but. Your Implementation Manager consults and guides you through a 12-week process, culminating in the successful launch of your LMS.

Our Standard Implementation service fully guides your entire LMS implementation project – with a dedicated Implementation Manager helping you through each decision, ensuring maximum efficiency and allowing for deep consideration at each step. 

White Glove Implementation

Now, our White Glove Implementation follows a similar process as our Standard Implementation, where your Implementation Manager consults and guides you through the 12-week process. The primary difference is that we also implement your learning system for you – completing the hands-on work to set up your LMS. 

Our White Glove service includes all required tasks for configuration – allowing you to focus on making the best decisions for your organization’s training program – while saving you time and resources. 

Comparing our Managed LMS Implementation services

Below, we compare our two options of Managed LMS Implementation – Standard and White Glove.

Standard Implementation
White Glove Implementation
Project kick-off call
Defining account structure and needed features
Onboarding timeline and task recommendations 
Configuring your LMS
Project management and coaching for your team
Project management, coaching, and hands-on assistance for your team
Testing/pilot project deployment 
Adding and organizing content
LMS launch

In short, purchase the best level of LMS implementation services you can afford. The added assistance of hands-on help, part of White Glove Implementation, ensures a successful launch and gives your administrators and learners the best chance of long-term online learning success.

What does a “White Glove” Managed LMS Implementation project look like?

While every LMS implementation project is unique and can have special circumstances that change the project plan, most implementations will follow our 12-week process. Here is a brief outline of what we will tackle at each step.

Flow chart of the implementation process.

Week 1: LMS project kick-off call

Your Neovation Implementation Manager will drive the project forward, strongly focusing on collaborating with you to reach your training goals. They are experienced learning system professionals, highly organized, timeline-driven, and detail-oriented. It is their job to ensure your successful project completion. 

Your initial meeting will cover introductions, what information we need to configure your account, and an overview of the LMS implementation timeline and project plan – setting everything in motion.

Weeks 2-3: Defining account structure & LMS features

Your Implementation Manager will compile a wealth of information gathered from your kick-off meeting to create a project plan roadmap that defines your users, groups and permissions, learning plans, and LMS features you need, ensuring report outputs meet requirements and enrolling your training administrators in the SmarterU LMS Academy.

During week two, in collaboration with your project team, we define your training program's current and desired future state. Then, in week three, we finalize your account group structure and LMS settings.

Week 4: Configuring your LMS settings

Your Implementation Manager works through the many components of your account’s configuration, essentially taking the project roadmap you’ve built together and configuring your LMS according to the plan's details. This includes setting up your users, groups, roles, permissions, and features and may also involve starting on your course content, technical integrations, or historical data imports. 

Week 5: Training content configuration & management

With the account configuration complete, your Implementation Manager will move on to your training courses, performance supports, knowledge base documents, and learning plans. Special attention is paid to the organization and layout of your content to ensure your learners have an intuitive path to engage with and complete training.

Weeks 6-7: Testing & pilot project deployment

Once your users, courses, knowledge base, and other features are available and the configuration is complete, your Implementation Manager will help complete your pilot testing with a few select learners before launching to your entire audience.

Your pilot program will allow adjustments or corrections before going live with your new system. The feedback from the pilot group will help improve workflows, navigation elements, and your learning system communication plan. 

Week 8: User configuration finalization & review

After your pilot, we complete your user configuration, which includes all users that will be part of the initial implementation of your learning system. Depending on your requirements, your users may receive access to the LMS through integrations with other software, imports of historical records, or data entry.

Week 9: Course & LMS configuration finalization & review

Your LMS configuration enters our review and finalization, where your Implementation Manager will confirm that the previous phases and assignments are complete. Specifically, we review account structure, LMS features and settings, training course content, software integrations, and other special projects, ensuring all are complete to your satisfaction.

Week 10: LMS launch & learner roll-out

It’s time to introduce your learners to their new learning system and engage them! If your implementation project is in phases, this would be the first phase of your LMS implementation, with the remaining phases rolling out as per your previously agreed-upon schedule.

In addition to your LMS launch, your Implementation Manager will provide coaching and best practices to help you deploy your training to your entire team. 

Week 11: Fine-tuning & assurance period

After launching, we offer a fine-tuning period to answer questions that arise after the LMS launch and to make any necessary adjustments. We also work to ensure any functionality targeted to happen after your launch is well-defined and carried forward after your LMS implementation.

The assurance period offers your organization peace of mind that you’re well looked after when your LMS implementation project closes.

Week 12: LMS implementation synopsis

At our final meeting to close the project, we review your initial LMS project roadmap to highlight any changes or feedback. You have an opportunity to address any questions or items that you may have for your Implementation Manager.  We prepare you for the transition to our Success Desk Team, which becomes your point of contact, providing you with any future LMS support you require.

Gantt-style chart of the implementation process.

Our “White Glove” Managed LMS Implementation is good as guaranteed. If you’re looking for robust LMS implementation services from top-notch professionals, we’d love to hear from you.

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What do our LMS implementation services cost?

LMS Onboarding

If Managed Implementation is out of reach for your budget, you can still benefit from some early guidance on the key configuration decisions and priorities to get started with your new LMS.

Neovation offers an onboarding plan that includes three one-hour calls to help you with critical decisions on your account configuration, steer you to the features that will best support your long-term goals, and provide you with a suggested project milestone timeline to keep you on track as you self-implement your new LMS.

$500 USD (estimated)

Managed “Standard” LMS Implementation

Managed Implementation allows every client to achieve their goals. Neovation’s Standard Implementation follows all the steps outlined above, and your Implementation Manager coordinates, trains, and monitors your team's progress to ensure a complete and smooth rollout of your learning program. Implementation services include weekly meetings for 12 weeks, assistance with LMS account configuration, and more. 

$6,500–$10,000 USD (estimated)

Managed “White Glove” LMS Implementation

White Glove Implementation expands on our standard service, with one significant difference.  

Your White Glove Implementation Manager does more than advise and train your team on performing your implementation – they become the hands-on person who does most of the actual LMS implementation work.

White Glove Implementation is ideal for clients with a small team or a tight deadline – but any client can benefit from having an experienced Implementation Manager as a fractional team member for the duration of your LMS implementation.  White Glove Implementation services include weekly meetings for 12 weeks, hands-on delivery of LMS account configuration, and more. 

$10,000–$20,000 USD (estimated)

What happens after your LMS onboarding or managed implementation?

Neovation offers ongoing support for all our clients through our Success Desk, with industry-leading response times and high first-call resolution standards. 

Woman with long blond hair wearing glasses and a blue cardigan over a pale beige-pink shirt.
Lead Implementation Manager
Implementation Manager, Sarah. Smiling woman with long light brown hair wearing glasses and a navy blue shirt.
Implementation Manager
Account Manager, Alan Meilleur. A man wearing glasses, with a slight smile and short brown hair, in a charcoal grey blazer and black button-up shirt.
Account Manager
Cheerful man with short ginger hair and close-cropped beard, wearing a bright blue sweater over a pale blue collared shirt.
Leader, Client Success Team

You will also be assigned an Account Manager, who will proactively reach out to ensure you continue getting the most from your LMS investment.

Finally, if you require ongoing LMS administration, we offer short-term or long-term Managed LMS Administration services as an affordable solution to keep your online training program running smoothly. 

Managed LMS Implementation services let you start strong and finish stronger. Start your training program with an LMS implementation built for success – at launch and beyond.

Request your quote!

Request your free LMS Implementation services quote

Fill out this form, and we’ll get back to you in 3 business hours to introduce you to your personally selected Learning Advisor with experience in your industry, who will book a meeting with you to discuss what an LMS implementation project may look like for your organization.

There is no obligation – we want to discover what your needs are for LMS Implementation services, so we can help ensure your employee training program success.

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