Learning Management System Implementation Plan: Example of the Strategy

14 min read

Before We Begin: A Brief Introduction

LMS plays a crucial role in the online training industry. According to statistics, last year the world market of Learning Management Systems exceeded $ 2 billion, and by 2023 it is expected to earn more than $ 7 billion.

The main reason for the success of LMS is its profitability for all parties:

  • Business owners also benefit from learning management system implementation. Through corporate eLearning programs, they can continuously educate their employees, increasing their productivity and engagement.
  • Students and instructors, being end-users, receive great training opportunities. Mobile-friendly, multifunctional, customization of training, tracking progress, a wide range of training materials, and ways of providing them - all this is available when using LMS systems.
  • LMS vendors are making big profits due to the relevance of online education. They provide training services to clients all over the world, cooperate with large investors, business owners, supplying them with ready-made training software;
  • Universities and other educational institutions receive a platform for a convenient transition to distance learning. In addition, for them, it also expands their funding opportunities. As mentioned in the report, more than 80% of educational institutions use such LMS as Moodle, Blackboard, Canvas, etc.

What Should You Know Before Starting an LMS Implementation?

!

Check out our article about building a Learning Management System from scratch.

Why does MVP stage is obligatory?

Why does MVP stage is obligatory?

The LMS implementation strategy should include such stages as developing an MVP.

What does it give you as a product owner?

  • Save money and time - you spend resources for only a minimal set of key features and improve the product already during the Build-Measure-Learn cycle, controlling each stage. And then you decide whether to continue scaling the application, in which direction, when, and for how much money.
  • Reducing risks - in case of the product financial collapse, the scale of losses will be several times less than if you had made and failed a full-scale solution.
  • Quick entry to the market - making an MVP is much faster than a full-scale product, and you can immediately receive feedback and the first money;
  • Better financial prospects from investors. It’s much more profitable to invest a relatively small amount in a Minimum viable product that will attract investors and unlimited development prospects than to collect funds on your own.

Why outsourcing is a great decision?

There are several ways to create your software. Among them are to hire your own team, work with freelancers, and cooperate with an outsourcing company. The last method is optimal in terms of price-quality and the contribution of your own time and effort. That is why, according to the source, 78% of entrepreneurs are satisfied with outsourcing partners, and in the United States, 300,000 jobs are performed through outsourcing annually. Let’s take a closer look at the benefits of outsourcing:

  • First, you avoid problems connected with a lack of resources;
  • Secondly, all organizational aspects of the construction process, such as office rent, team setting, time management, human resources migration are on the outsourcing firm’s side;
  • Third, you get the opportunity to save money by hiring workers from regions with a lower hourly rate;
  • Fourth, you get clear cooperation terms, save yourself from the problems typical for working with a freelancer - such as lack of experience and expertise, vague deadlines and budget, as well as communication problems. In the case of outsourcing, the technical partner solves these problems for you;
  • Fifth, the team of experts can provide you with qualified project support. Outsourcing agencies usually set up a team including devs, project managers, designers, QA. They have enough experience in scaling and modification, and they are interested in your product even after the market launch.

You can compare these LMS implementation templates in more detail, using data from the table below:

affordability wide range
of services
collective
expertise
continuous
support
full-cycle
development
Outsourcing + + + + +
Hiring own team - + + + +
Hiring freelancer + - - -

How to choose a technical partner?

To answer this question, let’s find out what determines the reliability of an outsourcing partner.

Experience

Don’t hire newbies! Only skilled teams know about the pitfalls in the LMS implementation process. They can predict possible difficulties and provide an accurate estimate of the milestones. With a professional team, you have no worries about challenges - most likely, they have already had a similar experience and will get out of the situation. In addition, the pro team shows subjectivity, which means that even if you have a lack of technical knowledge, they will explain their position and adjust the development process, if necessary.

Therefore, when choosing a partner, get acquainted with their portfolio, view completed projects, learn more about customer experience with their services.

Customer-oriented cooperation approach

A good IT company will offer you, several cooperation models, to choose from and provide detailed information about each of them. Feel free to clarify all organizational points - a trustworthy partner will always justify price-setting and answer all of your questions.

Which techstack to use?

Front End

Frontend React.js

We use React technology for Front-End web development and React Native for building mobile apps.

This choice is due to several reasons, among which we’d like to highlight the following:

  • Optimized costs with outstanding quality. Thanks to the flexibility of technology, the possibility of hybrid development, code reusability, you can significantly reduce the cost and timing. Compared to native development, using React you need half the work resources to run an application for iOS and Android platforms.
  • Great community support. Thanks to this, there are thousands of ready-made solutions for React on the network. This means that the work process itself will be easy since you can find numerous solutions for any problem, a huge number of which are freely available.
  • Ease of learning. Since react and React Native is not as difficult to learn as, for example, Angular, it will be easier for you as an entrepreneur to find an LMS vendor that is qualified in react development.
  • Using React and React Native is a great way how to create an online learning platform quickly. With this technology, the implementation process can be launched almost immediately.

Backend

Backend Node.js

For the Backend part of the implementation, we always use Node.js with the NestJS framework.

Since the vast of our projects are startups starting their way with building MVPs, flexibility, good speed, and the absence of overload problems are very important. All these advantages are given to us by these technologies. And besides, they provide flexibility in modifications and scaling - which means you, as a product owner, can be calm and change, expand your product in any direction and aspect.

Cloud System

Cloud System AWS

Through the experience of many of our projects, AWS has shown itself as a reliable, convenient cloud system with a wide range of services.

Therefore, we almost always use it. In addition, this is the largest system with a loyalty program for startups - starting up entrepreneurs can get access to services for a year free when registering for this program!

Database

When implementing projects, we always focus on the project specifics and select databases based on the client’s request.

Most often, our specialists use PostgreSQL or MongoDB. These databases proved to be excellent in terms of data protection and flexibility in work.

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What monetization model to choose?

LMS monetization model

Freemium

This model is a way how to implement an LMS system on a charitable basis and fortune from it. Successful examples of such applications are Moodle, Google Classroom, Talent LMS, KhanAkademy.

Such products exist not only at the expense of donations from ordinary users but mainly at the expense of donations from venture funds, government, and private organizations.

And in the coming years, according to the source, this trend will remain more than relevant. Thus, the funding volume for the first half of 2021 for the United States was 2 times more than for 2020, and for European countries - 3 times more.

Paid Subscriptions

It is the most simple and stable scheme. The user buys access to the application regularly. You can improve this option by providing clients with a choice of study plans - monthly, yearly, or semi-annually.

Thanks to this model, you, as a product owner, will receive stable regular revenue, and the user will enjoy a simple and understandable payment scheme.

Paid certificates

This model is relevant for educational platforms with university-level accreditation.

Often it’s combined with other monetization schemes.

To implement this method in your e-learning business, you will need to organize cooperation with universities and lecturers. It can be quite laborious and time-consuming, but world practice shows that the transition to e-learning is more and more popular among public and private educational institutions. According to the source, online courses are offered by such top universities as:

  • Harvard University;
  • The Hong Kong University of Science and Technology;
  • The University of California, Irvine;
  • École Polytechnique;
  • California Institute of the Arts.

For users, obtaining an education with a certificate that is quoted for employment is much more attractive. Therefore, as a business owner, you can earn more profits and offer your clients university-level knowledge.

Corporate learning programs

As we said earlier, corporate training is one of the most promising trends in the training industry. And as an entrepreneur, you can leverage this trend to your success.

As the owners of Udemy did: they created the Udemy for Business app, which, according to the source, increased its annual profit from $ 1 million to $ 100 million just in 5 years.

Thus, by providing corporations with favorable conditions for employees’ collective learning, or by creating and selling ready-made LMS systems for business, you can ensure a large stable income, a massive audience, and good advertising for yourself.

Advanced features and content

This model assumes that part of the content and functions of the application is available to users for an additional fee. It means that you can provide the rest of the content on a freemium basis, or for a paid subscription, and provide extra features separately. For example, a course may be freely available, but advanced learning materials or instructor feedback are available for a surcharge.

After considering and choosing a monetization model, it will be easier for you to plan further platform implementation. To simplify your task, below we have collected an approximate algorithm of the  LMS construction.

Ready-made 8-step LMS Implementation Plan

Analysis and advice

Before creating your own e-educational software, you need to research market conditions, target audiences, and competitors.

  1. A target audience analysis will give you a portrait of users, which means the key to understanding their needs. Without this, it’s impossible to make the product in demand. When researching the audience, consider as many indicators as possible: age, gender, region, educational level, labor market conditions, etc.
  2. Competitors analysis will help highlight possible risks and vice versa - growth areas for your platform. To overcome competitors and conquer the market, you need to understand the strengths and weaknesses of competitors, how numerous they are in the target region.
  3. Market conditions will give you information about which features, directions, and provided training materials level will be relevant to your audience. What payment services to use, languages ​​to include (if you build a language application), and so on.

To get all this information, you can use online services like Google Analytics and Segment.io.

But there is another way - to contact professional specialists. LMS vendor companies will analyze all the mentioned parameters, consult your idea in detail, provide a preliminary estimate and budgeting, answer all your questions. At the same time, you can be confident in the expertise of the received advice because these discovery teams usually have numerous successfully completed projects under their belt, so they know what they are talking about.

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Planning and determination

This stage involves working on requirements. Your task as a startup entrepreneur is to determine the basic concept of a business project: what pains of users it will solve, what its goal will be, the main difference from competing products it has, and so on. The analysis data from the previous step will come in handy here.

All the mentioned aspects should be identified and transferred to paper in the form of requirements documentation. This document will help form a sample of the future platform. It will serve as the basis for subsequent steps for a successful LMS implementation.

Work on content

In this phase, you can go in several ways:

  1. Use only university-grade training materials. It is especially relevant if you’ve chosen paid certificates as your monetization model. In this case, you will have to organize cooperation with educational institutions and universities, which can be laborious and time-consuming. However, it will give you benefits in monetization issues and the quality of provided training.
  2. You can follow a similar scheme to Udemy. There, authors create courses and sell them, setting prices on their own. If you choose this way, it’s better to provide authors with content management and customization tools.

Milestone and feature-list determination

After solving all organizational issues, you can start drawing up an LMS implementation plan and choosing a methodology.

First, you should complete the feature list setting, distributing the total number into vital and additional ones. The first will need to be implemented first during the MVP stage. The latter can be postponed and implemented after receiving the first user feedback.

As for working methods, it’s better to use optimizing approaches that have shown their effectiveness in practice. Among these are the milestone-based development and the Scrum approach. According to this method, the entire scope of work is divided into milestones, which are completed in turn. It removes confusion and chaos at work and helps the product owner track and control implementation processes.

Design phase

The prototyping goal is to provide the development team, product owner, and potential investors with the preliminary version of the planned online training programs.

Of course, it won’t be a functional version of the product, but it will give a rough idea of the project.

We involve our UI/UX experts to complete this stage. They create a design following the documentation with the requirements formed in the previous steps.

Development stage and quality control

Using a well-thought-out technical stack and methodology, you can make the development process smooth, well-controlled, protected from delays and chaos.

According to the Scrum approach, the work takes place in sprints. First, there is planning, then implementation, and then testing, analysis, and work on mistakes. And you, as a customer, control all stages and make adjustments if necessary.

It’s necessary to conduct testing during development using such techniques as manual testing, writing units, E2E tests, and regression testing.

Deployment

For successful and quick LMS deployment we use CI/CD approach, which proved its effectiveness multiple times.

It allows us to avoid human error and provides perfect communication between development team members and clients.

Thanks to this method, you as a product owner are informed about all updates and changes immediately. It allows you to control and adjust the implementation process conveniently and timely.

After Launch

After completing all the previous LMS implementation steps, the development of your platform is just beginning. By launching MVP, we are running the Build-Measure-Learn cycle. It means that our specialists will help you turn the collected user feedback into concrete steps to improve the software. With each cycle iteration, you can refine existing features, develop new ones, scale up the application, the number of users, and so on. So, gradually your idea can grow from a tiny startup into a full-scale international LMS platform with thousands of users, advanced features, and innovative technologies.

How Can Codempire Help Your Company to Implement an LMS System?

How Can Codempire Help Your Company to Implement an LMS System?

Codempire is a skilled and reliable E-learning App Development Services Company with more than 50 completed projects under its belt. Product owners all over the world choose us as a technical partner because we can provide them with:

  • High-end digital consulting for your business idea;

  • Formation of a learning management system implementation plan with thoughtful budgeting, individual financial solutions for each client, and reasonable pricing;

  • High-quality codebase thanks to the code review culture, unified code style, which makes the code elegant and reusable;

  • A tech stack assembled by a team of specialists specifically for your business idea. Thanks to it, you will not have problems with scaling and LMS data migration;

  • Rich expertise in custom software development, allowing smart market launch;

  • Transparent terms of cooperation;

  • Mobile-friendly solutions that correspond to the e-learning market-relevant trends;

  • Advanced admin system and features for automating the work of LMS administrators and increasing its efficiency (for example, chatbots, integration with third-party sources, community functions, marketing tools, etc.);

  • Clearly defined LMS implementation timeline.

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Conclusion

  • The e-learning sphere doesn’t lose relevance, remaining one of the most profitable business niches. LMS is one of the most promising trends in the training industry. In 2021, it has already exceeded $ 2 billion;
  • But its creation should be approached responsibly, thinking in advance such issues as the MVP stage, tech stack, and monetization model.
  • The best way to create an LMS at an optimized cost is to turn to an Outsourcing company. Choose a versed technical partner, who can organize the development process, provide digital consulting and assemble a professional implementation team.
  • To implement the project smoothly, we have prepared a checklist that includes eight sequential steps in the construction of the LMS. Pay close attention to all phases of the LMS implementation project plan: market analysis, requirements formation, content filling, design and prototyping, development and testing, post-production, and expansion.
  • Our discovery team can help you obtain qualified data, form a delivery template, and turn your idea into a finished Learning product, giving you full control over all stages of LMS construction.
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FAQ

How much does it cost to build the LMS from scratch?

The price of the application largely depends on your target audience, functionality, technologies involved, and many other factors. For example, if you plan to create an MVP, the minimum price will be $ 30,000. The cost of a full-fledged product starts at $ 60,000. These are the minimum numbers. The upper threshold is difficult to determine without knowing the project specifications. In addition, the vendor's LMC also influences pricing. For example, working with developers from Ukraine, such a budget may be sufficient. However, hiring an employee from the US or UK, be ready to spend at least $ 73,000 for MVP and $ 138,000 for a full-scale project. Price differs because of the developers' rate: for Ukrainians, this figure will be about $ 30 per hour, then the rate of American coders starts at $ 70 per hour. At the same time, the skill level of engineers from Eastern Europe is quite high, which gives you an advantage - to implement a training course platform with an optimal price and quality.

How does LMS configuration differs from customization?

The essence of LMS configuration is to customize your application without changing the code base, and customization is making changes at the code level. It can be very costly and time-consuming. To avoid such measures, it's better to initially think over the structure of your training software, use technologies that can make the code reusable, elegant, and maximum understandable. These are the principles of Codempire engineers. Our tech stack, methodology, code review culture, and unified code style help build platforms that are highly scalable and flexible to change.

Which technologies to choose for LMS?

Since the main elements of the LMS application do not require the implementation of complex mechanics or 3D animation, the best option would be to use React for web and React Native for mobile products. This library is relatively easy to learn, which means you will not face a shortage of specialists. In addition, this technology will provide you with flexibility and reusability of the code base, the possibility of hybrid development, excellent application performance, unlimited perspectives for changing and scaling the EdTech portal after onboarding. And it doesn't matter if you have a beginner startup or an enterprise-level project - implementing an LMS software with this technology is equally convenient and effective for both types.