The Critical Role of an LMS Project Manager during Implementation

The LMS project manager is your “significant other” during the LMS implementation project. They’re your main point of contact on the LMS vendor’s team as they manage the vendor’s side of the project.

The responsibilities of the LMS project manager

The LMS project manager works closely with the association’s project manager whether that’s someone on the association staff or a consultant who’s managing the project. Before the kick-off meeting, they learn all they can about the association’s requirements, operations, and processes from the LMS business analyst.

The internal responsibilities of the LMS project manager are similar to the internal responsibilities of the association project manager.

LMS project team leader

The LMS project manager (PM) assembles the vendor’s project team and assigns team roles and responsibilities in alignment with the association’s project plan. They make sure everyone understands what’s expected from each of them. During the project, they provide their team with direction and guidance when needed.

LMS project manager

LMS project liaison

The LMS project manager is the link between the association, the vendor’s project team, and the vendor company’s management. They coordinate and share any relevant information from the association to their team and to their management.

Communication is not to be taken for granted during a project. The vendor PM works with the association PM to develop a communication plan. They decide how regularly they’ll meet with each other and how frequently they’ll share project status reports. Over-communication is a best practice when it comes to technology projects.

The LMS project manager keeps the association’s PM updated on the vendor team’s progress and confirms that the association staff will meet their deadlines too. For example, if association staff is cleaning up data before migrating it to a new system, any delay in that task could potentially set back the timeline.

The vendor PM seeks continuous feedback from the association and makes sure all their questions are answered and all their issues are addressed.

LMS project planner

Good project management is based on good planning. The vendor PM develops a project plan or roadmap that includes project goals, scope, risks, constraints, and schedule, including deliverable milestones that their team must meet.

The project plan describes the work that will occur during each phase of the project. The PM drafts a schedule outlining project tasks, estimates the time required for each, and assigns them equitably to the appropriate team members.

WBT project managers use a variety of proven processes, templates, best practices, and tools to manage complex projects. Our project methodologies ensure the successful delivery of implementation projects on time, within budget, and without headaches. We break down each project into phases, processes, and action steps, and define the necessary requirements, resources, and deliverables for each phase along with controls and metrics.

Schedule and budget stickler

The vendor PM ensures their team does everything humanly possible to keep the project on schedule and on budget. They constantly check in with their team to make sure they’ll hit all the deadlines for deliverables. If something happens to jeopardize a deadline—for example, someone on the team has a family emergency—the PM takes steps to fill in the gaps and keep the project rolling.

LMS project manager


Risk and change manager

Risk management is an essential part of the PM’s job. They must plan for any risks that might occur on the vendor’s side during the course of the project. Besides a sick relative, some potential risks include:

  • Missed requirements
  • Misinterpreted requirements
  • Design variations
  • Incomplete or inaccurate estimates

They make plans ahead of time for how changes like these will be handled. They also suggest or develop a process with the association PM to handle requests for changes so scope creep doesn’t become an issue.

Association coach and counsel

The vendor PM is a project management professional, but sometimes the association project manager is someone on staff who’s not a project management professional. In fact, this could be the first time they’ve ever led a project—and they’re trying to do it while juggling their regular workload.

The LMS project manager provides moral support for their stretched-thin counterpart. With their expertise in LMS implementation, they have lots of advice to share about keeping people on schedule or saying “no” to last-minute, unnecessary requests for system customizations. They can recommend configuration and process changes based on best practices. And they can spot possible roadblocks in your implementation process and advise you on how to get around them.

Best of all, they’ll listen to you vent. Project management isn’t easy but it’s a rewarding and memorable experience because it’s a true team project. Two teams—your association’s and your LMS vendor’s—work separately and together to implement technology that changes people’s lives.

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