Methods & Experiences for LMS Replacement

Strategies for the successful replacement of an LMS

Continuous improvements and adjustments are essential in today's world, especially in the realm of professional education. Support from learning technology, such as Learning Management Systems (LMS), plays a crucial role.

But how does a company recognize when the right time has come to replace its LMS, and how can this process be carried out successfully? This article explores the reasons for LMS replacement, the identification of the optimal timing, and presents methods and expertise for the assessment, planning, and execution of this significant project.

Reasons for replacing an LMS


Technological Obsolescence

One of the primary reasons for replacing an LMS is technological obsolescence. When your current LMS can no longer keep up with the latest technological developments and requirements, a change becomes inevitable. This can have a negative impact on user experience and efficiency.

Inadequate Functionality

The LMS should effectively support your company's educational objectives. If it lacks essential features or customization options, it can hinder performance.

User Satisfaction

User opinions and feedback are crucial factors. When employees or learners express dissatisfaction or underutilize the LMS, it is a clear sign of a potential replacement.

Costs and Scalability

The costs of maintenance and licensing fees, along with the scalability of the LMS, are critical considerations. An outdated LMS can be expensive and impede future company growth.


The right time for LMS replacement depends on various factors, including the reasons mentioned above. Additionally, companies should plan time the following aspects:


Gathering User Feedback

Regular feedback from learners and other users is crucial. A significant increase in negative feedback may indicate issues. Feedback can be collected directly within Learning Portals.

Performance Analysis

Monitor learning performance and the effectiveness of the current LMS. Declining success rates or productivity could signify a problem.

Technological Advancements

Stay updated on new technologies and developments in the e-learning field. If your LMS can no longer keep up, it's time to take action.

Compliance and Security

Changes in regulations and security requirements can increase the need for LMS replacement.

Approach to LMS Replacement

The replacement of an LMS is a complex project. A structured approach is important for LMS replacement for several reasons:

  1. Efficient Resource Utilization: A structured approach enables the efficient use of time, finances, and human resources. It helps set clear objectives, define priorities, and prevent unnecessary waste.
  2. Ensuring Requirement Fulfillment: Through a structured approach, the requirements and expectations of stakeholders can be precisely determined and integrated into the planning process. This minimizes the risk of misinvestment.
  3. Quality Control: A structured approach allows for the definition of quality standards and monitoring of their implementation. This ensures that the new LMS meets the desired quality requirements.
  4. Clear Communication: A structured approach promotes clear communication within the project team and with stakeholders. This helps avoid misunderstandings and keeps all parties well-informed.
  5. Risk Management: The structured approach enables the identification and evaluation of risks that could affect LMS replacement. This allows for the development of risk management strategies and proactive problem-solving.
  6. Traceability: A structured approach documents all steps in the LMS replacement process. This is crucial for making decisions traceable, enabling audits, and providing references for future endeavors.


Step-by-Step Guide:





  1. Needs Analysis and Goal Setting:

    a. Assemble a team of experts from various departments, including education, human resources, and IT.

    b. Define clear goals for the LMS replacement. These goals could include improving learning outcomes, cost efficiency, user-friendliness, or compliance.

  2. User Surveys and Feedback::

    a. Develop questionnaires or interview guides to gather targeted feedback from learners, trainers, and administrators.

    b. Conduct surveys and collect comprehensive feedback, particularly about current weaknesses and desired improvements.

  3. Usage Analysis:

    a.Implement analytical tools in the existing LMS to monitor user behavior and usage patterns.

    b. Analyze the collected data to identify bottlenecks and issues.

  4. Benchmarking and Expert Evaluation:

    a. a. Compare the performance of your current LMS with others in your industry or similar companies.

    b. Consult internal or external e-learning experts to obtain their assessments of the effectiveness of the LMS.

  5. Needs Analysis for Missing Features:

    a. Collaborate closely with various departments in your company to identify specific requirements and preferences for a new LMS.

    b. Conduct a gap analysis to determine which features are missing to meet the identified requirements.

  6. Pilot Projects:

    a. Initiate small pilot projects to test whether additional features like a Learning Experience Platform (LXP) or qualification management indeed provide added value.

    b. Collect feedback from the participants in the pilot projects.

  7. Data Evaluation and Documentation:

    a. Prioritize the collected information based on criteria such as urgency and relevance.

    b. Create detailed reports and documentation summarizing the results of your analyses and evaluations.

    c. Transparently communicate the gathered insights and planned actions to all relevant stakeholders.

These steps indeed form a comprehensive methodology for evaluating and planning an LMS replacement. Careful documentation and coordination are crucial to ensure that the project proceeds smoothly and meets your company's specific needs.

Following this, you can turn your attention to LMS selection and implementation. When selecting the new LMS, consider quality criteria for Learning Management Systems to ensure that the chosen system aligns with your requirements. This includes aspects such as user-friendliness, scalability, security, content integration, support, and training options. Also, take into account how well the new LMS aligns with the findings from your prior needs analysis.

Implementation should be carefully planned to ensure a smooth transition. This encompasses data migration, staff training, and user acceptance testing. After implementation, continuous monitoring and adjustment of the LMS are vital to ensure it continues to align with your company's educational objectives.


Evaluating and Planning LMS-Replacement

By linking various methods to their specific objectives, it becomes easier to understand the benefits and significance of each method in the context of LMS replacement.

Proven Methods

The following methods have proven effective for data collection:

  • Brainstorming
  • SWOT Analysis
  • User and Stakeholder Interviews
  • Needs Analysis Workshops
  • User Feedback Surveys

We will briefly introduce these methods and their approaches:

1. Brainstorming:

Brainstorming is a creative method in which participants freely express ideas, suggestions, and concerns for improving the LMS.

Objective: The aim of brainstorming is to gather a wide range of ideas and suggestions for improving the current LMS. This helps identify potential weaknesses and future requirements, laying the groundwork for LMS replacement planning.

  1. Participant Selection: Assemble a multidisciplinary team of stakeholders who will significantly influence or use the LMS replacement project. This may include learners, trainers, IT experts, and executives.
  2. Facilitation: A facilitator leads the brainstorming session. The role of the facilitator is to encourage participants to express ideas without constraints or criticism.
  3. Generating Ideas: Participants are encouraged to share ideas, suggestions, and concerns regarding the current LMS and the desired future LMS. This can be done in the form of bullet points, sketches, or brief statements.
  4. Collecting Ideas: All ideas are gathered on a board, flipchart, or digital presentation for everyone to see.
  5. Discussion and Categorization: After collecting all ideas, participants can collectively discuss their relevance and feasibility. Ideas can be categorized to identify similarities.
  6. Prioritization: Lastly, prioritize the most important ideas and suggestions. Participants can vote or use other methods to select the key ideas.
  7. Documentation: All ideas and prioritizations are documented and serve as a starting point for LMS replacement planning.

2. SWOT-Analyse:

The SWOT analysis is used to identify the internal strengths and weaknesses of the current LMS, as well as external opportunities and threats.

Objective in the Context of LMS Replacement: The goal of the SWOT analysis is to gain a comprehensive understanding of the current LMS situation and lay the foundation for strategic planning of LMS replacement. It helps consider the internal and external factors that can influence the project's success.

  1. Gathering Information: Collect information about your current LMS, including its features, user experiences, and performance. Also, analyze trends and developments in the industry.
  2. Identifying Strengths: Determine the strengths of your current LMS. These could be user-friendly features, proven teaching methods, or effective support resources.
  3. Identifying Weaknesses: Analyze the weaknesses of your current LMS. These may include technical issues, lack of user-friendliness, or inadequate functionality.
  4. Recognizing Opportunities: Identify external opportunities that could arise from current developments in the education and technology industry. These could be new learning methods or emerging technologies.
  5. Recognizing Threats: Identify external threats that could impact your current LMS. These may include security risks, changing regulations, or competition for resources and attention.
  6. Summary: Summarize the results in a SWOT matrix representing the identified strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats.

3. User and Stakeholder Interviews:

Interviews with users and stakeholders allow for the targeted collection of information, opinions, and requirements.

Objective: The goal of user and stakeholder interviews is to gain a deeper understanding of the needs and expectations of those involved. These interviews provide insights into specific requirements that should be incorporated into the planning of LMS replacement.

  1. Participant Selection: Identify key individuals relevant to the project, such as learners, trainers, administrators, and IT experts.
  2. Developing Questions: Create structured questions or guides that target the specific requirements and expectations of each group.
  3. Conducting Interviews: Conduct the interviews in person, over the phone, or via video conferencing. Request honest feedback from participants.
  4. Recording and Analysis: Record the responses and analyze them. Identify recurring themes, concerns, and priorities.
  5. Documentation: Create a comprehensive report summarizing the interview results, emphasizing key insights and recommendations.

4. Needs Analysis Workshops:

Needs analysis workshops bring representatives from various departments and groups together to identify their specific requirements for the new LMS.

The objective of needs analysis workshops is to identify the diverse requirements and desires of stakeholders and categorize them into groups. This enables better organization and prioritization of requirements and forms the basis for the design of the new LMS.

To assist in gathering requirements, consider using a tried-and-tested tool.

  1. Participant Selection: Invite representatives from various departments and groups that use or are affected by the LMS.
  2. Workshop Facilitation: A facilitator leads the workshop and ensures it is structured and productive.
  3. Gathering Requirements: Discuss the specific requirements of each group and department by asking questions and collecting suggestions.
  4. Categorization: Organize the collected requirements and desires into categories to identify commonalities and differences.
  5. Prioritization: Ask participants to prioritize certain requirements to filter out the most important ones.
  6. Summary: Create a summary of the workshop results and document them.

5. User Feedback Surveys:

User feedback surveys are a tool for systematically collecting the opinions and experiences of learners and users of the Learning Management System.

Objective: The goal of user feedback surveys is to gather constructive feedback from users to evaluate the user-friendliness and efficiency of the current LMS. This helps to identify weaknesses and informs the planning of LMS replacement.



  1. Survey Creation: Create a structured survey with questions about user-friendliness, meeting learning objectives, and desired improvements.
  2. Survey Distribution: Distribute the survey to all relevant user groups by sending it via email or making it available through the LMS.
  3. Data Analysis: Collect and analyze the survey responses. Identify trends and patterns in the feedback.
  4. Reporting: Generate a report summarizing the survey results and recommendations.


The replacement of an LMS is a demanding but necessary task. Proper planning and the selection of suitable methods are crucial for the success of the project.

Proven methods include, for example:

  • Brainstorming
  • SWOT analysis
  • User and stakeholder interviews
  • Needs analysis workshop
  • User feedback surveys

Companies should carefully assess their specific requirements and objectives and ensure that the new LMS optimally supports them.

After the evaluation and planning are complete, you can focus on LMS selection and implementation. In doing so, you should consider quality criteria for Learning Management Systems.

To ensure that the chosen system meets your requirements, a test installation is the best option. This allows you to factually assess aspects such as user-friendliness, scalability, security, content integration, support, and training options.

Additionally, the pros and cons of hosting options should be considered.

Implementation should be carefully planned to ensure a smooth transition. This includes data migration, employee training, and user acceptance testing. The service offerings of the LMS provider are relevant for this purpose.




Checklist LMS Replacement

  1. Requirements List
    Create a comprehensive list of the requirements your new LMS must meet. Consider technical, pedagogical, and company-specific criteria.
    Also, read "How Do I Define Requirements for the Future LMS?" - with a free tool for creating a requirements catalog.
  2. TimelineDevelop a detailed timeline for the entire replacement process to ensure a smooth transition.
  3. Budget Planning
    Identify all costs associated with LMS replacement and create a budget.
    Also, read "What Does an LMS Cost?" with many useful insights on cost-benefit analysis.
  4. Communication Strategy
    Develop a clear communication strategy to inform all relevant parties about the process.
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