Just What Does an LMS Administrator Really Do Anyway?

Posted by Brian Esmao - January 07, 2020


A good Learning Management System (LMS) is kind of like a spaceship. Powerful, pretty to look at, with lots of cool features and controls to explore. But after you get one you may realize, “Wait a second, someone’s gotta drive this thing!” But what kind of skills do you need to operate an LMS? Whether you’re looking to hire someone to be your LMS administrator, or you plan on running things yourself, here are some of the duties of the job and the skills needed to get it done.


Set a Course

The LMS serves as the backbone of the company and can play a crucial role in onboarding, skills training, compliance and safety, associate development, leadership training, mentoring, and more. To choose an LMS and put it to good use, an LMS administrator must know and understand the company’s needs. What are the training and performance gaps? What kind of culture are you helping to develop? What’s the company’s vision for the future?

Before you embark on the journey of finding an LMS, meet with the right people at your organization and find the answers to these questions. The company’s needs may be as simple as providing a way for new hires to sign off on a few documents. Or maybe the LMS will be a vehicle for building a culture of outstanding customer service.


Prepare for Launch

With a new LMS, the LMS administrator is key for getting it all set up. Here are a few things that will need to get done before the LMS can be put to use:

  • Acquiring training content such as eLearning or videos. You may need to build it yourself or buy content from a third party.
  • Helping to link up the company’s HR system user data with the LMS. You’ll need to work with HR and possibly your IT department.
  • Planning out which training will be assigned to which people. Knowledge and use of spreadsheets will help here!

Launching an LMS can be overwhelming. Consider prioritizing and phasing out the project into milestones. You can also pilot the LMS at a few locations before a doing a full launch.


Get Everyone on Board

So you’ve got your LMS set up, but how do you even get your users to log in? And how do you get your people to care about training?

An LMS administrator may be responsible for marketing the LMS internally to the company at all levels. If you get supervisors and managers behind the LMS, they’ll help you do the leg work of pushing people to log in and take the time to do their online training.


Captain the Ship

The LMS will handle a lot of the work of assigning and tracking on autopilot, but it’s not always smooth sailing. An LMS administrator needs to be able to assess issues that arise and mediate to help resolve them. You also need to hold your crew accountable for getting training done on time.

Knowing the system and how the training is set up will be crucial to getting things fixed quickly. You also need to make sure your LMS administrator’s schedule leaves room for things like:

  • Handling help desk tickets that come in from the field
  • Following up with supervisors/managers and holding them accountable for incomplete training
  • Troubleshooting issues, such as network connection issues or eLearning content tracking issues


Understand How Data Works

Understanding data and how database applications work is an important skill for managing an LMS. An LMS has many moving parts, so the LMS administrator needs to be able to navigate the application to efficiently implement training and quickly resolve issues.

If you’re hiring an LMS administrator, this may be a good requirement to list in the job description. Make sure your LMS administrator is capable of learning and mastering a system as complex and powerful as an LMS.


Show off the ROI

The more you invest in your LMS administrator, the more return you’ll get out of your LMS. Taking the time to properly train your LMS administrator is crucial, and it will show in your ROI. Show off those high completion percentages in your reports!


Find a Co-Pilot You Trust

When considering what software solution is right for you, look for a provider that will truly be your LMS partner. If you're stepping into a new role with an existing system, build a relationship with your LMS provider and be sure to ask about training opportunities and service options! A trusty solution provider will help set up your LMS, train your administrators, and show you how to keep your system well-oiled and running long into the future. 


Topics: Learning Management System (LMS)

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