How to Avoid the Most Common, and Frustrating, LMS Admin Headaches

By Holly Sheldon, Senior Business Analyst, Expertus

Holly Sheldon, Senior Business Analyst, Expertus

Holly Sheldon,
Senior Business Analyst,

Many companies are at a crossroads. They have legacy learning platforms that serve their employees well. However, for their LMSs to stay relevant, they’ve had to add on more and more complexity. And this is creating a nightmare for you, the LMS Admin!

There are never enough hours in the day to complete all of your tasks:

  • Workflows are slow and cumbersome
  • Tasks are complex
  • And the help calls/emails from confused or frustrated learners are never ending…

Does this scenario sound all too familiar? I can help! As a former LMS admin, and now an analyst that helps our customers’ admins streamline their learning processes, I’ve complied the three most common LMS Admin headaches, and ways you can alleviate them.

*Editor’s Note: To see Holly’s complete Top 5 list with added insights, watch her on-demand webinar
The Top 5 LMS Admin Headaches, and How to Avoid Them”.

Headache #1: Poor Communication

The Remedy─Quality vs quantity

The world and how we communicate has changed. People are bombarded with messages. So, to get yours heard, it’s key that they’re clear, concise and effective. Here are a few tips:

-Know your audience.
How do they like to be messaged? Email, alerts, texts? Do they frequent social media sites? If so, can you embed messages there?

-Grab their attention.
Remember, you’re competing with 100s of other messages, so make yours standout. Maybe make a quick, funny video. Use images or graphs/charts. Or email them a direct link to a required course, versus telling them where to go and how to register.

-Don’t over-communicate.
Do you know the expression “If you don’t have something nice to say, don’t say it”? This applies in that if you don’t have something of real value to convey, don’t do it. Your messages will be seen as a waste of time and learners will eventually tune you out.

Headache #2: Ungoverned Governance

The Remedy—Document, document, document

Avoid Top 5 LMS Admin Headaches

Watch the video on-demand.

Whether you’re just shopping for a new LMS, rolling it out or your LMS is already live, governance is key to ensuring its success and lessening your headaches! Before planning your workflows, get an executive sponsor on-board and make considerations for all stakeholder. Getting everyone’s buy-in first will squash many future fires.

Other words of advice:

-Become your LMS’ expert.
This will help you drive new initiatives and workflows from other stakeholders, as well as continuing to improve process efficiencies as new product features are rolled out.

-Document everything.
Free yourself from unnecessary questions by creating SOPs and making sure the ship can still sail when you’re out.

Headache #3: Poor User Adoption

The Remedy—Work smarter, not harder

Even with perfect communications and governance, people still aren’t using the LMS. What gives? Change is hard! So, you need to give the changeover time and be strategic in these critical areas:

-Keep it simple.
Don’t feel pressured to go from 0 to 100. Keep rollouts strategic, hide any LMS modules that aren’t initially needed and make communications consistent (use the LMS’ terms, make templates and help guides, proactively address common questions, etc.).

-Leverage your technology.
Learn all of the ways your LMS can help you and see if you can extend it to users—maybe via mobile or to somewhere learners already go like a portal or in a software or internal product page.

-Embrace collaboration.
Why blaze a trail when others can help you with directions? Connect with professional groups of your admin peers. Or, get a fresh perspective from others in your organization outside of the LMS. And, definitely connect with your LMS provider. They want you to succeed, so don’t be afraid to ask for help!

I also have tips on overcoming common LMS governance and data segmentation woes. (Watch the on-demand webinar here.) But for now, these should help you slay some of the most frustrating problems plaguing LMS Admins today.

Your Turn
Do you have other admin headaches that you’d like to address? Contact Holly directly at or post your question below.

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