Learning Management Systems Project Monitoring

Introduction

The LMS solution supports different e-learning models and integrated training programs for students. Monitoring the LMS implementation is an important step in the project management process that entails the measurement of project variables against certain project plans and milestones. It involves an ongoing evaluation of achievements, challenges, and potential risks to identify and eliminate constraints. This paper analyzes the four key stages of project monitoring and their relevance to the LMS project and provides reflections on the progressive case study.

Stages of Project Monitoring

Project monitoring is a continuous process that begins at the initiation phase and after the post-implementation review. As Lee (2009) explains, monitoring is particularly required during the execution phase to ensure that the project proceeds according to the predetermined goals. Project monitoring and evaluation involve four stages. In the first stage, information related to project tasks during the planning and implementation phases is monitored to ensure that the project team stays on track and measure short-term accomplishments throughout the project.

In a multi-phase project like GU’s LMS, monitoring feedback between phases ensures continuity and avoids bottlenecks. It also leads to timely corrective actions to mitigate risks, regular software updates, and end-user support. The project manager assumes a facilitator’s role by sharing information with customers and the project team.

A hands-on monitoring approach ensures that team members stay focused on project goals and helps address any arising challenges. In the LMS project, it is critical to discuss expected milestones with the project team from the outset. Meetings and needs analysis workshops would ensure that all stakeholders, including students, are involved in the project. GU’s culture and human resources are the key agents in the adoption of LMS. Therefore, stakeholder discussions should center on user reviews, performance metrics, features, and alignment with institutional goals, among others (Lee, 2009). This information would be useful in the design and configuration of the LMS to meet end-user expectations.

The second stage involves monitoring the project’s progress. The project manager monitors the project’s progress to ensure that it moves forward as per the set timelines. Monitoring the duration each team member takes to complete project assignments can be achieved through timesheets (Wye, 2002). In this way, project progress can be tracked based on task milestones. Another method, the earned value management method, enables project managers to monitor performance-based integrated “time and cost data” (Wye, 2002, p. 27). An earned value chart supports the evaluation of project progress against time and cost milestones.

As the LMS is rolled out, monitoring workflows, technical aspects, and processes will help avoid delays during implementation. Continuous technical support is required to troubleshoot technical problems and resolve compatibility issues that may hamper successful implementation.

The third stage is the monitoring of the budget or cost of the project. A cost management strategy is required to ensure that the project does not exceed the budget limit. All project expenditures must be sanctioned before the actual purchase to maintain spending within a budget. The project manager maintains a record of all project expenses as well as cost and earned value estimates. Effective management of costs related to hardware, software, and security against IT risks would ensure that GU’s LMS project is successful.

In the fourth stage, quality is monitored during the project as per the set standards. The project manager establishes quality standards in the planning phase to guide the implementation. In this way, the project manager can evaluate the output and initiate quality improvement processes to correct faults and enhance performance. The LMS should contain user support features and configured packages to enable students to explore the solution. Other quality considerations in implementing the LMS at the GU may include the availability of course package converters, scalability, and security/privacy of personal information.

Reflections on the Progressive Case Study

The adoption of LMS platforms, e.g., Moodle, in academic settings is growing. LMS supports interactive learning, offer e-learning materials, and helps instructors manage learning and assessment. In my view, emphasis should be placed on the user-friendliness and versatility of the system to support diverse learning styles. User stories and reviews should be considered when designing the mobile application to capture student expectations and align them with the GU’s mission and objectives. Further, user training through workshops will provide students with information on configurations and security features.

Integration with other platforms, such as Google services, is a key consideration when implementing a mobile application. Therefore, in designing the solution, the mobile operating systems in the market, such as Android OS, should be considered to overcome compatibility issues. More emphasis should be placed on features and configurations that support content management, including text, audio, and video files to assist instructors to plan and post-course updates to students. In my view, the application should include tools for managing interactivity between the students and the instructor. Moreover, the applications developed within the LMS project should be standardized to eliminate compatibility and technological barriers.

The success of the LMS project would depend on how well GU manages potential IT risks. A risk assessment strategy will identify the nature of risks, system incompatibilities, and hardware incongruity to implement an effective mitigation strategy (Wye, 2002). Furthermore, a cause-and-effect analysis using tools such as the Fishbone diagram can help identify system problems and risks. Effective resource development is required to support project implementation and prepare staff to avoid resistance. Large IT projects, such as the LMS, involve sweeping changes and regular system upgrades; hence, a change management strategy that includes user training is necessary.

Factors that Improved from Case to Case

The top three factors that have improved in this case study is IT risk assessment, risk mitigation, and usability. IT risks assessment identifies the individual risks and the level of risk posed by system failure. It entails brainstorming sessions using Fishbone diagram tools to identify factors or events that could result in a risk (Kendrick, 2015). From the cases, the important models for identifying potential causes of IT project failures include 4Ps and 7S frameworks (Zhu, 2011). The common risk categories include general risks, criminal risks, and natural disasters.

Risk mitigation involves contingency measures put in place to reduce the severity of risks. The suggested risk mitigation approaches include staff training and motivation, frequent system upgrades, addressing compatibility issues, and hardware changes. Through integrated LMS architecture combining all tools into a single application for digital learning, system failure risks could be avoided. The usability of the LMS relates to integration with multiple platforms, the security of personal information, and the versatility of the system. It also entails strategies for resolving IT incidents promptly to curb system failures.

Conclusion

Ongoing monitoring of LMS implementation is crucial to the success of the project. Monitoring variables such as information, project progress, budget, and quality from the initial launch of the project will alleviate the risks associated with delays, compatibility, and change resistance, among others.

References

Kendrick, T. (2015). Identifying and Managing Project Risk Essential Tools for Failure-proofing Your Project. New York: McGraw-Hill Education.

Lee, Y. (2009). Building Effective Evaluation Capacity: Lessons from Practice. New Brunswick, NJ: Transaction Publishers.

Wye, C. (2002). Performance Management: A‘ Start Where You Are, Use What You Have’ Guide. Arlington, Va.: IBM.

Zhu, M. (2011). Information and management engineering: International Conference, ICCIC, Wuhan, China, September 17-18, 2011: Proceedings. Berlin: Springer.