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eLearning Project Tip 8: Stop SWAG Bids

eLearning Project Tip 8: Stop SWAG Bids, Save $$$

How do you control costs and become the company eLearning hero?
By stopping SWAG bids and breaking the traditional one contract system into two! What?

Instead of putting out the traditional one contract training development bid and hoping companies will give you best pricing, turn the tables to your favor. Use a two contract system.

Contract One: Hire an Experienced eLearning Instructional Designer if one is not available in your company. Work through the Design Phase together to build the training project scope.

Your Design Phase Deliverables should include creating four key documents: Timeline & Milestones, Statement of Work (SOW), Project Plan, and Course Outline.

Contract Two: Solicit bids using the SOW for the Development Phase and stop SWAG bids forever. Using this tip, along with following detailed checklists will save your project up to 50% in staff time-on-task and production costs on your FIRST project. Once you have implemented the system, “rinse and repeat” for more savings on all future projects.

If you found this tip useful, check out the free SME onboarding video (no signup) at: www.eMAbootcamp.com

Start Managing eLearning from Day One

Start Managing eLearning from Day One – Build Your Success Roadmap

Are you tasked with creating an eLearning project, but you have absolutely no training development background?  Here’s how to gain confident and be on track from Day One.

An eLearning project has three phases: design, develop and deploy.  Get the design phase completed properly and most other project issues just seem to disappear.

Which statement best describes your current eLearning development skills?

  • Clueless and Struggling: I was assigned with my first eLearning project and I just don’t know where to start
  • Cautious and Fearful: I am suffering from a bad previous eLearning failure, or current project delays
    and an I have an overall fear of failure
  • Ready and Capable: I have created small eLearning projects but don’t really have a process in place
  • Fearless: I am consistently delivering high quality eLearning projects on-time and budget

No matter what your skill level is now, we have a process to help you more forward while gaining knowledge, confident and skills at eLearning project management. Here are some valuable tips:

Quit Wasting Time, Get Help
Get an eLearning system in place. This means you will be starting off right the first day by following a proven process and not wasting your evenings and weekends trying to put it together by yourself.  Get help, get the right tools and guidance through your first project. Then you are prepared to take on other eLearning opportunities with confidence and skills.

Quit Trying to Reinvent the Wheel
Locate and follow an easy-to-use system that includes checklists, templates, video instruction, private coaching calls and a plan that is already mapped out, so all you need to do is fill in the details.  No, creating eLearning is not rocket-science, but if you are not prepared to actually create the training – leave that to the professionals.  Get back your schedule to do your REAL JOB and manage the eLearning project. When you are back to managing, you regain your time after work or on the weekends for what you want to do, and not babysitting an eLearning project with a never-ending review cycle.

Deliver On-Time and Save the Embarrassment of Newbie Mistakes
Think how much happier your supervisor would be if you could deliver upon your eLearning project on-time and save up to 50% in staff time-on-task as well as production costs.  Put a proven process in place to transparently show resource utilization and project process easily.


Learn How to Choose the Right People
Make better selections for team roles and responsibilities.  Learn how to choose the best subject matter experts (SMEs) to locate the best content. Learn to interface with important departments who you are dependent upon for project launch. Be prepared for important interviews with pre-done questions to gather the right information.  Learn how to stay in your management and leadership role to make the project flow smoothly.

If you found this tip useful, check out the free SME onboarding video (no signup) at: www.eMAbootcamp.com

#eMABootcamp   #ProjectManagereLearning  #eLearningProjectManagement  #eLearningManagement

Delivering the eLearning Promise

Delivering the eLearning Promise

Asked to deliver a new eLearning project but you don’t have a training development background?

Over the years our eLearning agency has observed very competent clients struggle to deliver eLearning projects.  Why?  Because people were given absolutely no guidance on how to manage them.  We decided it was about time to bring some order from chaos to the entire process.

We mapped out the entire process from concept to completion. We shone a light on and injected transparency along with common sense into the entire eLearning project management business.

eLearning is manageable once you have a process.  Using our nine-step plan process, we show how to break eLearning project into three phases: design, develop, and deploy.  Then each phase is broken into three steps.

Why is the simple solution never mentioned when learning and technology are mixed? We have seen that vendors like to add confusion and keep eLearning shrouded in mystery so they can charge clients more. Just like the famous scene in the Wizard of Oz. We think is about time to reveal the elearning wizard behind the curtain.


We have also observed that eLearning projects get off track when the project manager omits or does not follow these simple nine steps.  Start off the right way from Day One and you can confidently deliver high quality training on-time and on budget using the nine-step plan.

Here are five tips from the process to consider when attempting your first eLearning project.

  1. Project Scope Contract First, Project Development Contract Separate
    We recommend partnering with an experienced eLearning senior instructional designer upfront to complete the design phase together and scope out the entire project BEFORE the final production contract is drawn up. Everyone involved with the project knows exactly what content will be developed, what development and delivery technologies will be utilized, and how many team members are needed to engage. An experienced instructional designer can closely determine how many hours it will take to complete the project along with a timeline and milestone deliverable chart.  Taking time to create a two-step bid process means that your project goals will be crystal-clear and when companies bid on development / deployment, you can compare their bids “apples to apples”.
  2. Leave the course development to eLearning professionals
    With the right person selected as your eLearning senior instructional designer, you can tag team the project very efficiently. You are in the project manager role and the senior instructional designer is responsible for handling all course content development details. This frees you to do your real job while staying in the loop on project process. No more spending extra time after work on or on weekends, you finally have eLearning management under control.
  3. Know the tasks and activities upfront
    Map all project tasks and activities prior to the development phase. Have the project process mapped out with all the tasks and activities in writing before development starts. Using the right tools, you can glance at a moment’s notice to see exactly project progress and how many more resources (people, hours, dollars) are needed to complete on-time and budget.  This type of process tracking means you have total project transparency and accountability.
  4. Better MANAGE the project
    Know how to put a stop on project killers such as the “never ending review cycle” or “scope creep” when people keep trying to add more reviewers or “just a little more content“. Many projects have gone astray because the project manager does not have a process in place.  Use a plan that lays everything out so you can easily say NO to activities or requests that are outside the project scope.
  5. Choose the Right People
    Selecting the correct people to be on the leadership team as well as content providers is essential. Strong leadership can help run interference when you are dealing with cross division or department personnel involvement.  Selecting the correct people to serve as subject matter experts (SMEs) is essential to providing the best course content.  Working with key people in marketing, training, website administration, and other departments can reduce production costs and deliver a better company-branded product.

Ready to implement an eLearning process starting today? Quit ignoring the eLearning elephant in the room, it’s time to get busy.  The eLearning Management Academy (eMA) Bootcamp was developed specifically to guide project managers through a proven process to develop eLearning programs on-time and budget.  

If you found this tip useful, check out the free SME onboarding video (no signup) at: www.eMAbootcamp.com

What’s an eLearning Project About?

What’s An eLearning Project About?

Are tasked to deliver your first eLearning project?  Here’s some advice to help you get on the right track to save time and money from day one.

It’s not enough to just have an idea about the training project in your head, you need to have it written down in a solid plan that is ready to share with your project team.

Too often we have observed project managers who have been asked by their supervisor to deliver an eLearning project without any more information given than a title and deadline.  If you are in this situation, here are a few tips to help you get in control of your new project.

Outline the Project Key Concepts
Take time to outline the project key concepts with your supervisor so that you are both in agreement with the project scope.  Identify exactly what information they want to convey in the training.  When you have finalized your plan be sure to have your supervisor review and approve before starting the project.

Important Questions to Ask
Ask if a current training already exists. Find a copy of the content of the current training so that it can be reviewed by a subject matter expert (SME). If you are not familiar with the content, let the SME determine if the content can be leveraged or if a total rework needs to happen.  Also ask your supervisor if there is a company initiative that should also be addressed in the training.  If so, ask them to help you locate the verbiage and visual messaging (usually from the marketing department) to include in the training.

Note: The more you can get training to include “line of business” topics, branding, and approved text / graphics the more positive momentum will be built-in to the training.  It will make you, your supervisor and department look good to the entire company. Suddenly training is relevant and the senior management will take notice. (That’s a good thing.)

Select the Right SMEs
Choosing the right SMEs is critical to providing the most current and compelling content. SMEs are also great at providing good case study scenarios that apply the content to everyday workplace situations.  Often a new project manager will go directly to a classroom trainer assuming they are a good source of information.  However, the classroom trainer is not the best SME candidate.  They are only a reading from a script and often do not have direct access to the “real” information.

The right SME is able to provide good content but even more important, is able to sift and sort the “need to know information” from the “good to know information”.  The eLearning project should only address the “need to know” but offer a library of extended resources for those learners who wish to take a deeper dive into this subject matter.

Talk with Key Department Managers
Take time to schedule meetings with key department managers from marketing, training, IT, sales, customer service, and product development.  You will want to ask them for advice, approved content, templates, or any other pertinent information that can be included in the training.  Leveraging pre-approved content including: text, graphics, and video can be a huge timesaver in the development phase.

Build a Detailed Plan
Taking the time to build a detailed plan that includes specific tasks and activities that are delegated to specific individuals will provide the structure you need to map out and track the project from concept to completion.  Our team has identified 50 tasks with 150 discreet activities to complete in the delivery of an eLearning project.  Using detailed checklists that are correlated to a timeline and milestones excel spreadsheet, a project manager can see at a glance where the project is and how close it is to launch.

Ready to implement an eLearning process starting today?  The eLearning Management Academy (eMA) Bootcamp was developed specifically to educate project managers on how to successfully deliver eLearning programs on-time and budget.

If you found this tip useful, check out the free SME onboarding video (no signup) at: www.eMAbootcamp.com

#eMABootcamp  #ProjectManagereLearning  #eLearningProjectManagement  #eLearningManagement