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.
- 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”.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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