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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

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