How To Get Past Gatekeepers And Help Get Your eLearning Project Over The Line
So you have all these awesome ideas on how you can engage students and how you can use technology to improve the way students learn. However, how do you get them past the gatekeepers?
The term “gatekeepers” can be defined as those departments that tend to hinder things in the eLearning project process. Usually the reason gatekeepers may put up barriers is because they don't understand what it is you're trying to do and are only focused on their particular department. They can’t see the bigger picture and the reason why. I’m not going to say who the gatekeepers are, but chances are you would be able to relate and identify a department or you have experienced a similar situation in the past.
I've seen this on a regular basis throughout my career, trying to turn ideas and concepts into reality, and it's never an easy task. You know exactly what you are trying to achieve, and you know it will make a difference to someone’s life, but not everyone sees this.
If you simple send an email to the gatekeepers / stakeholders suggesting your idea, this just simply doesn’t cut it these days. So what do you have to do to get your idea up and running?
First and foremost, you’ll always need to arrange a meeting between the stakeholders and include the gatekeepers. The frank and robust discussions between different departments within large organizations can always be entertaining! However, in saying this, it can also be damaging to one’s character and beliefs and become very deflating. If you have support for your concept from a key stakeholder, that can assist you with clarifying your concept.
In some cases (from experience), it will cause those that are trying to make a difference to become dispirited, tired, and wonder what they are doing. To a lesser degree, they might even wonder if they should bother continuing. If an eLearning expert is not fluent in the technical jargon or doesn’t have a clear and thorough understanding of how your project will benefit the organization, your argument may very well fall on deaf ears. I've seen this time and again. Sometimes it’s just as though you are walking into a kangaroo court: You are guilty and now you need to prove your innocence, which can be overwhelming.
8 Ways To Get Gatekeepers’ Support
So how do you get gatekeepers to understand? This can be a very difficult issue to resolve, and I have no clear and precise answer. In saying that, here are a few of points that you could use to improve your chances:
1. Justify, Re-Justify, And, While You’re At It, Justify Again!
The more you can justify why the project is worthwhile including the benefits to students and engagement, the better your chances are of getting it over the line
2. Reference Other Projects.
These projects must be successful and similar to what you are pursuing. They can be from within your organization or outside of it.
3. Run A Survey Of Learners To Back Up Your Idea.
Hard facts always work when presenting your ideas. They demonstrate that you have conducted solid research to back your concept.
4. Provide And Promote A Support Mechanism For The Idea Moving Forward.
The block could be how the project will be supported moving forward. Provide tools and mechanisms that will aid in the support process.
5. If Available, Engage An External Third Party To Validate Your Idea On Industry Currency.
This is a long shot, as it can cost money you don't have. However, if you can get your concept backing from an industry expert, it adds weight to your project.
6. If You Can, Create An ROI Document Based On Your Concept.
Creating an ROI (Return on Investment) will get the financial department on board, and this is always helpful.
7. Provide A Risk Assessment (It Always Helps).
Outlining the risks in the concept and where it could potentially fall down demonstrates that you have done your research and are totally across the entire aspect of the project.
8. Always Believe In Yourself And What It Is You’re Trying To Achieve.
It’s never going to be easy to try and convince those with blinkers on to accept an innovative step forward, but if you try to see past the gatekeepers, you will see greener pastures of learners engaging with technology on the other side.