Project managers are often divided on whether efficiency is achieved through teamwork or personal projects. Many will cite Frederick Brooks, a former project manager for IBM and author of “The Mythical Man-Month,” who asserts that large programming projects suffer management problems due to the division of labor. With each additional employee added to a project, communication and coordination time must increase; therefore, the project hasn’t been sped up at all by having extra manpower.
But does that mean you should work alone on your e-Learning projects instead of working with a team and using cloud authoring tools?
Working alone has many downsides, and if you can take advantage of cloud authoring with your team, go for it!
Here’s why working alone isn’t always so great:
- Working alone prevents you from getting feedback early on. The worst thing you could do is wait until you finish a project to ask for feedback, but that’s often what happens when you’re working solo.
- A one-person team reduces learning. When you’re the only person on a project, you’re automatically the authority. But without teammates to challenge your ideas, you could be missing an important point.
- You get less done by yourself. Working alone takes longer, which means you accomplish fewer projects over time. This also limits new experiences and new challenges—reducing learning again.
- Solo projects often lower morale. When your SME is driving you crazy, it’s nice to have a partner to keep you sane. It’s also helpful to have a team to make the monotonous step of proofreading a 30-slide e-Learning course fly by. If you’re working alone, you don’t have anyone to commiserate with about those little annoyances. This can lessen your excitement and motivation for a project.
But when you’re working with a group…
- You can bounce ideas off each other. A tight feedback cycle is important to achieve a productive state of “flow,” that optimum state of consciousness where you’re in the zone of creativity, productivity and just completely immersed in a project. With Lectora® Online, you can develop e-Learning in the cloud and leave comments for your team right in the project. So, even if you’re working from the corporate headquarters in China and your instructional designer is working from her couch in Santa Monica, you’re always on the same page and sharing ideas.
- A team is a well-oiled machine. After a couple projects together, you know each other’s strengths and weaknesses, and you usually have a system worked out. Maybe Susie develops all the interactions and Bob does all the testing, and you know you can count on them to get their parts done on time. This increases your efficiency and productivity—so you develop a more successful final product in a shorter timeframe.
- Working with a team increases the bus factor for a project. That’s right, the bus factor. This term comes from the software development world, where the bus factor is the number of key developers who would need to be hit by a bus—or just incapacitated in some way—to make a project unable to proceed. The more people on your team, the more likely you can still get a project done if someone goes on sick leave, changes jobs or has a baby. Of course, with cloud authoring, your team can still do work from home, which increases your flexibility even if your bus factor is a little low.
- Your team has your back. Every project has its ups and downs, but a strong team environment helps you get through the low days, like when your client suddenly decides he wants a “new direction” for the course you’ve been working on.
Working with a team is so beneficial for e-Learning developers, and now it’s even easier to develop with a team in the cloud. Cloud authoring removes the barriers of physical location and eliminates software requirements. With Lectora Online, you can develop on a Mac or a PC because everything is in the browser! Stay connected to your team whether you’re in the office or traveling.
Sign up for a free 30-day trial of Lectora Online today, and get the power of Lectora in the cloud!