4 Steps To Highly Effective Project Management For Developing Online Training Courses
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Highly Effective Project Management: How To Develop Online Training Courses In 4 Steps

The customer is always king, but he may not always be right. So, if your client has determined what he wants and expressed his concerns, it may be good and bad. It may be good because he has done the thinking and saved a lot of time in the eLearning development cycle. It may not be good because chances are that he has got it all wrong. That means you have to reinvent the wheel and waste a lot of time and effort in the process to course correct. This is why you need to need to have an effective Project Management process ready. Obviously, we can talk methodology, and we would not want to overlook talking about ADDIE, AGILE, or other models, but for this article, we're sticking to an overview for PMs.

eLearning Project Managers are responsible for executing projects with success. Each eLearning project differs from the next, but there are certain basic steps that you must follow for successfully creating the online training courses. Here are the basic steps, and remember different organizations may modify it based on their own processes.

Step #1

The eLearning development cycle starts with a project kick-off call or meeting. In this step, you have the opportunity to meet with the stakeholders and SMEs to discuss the nitty gritty of the project. You may be tempted to skip this step. But, you should avoid doing that. The initiation call is your chance to get to know the requirement directly from the stakeholders and clarify all doubts. The meeting helps you understand client requirements and expectations. It helps you set milestones and finalizing roles and responsibilities of all team members. You should finalize the project scope document in this call. The document usually consists of project objectives, requirements, deliverables, risks involved, and budget.

Your SMEs have a rich repository of information, but they might not voluntarily share everything they know. You will need to extract information from them, so keep asking questions. The more you ask, the more you know. You may want to jot down a few questions before the call or meeting. But do not be restricted by this list. Be open to changes any time you think the discussion is leading to a different direction.

Step #2

This is the planning phase. It is extremely important for the success of your eLearning project. You decide the learning strategy, delivery platform, content and visual strategies, timeline, and so on. This is a good time to draft an initial project plan. The plan may not be fixed, but it is good to have structure. A good Project Management plan defines learning objectives, project deliverables, business goals, content, metrics to measure success, and so on. If the project plan is ready, you have a direction to move ahead. You can always add to it on the way.

Step #3

This is the execution phase. In this phase, you develop the storyboard, record the audio and video, and get the final course towards publishing. You must monitor the process regularly to ensure that it is moving as planned. There is a lot of coordination to be done between different teams. As a Project Manager, it is your task to keep the different team members in sync. For example, you must ensure that the graphic artists are ready with the images in sync with the content developers. Once the storyboard is ready, the course will get into production. You have to keep the courseware engineers free to push the storyboard into production. You must monitor all activities minutely. If you find any deviation, you have to take immediate steps to course correct. It is a good idea to provide a prototype to the client instead of asking for feedback after developing the entire course.

Step #4

The final step is closure. In this phase, you publish the online course and share it with the stakeholders. You document the lessons learned and evaluate the process. Do not skip this step, as it offers insight into huge learning for both the organization and the team. You learn about what went well and what could have gone better. You must document the best practices to reuse them in future projects. Do not overlook the things that went wrong as you need to understand why they went wrong and avoid it in the future.

Every skilled PM at Designing Digitally, Inc. has vast experience in managing custom eLearning solutions. Each custom eLearning solution developed by Designing Digitally is created around your brand and your learners’ needs with a PM that is focused on your budget, timeline, and outcome. By utilizing our innovative Instructional Design and the latest technology advancements, our firm partners with large brands and federal government agencies to create cutting-edge training that engages employees and changes behaviors.

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