Stages of Effective eLearning Project Management

Stages of Effective eLearning Project Management
Summary: Managing e-Learning Projects is extremely important for successful e-Learning course design. This article is the third in a series about e-Learning Project Management. Check it out and learn about the Stages of Effective eLearning Project Management and Skill Set Required for Managing eLearning Projects.

Managing e-Learning Projects - Part 3

In my second blog post, I discussed the role of an Instructional Designer as project manager. In this post, I will cover the stages of effective project management and the skill set required for managing eLearning projects.So, what does an Instructional Designer need to know about managing eLearning Projects? Well, most of his/her knowledge from discipline-specific methodologies like ADDIE will be leveraged while playing the "eLearning Project Manager" role.Here's a high-level overview of how ID and PM roles complement each other in the successful design, development and roll out of any eLearning project.

The PM's Hat The ID's Hat
Project Definition
  • Conceptualize: Learning challenges needed to be addressed
  • Definition: What features and functionality to offer
Project Planning
  • Who does what, when?
Project Analysis/Design
  • Content collection, assessment, review, Storyboard, Instructional Design
Project Management/Execution
  • Review/approval of Scripts, GUI, Images Animation
  • Content development and course production
  • Courseware authoring
  • Content quality reviews
  • Instructor training
  • Pilot rollout
  • Content/Design refinement
  • Staged Rollout
Project Review
  • Post rollout review and feedback

Skill Set Required for Managing ELearning Projects

In order to understand what it takes to be an effective ID Project Manager, you first need to understand that, as a PM, your role will be somewhat different from an "Operational Manager" (OM). While OMs add value to the organization by focusing on process improvements and long-term operational efficiency, a PM's objectives are much shorter-term, and only span the life of an ID project. Once the project is completed, the PM's skills are no longer needed (at least not in terms of what the project required when it started).Therefore, to effectively manage an Instructional Design project the following skills are needed:

  • ID Knowledge
    Having a good understanding of ID principles and concepts is a definite asset when managing an ID project
  • Working with Teams
    The PMs role is not about "doing the job" but more about "getting the job done.”  As such, PMs need to be great Team Players
  • Leadership
    A PM must be able to inspire the team to meet project objectives - timeliness, within budget, of high quality. PMs must also be adept at building consensus amongst the team, as well as between the team and external stakeholders. Most  importantly, as part of the Leadership role, a PM is expected to master the art of conflict resolution when dealing with difficult people
  • Soft Skills
    PM's don't just work with the team skills they are provided, but they also work to enhance those skills within the team. Listening to people, coaching them to improve performance and mentoring them to aspire to higher goals are all part of the skill set that an effective PM needs
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In my next and final blog post about Managing e-Learning Projects, I will offer some eLearning Project Management tips and talk about the overall eLearning Project Management considerations.If you want to learn more about Instructional Design for eLearning, you are more than welcome to check the Instructional Design for ELearning: Essential guide to creating successful eLearning courses book.

Managing e-Learning Projects Article Series

  1. Why eLearning Projects fail? 
  2. The Role of an Instructional Designer as Project Manager
  3. Stages of Effective eLearning Project Management
  4. e-Learning Project Management Tips and Considerations