10 Things EVERY eLearning Project Manager Should Know

10 Things EVERY eLearning Project Manager Should Know
Summary: Leading a team is not an easy task. It takes patience, hard work, and an entire suite of interpersonal skills. In this this article, I'll share 10 things that every eLearning project manager should know.

What An eLearning Project Manager Needs To Know

As John F. Kennedy so aptly put it: "Leadership and learning are indispensable to each other". Being an eLearning Project Manager is all about continual improvement. Every eLearning project offers you more experience, knowledge, and insight that you bring to the next. That being said, there are some tips and tricks that can help you avoid costly trial-and-error. Here are 10 things that every eLearning Project Manager should commit to memory.

1. eLearning Team Kickoff Meetings Are An Absolute Must

Your eLearning team must be a well-oiled working machine if you want to produce amazing eLearning experiences. As such, they need to feel comfortable collaborating. Give them the opportunity to introduce themselves and break the ice during an eLearning project kickoff meeting. There are a variety of free video conferencing platforms available, like Google Hangouts and Skype. So, schedule the event, send out invites, and host an informal online chat. You should also hold regular meetings throughout the process to ensure that everyone's on the same page.

2. Get Everything In Writing

There are two important reasons why you should get everything on paper or screen. Firstly, there are times when you may need to refer back to client specifications throughout the eLearning project. Secondly, it ensures that all of the fine details are backed up in writing. For example, the scope of the eLearning project, timeline, and what's included in the cost. You should include a detailed outline of the learning objectives, goals, eLearning course design elements, and resources. Also, don't forget to draw up a client agreement and itemized cost list.

3. Keep A Tidy eLearning Team Calendar

Calendars keep your eLearning project organized and on track. Especially online versions that send automatic reminders and allow you to assign tasks. However, you need to use the calendar consistently to reap the benefits. Update deadlines, milestones, and assignments as soon as you know about changes. Otherwise, you may get sidetracked by another responsibility and forget all about the new delivery date. After all, things can get hectic when you're busy creating amazing eLearning courses.

4. Set Grounded Goals And Expectations

Every member of your eLearning team should know what to expect and what's expected of them. In fact, it's wise to discuss goals and work responsibilities during that eLearning project kickoff meeting I mentioned earlier. Let them know exactly what you need from them, by when, and why. Your collaborators should be aware of how their tasks and assignments fit into the big picture. For example, the Subject Matter Expert must research the topic and provide notes before the Instructional Designer can decide on the best approach.

5. eLearning Project Management Tools Are Your Best Friend

Think of your eLearning Project Management online platform as your online headquarters. It's the place where you and your eLearning team can gather virtually, share ideas, and stay on top of tasks. In some cases, it may even have a built-in eLearning course review that streamlines the feedback process. Ideally, you should look for a cloud-based tool that features instant messaging, calendars, notifications, and task trackers. Some of the top options include Asana, Basecamp, and Podio.

6. Asking For Help Is A Strength, Not A Weakness

Everybody needs a bit of help from time to time. Delegating tasks and enlisting the aid of your eLearning team isn't a weakness. As a matter of fact, it indicates that you're an effective leader. It's impossible to tackle every aspect of the eLearning project on your own, especially if there are multiple elements involved. Just keep the lines of communication open so that collaborators know what needs to be done and how. In addition, you may want to have an eLearning Project Manager understudy in case of emergency. They'll also be there to help you wrap up tasks, answer questions, and keep everyone on schedule.

7. Create Your Own Definition Of "Success"

This is a good rule of thumb for every aspect of life, really. You must determine how you will measure your success and when. As an eLearning Project Manager, this allows you to develop specific criteria to measure the success of your eLearning project. Break the development cycle into stages, and then determine how you're going to evaluate each round. For instance, by the end of the first week you should have the eLearning storyboard and intro screen all wrapped up.

8. Delegating Tasks Is A Fine Art

The trick is knowing your eLearning team's talents so that you can match the right task to the right person. At the beginning of the eLearning project, create a list of assignments and break them down into sub-tasks and skills. Then meet with your eLearning team and get their input. This also gives you the opportunity to discover hidden talents and time constraints. For example, one of your collaborators may not have room in their schedule for a more involved assignment. Therefore, you'll have to delegate it to another member, bring another person onboard, or outsource the work.

9. Adaptability Is A Prerequisite

As the saying goes: "best laid plans of mice and men often go awry." No matter how much you plan, organize, and schedule, you must still expect the unexpected. This involves some degree of flexibility and adaptability. It's still wise to have a back-up plan in place. But you should also be able to roll with the tide and fill in the gaps. For example, there may be times when you'll have to call in outside help or reassign tasks.

10. eLearning Project Managers Wear Many Hats

eLearning Project Managers have to fill many roles. But that's what makes the job so exciting. You have the chance to expand your skills and learn about different aspects of the eLearning process. That being said, wearing multiple hats can take its toll. So, make sure you strike a balance and define your boundaries. For example, set a schedule and stick to it.

These 10 eLearning Project Management tips can help you keep your eLearning team on track and achieve the desired results. You may want to keep this article for future reference, as it's a known fact that eLearning Project Managers have a lot on their plate, and memory refreshers are always good to have around.

Are you still looking for the perfect Project Management tool that meets your needs and your eLearning budget? Read the article 10 Best Project Management Online Tools For eLearning Professionals to discover the best Project Management online tools that can help you streamline your work process and create engaging eLearning experiences for your audience.