Let’s face it – managing any type of project can be challenging. But managing the many moving parts involved in custom eLearning design and development project – not to mention coordinating the many people involved– can make delivering these projects especially complex.
Poncho eLearning has created hundreds of eLearning design and development projects, providing us with valuable insights into the internal challenges training organisers face in the delivery and how they can be avoided.
Follow our five top tips to make sure your next custom eLearning design and development project runs as smoothly as possible.
1. Be realistic about the timeframes involved in eLearning module development
We live in a world where everyone needs everything done yesterday, but the reality is it takes time to produce high-quality, engaging, and effective custom eLearning content.
While each one is different, it generally takes four to 12 weeks to complete an eLearning design and development project.
Make sure to also consider the time allowed for internal reviews and testing and be realistic about the time your team can commit to your project. Trying to compress the timelines will only result in missed deadlines and unnecessary stress.
Planning eLearning module development well before it’s required will reduce pressure and ensure you deliver custom eLearning content that will achieve outstanding outcomes.
2. Establish your eLearning design and development project team with clear roles and responsibilities
We think it’s important for training organisers to establish a project team to develop custom eLearning content – even if you’re a smaller organisation – to get work done on scope, time, and budget.
We know it sounds obvious, but your project’s smooth running depends on choosing the right people for your project team. All too often, it’s easier to default to whoever’s available instead of engaging people with the right skills and passion for creating amazing custom eLearning content.
Make sure everyone understands their role and what’s expected from the start to set you up for success, including who’ll have the final say when there are differences of opinion.
If you’re working with an eLearning development company, they’ll also appoint a dedicated project manager to keep you on track.
3. Make sure you have a comprehensive and well-understood eLearning module development project schedule
Your project schedule should cover every stage: content and script development, storyboarding, building, testing, and publishing. A well-prepared schedule will clearly outline where and when input, reviews, feedback, and approvals are required.
But your project will only run smoothly if your team understands and follows your project schedule and it can be easily communicated to Subject Matter Experts (SMEs), stakeholders, and your leadership team.
An experienced eLearning development company will prepare a structured schedule for your project. If you’re running it internally, ensure your project schedule is easy to read and understand, with clearly expressed tasks and responsibilities. Include milestones and key dates so you can easily check your progress to plan.
4. Manage your customer eLearning content stakeholders closely
eLearning design and development projects are highly collaborative, relying on SME and stakeholder inputs and leadership team buy-in. While this involvement greatly benefits developing effective and meaningful custom eLearning content, your management of stakeholders can make or break your project.
To set you up for success, identify everyone that needs to be involved at the start to avoid team members joining the process late. Late joining team members often request major content edits and even complete direction changes, derailing your delivery.
Ensure every stakeholder knows their role, responsibilities, and deadlines for reviewing and giving feedback. Managing senior stakeholders can be stressful, but everyone must provide the input and approvals you need on time to support your project while staying on scope, time, and budget.
5. Expect that some things may not go to plan when planning eLearning module development
Now, we know this is probably not the tip you want to hear! But the reality is there are many complex variables in an eLearning design and development project. Even if you plan your approach meticulously, you’ll inevitably encounter a challenge in some form along the way, like a key team member being away from the office unexpectedly.
The best way to plan for the unexpected is to allow as much time as possible for your project upfront to give you room to manage any unplanned changes.
If you encounter an issue – stop, get your project team together to review and resolve it and replan. When you’ve overcome the problem, kick the remainder of your project off fresh.
Bonus Tip: Hire An Expert!
Running an effective eLearning design and development project takes time and involves significant effort. This is why bringing in an eLearning development company makes good sense.
An experienced team will have encountered and successfully overcome the challenges in custom eLearning projects and can quickly get you back on track.
To set you up for a smooth project, it’s critical to find the right partner – someone who’s easy to work with, highly skilled, and experienced in delivering exceptional training outcomes.
Book a call with the friendly Poncho team to learn more about how we can help your next project run smoothly.