eLearning Design and Development: Five Tips to Make Sure Your Next Project Runs Smoothly

Let’s face it – overseeing any type of project can be challenging, but the complexities of eLearning design and development projects can quickly lead to them becoming quite tricky. The many moving parts included in these projects – not to mention coordinating the many people involved – can make managing and delivering these projects particularly complex.

Poncho eLearning has helped hundreds of organisations to manage and deliver their projects. Our vast experience has provided us with a great understanding of the best ways to avoid and overcome the internal challenges training organisers may face while developing their projects.

Now, we want to share our knowledge and insights with you. Follow our 5 top tips to make sure your next eLearning project runs as smoothly as possible.

1.) Be Realistic About the Timeframes Involved

We live in a world where everyone needs everything done yesterday, but the reality is it takes time to produce engaging and effective eLearning content. It’s important to be realistic about the time your team needs to commit to your project. Trying to compress the timelines will only result in missed deadlines and unnecessary stress.

Not only will you have to plan each learning module, but you’ll also need to consider the time allowed for internal reviews and testing While each situation is different, a high-quality eLearning design and development project generally takes 4 to 12 weeks to complete.

Planning out the development of your eLearning modules well beforehand will reduce pressure and ensure you’re able to deliver high-quality content that will achieve outstanding outcomes.

2.) Establish a Project Team With Clear Roles and Responsibilities

No matter how big or small your training organisation may be, it’s important to establish a project team to develop your eLearning content. Having a dedicated team will ensure the work gets done on scope, on time, and within budget.

We know it sounds obvious, but your project’s success wholly depends on choosing the right people for your team. All too often, it’s easier to default to whoever’s available instead of waiting to engage people with the right skills and passion for your project.

Once you’ve established your team, make sure everyone understands their role and what’s expected of them from the start to set you up for success. This includes who will 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, Well-Understood Project Schedule

A well-prepared schedule should outline every phase of your project’s production, clearly showing where and when input, reviews, feedback and approvals are required. Your project’s schedule should cover the following stages:

  • Content and script development
  • Storyboarding
  • Building
  • Testing
  • Publishing

Your project will only run smoothly if your team can easily understand and follow the schedule they are given. It should be set out in a way that is 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 interpret, with clearly expressed tasks and responsibilities. Include milestones and key dates so you can easily check each stage of your progress.

4.) Manage Your Stakeholders Closely

eLearning 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 very start to avoid team members joining the process late. Late joining team members are more likely to request major content edits or 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 help the project stay on scope, time, and budget.

5.) Accept That Some Things May not Go to Plan

Now, we know this is probably not the tip you want to hear, but the reality is there are many complex variables involved in project management, and it’s important to be prepared. Even if you plan your approach meticulously, you’ll inevitably encounter a challenge in some form along the way.

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 properly deal with any unplanned changes. If you encounter an issue, stop and take a beat to get your project team together. Collaborate to review the issue, resolve it, and replan.

When you come to expect the unexpected, it puts you in a better mindset to overcome the problem quickly and effectively. In turn, this helps you to easily 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 really set yourself up for a smooth project, it’s critical to find the right partner. For further guidance, check out our recent blog post on how to pick the right eLearning development company for your project.

Head over to our booking page to schedule a call with the friendly Poncho team to learn more about how we can help your next project run smoothly.

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