Being an instructional designer, I can understand how it feels when your project does not meet the client expectations at the final stage. This leads to complete rework of your project, which in turn causes substantial wastage of your time and effort. All this rework and failure to meet stipulated project schedules are the results of the lack of proper communication with your client.
The solution to the above problem is simple – take small and simple steps instead of giant leaps to reach each milestone and include the concepts of rapid prototyping and savvy start in your projects. This avoids sudden surprises and shocks at the final stage of your project.
In this blog, I would like to share with you how rapid prototyping and savvy start helped us deliver the project on time providing exceptional services as per the client’s requirement.
Rapid prototyping recommends the involvement of the client and the subject matter expert in every phase of the project development. This minimizes the cost and time by ‘identifying’ the problem in the early phases of the course development. Here, the work done will be sent to the client on a regular basis, and simultaneously, we receive feedback on a continual basis. This enables us to design an effective and meaningful e-learning course that meets the customer’s expectations with exceptional service.
A savvy start is a kickoff meeting in which all the team members of the e-learning project participate in a meeting with the client to gather comprehensive background information and choose the project design.
For every project, we follow 3 phases:
- Preparation phase – This is the preliminary phase which begins as soon as we receive a project from the client, and all the team members such as instructional designers, visual designers, developers, project managers etc., will have a kick off meeting in order to collect information about the learning outcomes.
- Iterative design phase - Once we gather basic information about the project, we proceed with project planning and designing. We develop the prototype and send it for the client’s approval. Depending on the client’s feedback, we either proceed with the storyboarding or develop an alternate approach. This iteration continues until we get the final approval of the prototype from the client.
- Iterative development phase - After the prototype is approved, we develop the design proof (storyboard) of the complete course and send it for approval. Once the design proof is approved, we proceed with the course development. Then, we have implementation loops. In this phase, additional design issues may arise.
Following this agile process helped us maintain constant communication with our clients, thereby developing alternatives depending on their feedback. It also helped us avoid rework and enabled quick delivery of projects within the estimated time and budget with assured quality. Therefore at the end, we were able to rollout our projects in two iterations i.e., alpha and gold.
Thank you for reading my blog. Please feel free to share your thoughts and opinions on the same.
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