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Hey E-learning Project Manager – What’s Your Spinach?

Written By Arjun Kumar Dwaraka

Hey E-learning Project Manager – What’s Your Spinach?

Did your eLearning project overrun cost and time?

Well, my colleague Smith passed through the similar phase a couple of weeks back. He was criticized that his project led to Time and Cost Overruns. The next day Smith was assigned a new Project and all the words of the critics haunted him. Just to refresh himself, Smith started watching his favorite Cartoon show “POPEYE, THE SAILOR MAN”.

He got fancied by the idea of Spinach. After eating it, Popeye would gain energy (you could see his biceps bulging out in strength)and he could then blast his mighty counterpart Bluto. He loved this and thought, what is that Spinach that would solve all his problems at office?

He realized that the project plan and project scope will serve as his spinach and upon using those throughout the project lifecycle, he would be able to solve all his problems at office. At the beginning of the project, project scope should be drafted with all the key points: Project Objectives, High-level Requirements, Constraints, Acceptance Criteria, Risks, and so on.

    • Project Objectives:

It describes the outcome of the project.

    • High-level Requirements:

It includes all the requirements of the customer that are essential for the product.

    • Constraints:

It describes the restrictions that limit of what can be achieved.

    • Acceptance Criteria:

It includes all the conditions that are to be met before the deliverables are accepted by the customer.

    • Risks:

Risk is an uncertain event that will have positive or negative impact on the success of the project.

Then it should be signed off by the customer. The eLearning Project Manager should create awareness to his customer that anything which is not included in the Project Scope will be quoted additionally. This would help the Project Manager in avoiding the cost overrun.

Project plan is another important ingredient in Project Managers’ spinach. It is divided into activities and responsibility is assigned to each activity along with the timeline.

For example, storyboard development is an activity and responsibility is assigned to the instructional designer to complete that. It is drafted after taking inputs from the customer and all the other stakeholders about their availability and number of days they would require in performing an activity. A project plan should be signed off by all the stakeholders. This would help the Project Manager in avoiding the time overrun.

I have shared the spinach of Smith. What do you think your spinach is, as a Project Manager? Do share your views.

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