As eLearning Project Managers, the first thing that we need to prepare when a project is initiated is the Project Scope Document. As with any other project, scoping for eLearning projects is very important.
The scope document provides information about the following.
1. Project Background and Description:
It refers to the client’s business needs that would be addressed by the eLearning course development. This also specifies the context, which has propelled the client to initiate the project. It provides justification for the project, which will be the basis for its evaluation in future. Here you identify who the learners are and what is expected from them once they take the course.
2. Project Objectives and Goals:
It is a statement that defines the specific objective that the project aims to achieve. The main objective of course is to design and develop a highly effective eLearning course that not only addresses the client’s immediate business needs but proves to be beneficial to them in the long run. The project objective also includes the parameters to which all stakeholders need to adhere. These parameters are the quantifiable aspects of the project such as the cost, schedule, scope and quality baselines.
3. High Level Requirements:
These are special requirements from the client with respect to the course. These could pertain to the use of a particular development tool, a specific GUI design, the extent of interactivities in the course, special animations and audio, the bookmarking feature, certification after completion & tracking on the LMS, compliance version and so on.
It refers to those factors that are assumed to be certain for the purpose of costing and planning. Some of the assumptions are duration of the course, duration of the course audio, client review days and so on.
Constraints refer to the restrictions that can affect the performance and options available to the project team. Some of the constraints that could be faced by the team are the budget of the project, pre-defined launch date, client’s availability for review and the course development tool.
6. Project Risk:
Any event that can have an impact on the scope, cost or schedule of a project is termed a project risk. The project scope document should anticipate the risks that are likely to be encountered during the course of the project and have a risk management plan in place to deal with exigencies. Some of the project risks are undue delay in client reviews, non-availability of subject matter experts or too many changes in audio narration at every stage.
7. Project Deliverables:
Any project follows a pre-defined process. The process is divided into milestones and each milestone has its own deliverables. Deliverables need to be clearly specified for each stage of the project management process. The final output of the project is a compliant eLearning course ready to be uploaded on client’s LMS for access by the learners.
8. Project Staffing: It refers to the project team who will be working on a particular project. The project manager needs to be identified and the role and responsibilities of each team member needs to be specified. Here we also include the members from the client?s end who will be constantly involved through the entire duration of the project. It includes the subject matter experts and the single point of contact at the client?s side for any clarifications and coordination purposes.
9. Estimated Timeframe: The project scope document also consists of the estimated development time for the course inclusive of client reviews. It is arrived at by first deciding the project development process (activities) and then estimating the timeframe for each individual activity.
10. Estimated Budget: Budget of the project refers to the total costs of all the resources and skills that would be used for the completion of the eLearning course development. Here resources could be both physical and intangible such as use of technology, data and expertise.