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Managing Global E-learning Projects? Play Your Part Well

Training modules developed for multinational organizations must meet global requirements. As a project manager, it is your responsibility to ensure the modules are developed on time, within the budget and of course, surpass the expectations of your client. To ensure this, expert execution of your critical role is necessary. This post explains how you can play your part well.

Understand the key business objectives of the project

During the project kick-off meeting, understand the business challenge that needs to be solved through the training program. Find out about the business objectives the training program must achieve. Discuss the cost and timeline of the project. Ask exploratory, open-ended questions.

This will help you convey the same to your team and enable them to design and develop a course that meets these objectives.

Ensure stakeholders’ expectations are met

Before learning about the expectations, find out who the stakeholders are. Get to know about their roles and responsibilities in the project. The project kick-off meeting is a good opportunity to know the expectations of stakeholders. They could include trainers, IT personnel, managers, and senior professionals.

When you and your team interact with the stakeholders, SMEs, and other contributors to the project, you can discuss the expectations, project goals, and the responsibilities of team members. Course design advances and improves with inputs from stakeholders. You will be the liaison between your internal team and the stakeholders. With your inputs on reviewers and their availability, the team will submit the deliverables to the right reviewers at the client’s end.

Identify the challenges

These courses are tailored for a diverse set of audiences which will have an impact on the development and implementation of the course, and consequently the timeline of the project.

Knowledge of the key challenges such as the budget and timeline of the program and the availability of required resources (IDS, developers) will help you plan how best to tackle them in the initial stages of the project, so that they do not become an issue later and slow down the project.

The challenges in developing e-learning modules for a global audience are creating uniformity in the course that will appeal to the diverse audiences. This requires translating and localizing the course content. The budget for the project should include these costs. The time required for translation and localization must be planned so that they do not negatively impact the timeline of the project.

The course has to be designed keeping in mind variations in Internet speed and computer accessibility in different parts of the world. The technical solutions to these challenges have to be clarified with the client at the initial stages to avoid a drastic impact on the budget later on.

We know there are no unlimited budgets in e-learning projects. To work within limited budgets:

  • Have a detailed budget plan that includes these expenses.
  • Discuss the budget with the client and give him a realistic estimate of what it is going to cost.
  • Get approval from the client before starting the project.

To meet timeline challenges, work out a realistic estimate of the time you need to complete the project deliverables.

  • Be transparent and honest when communicating this with the client.
  • Make him aware of each step involved in the process so that he knows what goes into creating the course.
  • Apprise the client of timelines and the expectations from each phase.
  • Help them plan for reviews of submitted deliverables.
  • Have contingency plans to meet unexpected challenges such as non-availability of resources.

Take care of translation and localization

An e-learning course developed on a global scale requires translation into many languages. Content has to be localized to suit the different cultures learners belong to. Ideally, you would like to translate and localize content within minimum budget and time.

Your role in this process is to:

  • Schedule and act as a liaison between the stakeholders, the development team, and the translators.
  • Keep track of the status of the course regarding translation, with whom it is, and ensure the agreed timelines are met.
  • Ensure your team creates content with translation and localization in mind which will help in producing content that can be adapted to different cultures and regions.

Our e-book Delivering localized training to your global workforce will give you better insights into translation and localization.

Deploy the course

  • Once the course is ready, you need to deploy it based on the client’s requirements. You need to ensure the course is LMS compliant
  • The course should meet the technical standards specified by the client such as being Section 508 compliant, compatible with multiple browsers and devices
  • The course should have the book marking feature and track completion status

You should check these aspects before sending the final course to the client. Project managers need to play their part well to ensure global e-learning projects are a success. You should know the pulse of your client, and their expectations from the project. This will help you communicate effectively with your team to bring results the client anticipates and appreciates. The role is challenging but rewarding.

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