When an e-learning project is outsourced to a project manager, as an e-learning project manager, you should avoid the four common mistakes mentioned below.
1. Don’t ASSUME, always ASK:
If an e-learning project is assigned to you, try to ask as many questions as possible and don’t assume even a minor matter. For example, you assume that the course should be SCORM compatible; but in the deployment stage, you get a feedback the client wanted a course that was AICC compliant; this leads to a whole lot of additional work. So there is nothing to lose in asking questions to the client even though it may seem to be insignificant. In fact, the client thinks that we are considering their project with utmost importance. The main benefit in asking questions is that we can ensure that the understanding about the e-learning project of the client and the project manager is on the same page.
In order to understand the client requirement, it is important to ask the RIGHT questions. For example, if you are working on a project from your existing customer, you cannot ask them questions such as “What is your LMS?”; ”Should of the course be SCORM or AICC compliant?”.
We just read that we are not supposed to make any assumptions. Yes, we cannot make assumptions but we can always confirm our assumptions with the client by getting their confirmation on whatever we have assumed. For example, if you are assuming that the new course’s look and feel should be same as that of the previous course, then you can ask the question in this manner: “We assume that we can use the same Look and Feel like that of the last course, please confirm.” By doing this we can be confident that there are no gray areas of doubt and confusion.
2. Don’t JUMP into action but first PLAN for the action
We have to follow the 80/20 rule. First, you need to concentrate 80% on the important things and then concentrate 20% on the least important things.
“Put First things First” said Stephen Covey.
In order to know which tasks take priority we need to first list out all the tasks that are involved in the project. Only then can we decide on the order of the tasks. So we should not jump into action without planning.
3. Don’t be a POLICE MAN but be a FACILITATOR
A project manager must deal with the client right from the start of the project and have a grip on the client’s requirements. If project managers are under the impression that they can review the final outcome and provide feedback, then they are sadly mistaken. If that be the case, then there are high chances of extensive rework. In order to avoid this, the project manager should create a checklist of client requirements and give it to the team, so that the outcome will be of error free. It would also be better if the project manager, instead of waiting for the final product for review, initiates the review process on a weekly basis. This way, if there is a need to obtain any information from the client, then we can do so and complete the project within timelines and with the expected quality.
4. Don’t be CUSTOMER-CENTRIC but be LEARNER-CENTRIC
While developing an e-learning project, as a project manager, always keep in mind that neither the customer nor the team is the actual user of the final e-learning course. So develop the online courses keeping the learners in mind. For this, we need to have all the details of the target audience first and then based on their profile and requirements, we need to create a learning strategy to develop the course. Let the strategy always be learner-centric.
By avoiding these mistakes, you can deliver the e-learning project on time and with great quality. Please do share your thoughts on this subject.