If you are an eLearning manager in an organization, what do you do immediately after getting a new project from a stakeholder? Generally, we jump and start up with design and development or outsource it to eLearning vendors to submit the project as soon as possible. But this only leads to wastage of time, resources, efforts, and costs and finally, we are not able to meet the stakeholder’s requirement.
At the initial stage of the project, we have to help our stakeholders identify the training objectives and give relevant solutions to meet their goals. The more we do this, the more profit we will make.
Here are the 7 important questions we should ask our stakeholders before starting a project to make it a success.
1. Who approves the project?
Before we start working on the project, we need to know who is the direct stakeholder, how many reviewers are there and who will give the final approval. This will help us in planning accurately and communicate with the main stakeholder whose feedback matters a lot.
2. What is the end goal and what are the objectives for this project?
By asking this question, we will come to know what the stakeholder is expecting the learners to do after completing the training such as increase the sales, know the goals of organization, etc. One of our clients wants their trainers to train the customers through classroom trainings and on-the-job trainings. For this, we have given many hands on activities, the look and feel of a real environment and the do’s and don’ts that they have to follow before the training session.
3. What are the current obstacles for training and how will eLearning help you overcome them?
The answer to this question tells us why the customer is actually opting for eLearning. This helps us to give the right solutions for the requirements. For example, one of our clients required their learners be able to take the course without having to install any software or plug-ins; therefore,we developed the course in the .exe format so that they can view the course with one click.
4. Who are the target audience?
Knowing about target audience, the actual recipients of the eLearning, is very important. This helps us to choose the appropriate strategy based on the learner profile. This should contain the job profile, demographics such as age, gender ratio, education, comfort with using computers, their learning environment – where and when learners will access this course.
5. What do you expect the learners to do after completing this eLearning?
This gives us a hint on how to teach and what to teach. For example if the learner has to repair equipment based on the acquired hardware knowledge, we can include lot of hands-on activities, assessments with a real environment look and feel, and scenarios that help to retain the gained knowledge easily.
6. What is the project deadline?
It is important to know what the project deadline is to plan and select the appropriate team. Also, share the plan with the team to get a buy-in and customer to finalize it on the review dates. Starting a project with proper plan will not take a long time to develop a course. But without a project plan it is difficult to succeed. Missing a single timeline will lead to a delay in project submission.
7. What are the technical requirements?
We need to know,
- Specifications and requirements for the deployment server and customer systems; this should also include LMS details if any.
- E-learning-related standards the courses comply with, how course completion should be tracked, and how assessments should be scored.
- Which tool is preferred to develop the course.
In addition to the above-mentioned areas, there are many more queries that you as an instructional designer or an eLearning vendor will have. But if as an eLearning manger is ready with these questions, you can liaison well with both the teams and achieve better results in less time.
As an eLearning project manager myself, these are the questions I ask my customers; this helps us to work smoothly with all parties concerned. I would love to hear from you, what questions you ask you stakeholders?