So you are all set for a new e-learning project. You have met the client, discussed the project, shared your samples and done everything that you must to acquire the project. The client is so pleased with your experience and skills that he wants to start right off! But wait, you need to do your homework. Here are five key things you should do before kick-starting your project.
Define the scope
Thoroughly understand the requirements of the project – what is the objective, who is the target audience, what are their previous skills, what skills does the course aim to develop, what is the end goal, and so on to determine the scope. You might need to call or meet the client again; but asking clear questions is critical to understand the expectations and locking the scope. Once the scope is defined, put it down on paper and get a written approval of the same. Any revisions suggested should be clearly discussed and put in writing. In fact, most e learning companies in India and abroad do this to avoid future confusions on expectations versus results.
It is also necessary to follow the technical, design and content guidelines provided by clients. Have a clear understanding of these recommendations and include them in the scope if required.
Clear your doubts
Ensure that you speak to the client on any queries during the initial stage itself. This will prevent doubts and misunderstandings later. This will also help while drafting the scope of the project.
Organise your resources
It is difficult to work on any project if the relevant resources are not in place. Collect all course material that will be necessary for the project. Ask the client for existing training material and documents like presentations and reports. The Internet is another great place to access additional information. However, ensure the relevance of the content as some of them might turn out to be obsolete – check out with the client, if necessary.
Fix Timelines for Work Completion
The scope is defined and doubts are cleared; now what? Well, you need to set the timelines. We understand that developing a course is a mammoth task; however, it shouldn’t take you eternity to complete the project. Careful planning of tasks will help you achieve just that. Have a clear picture of the responsibilities and time frames in each step of the project right from the start. Explain your team about the client anticipation and activities involved in the project and the timelines within which they are expected to complete the tasks. Set realistic deadlines that are achievable and allow ample time for client review and feedback implementation.
Define responsibilities of each team member
Define who needs to do what at each phase in the project. This will help focus your team’s attention and energy to their specific tasks and avoid overlapping of responsibilities. Hence, they will be able to concentrate on their individual targets, which in turn will help achieve the team targets. They should also be informed about any changes in the process as well as the frequency and mode of communication with team members and other stakeholders.
Creating and managing an e-learning project is tricky. However, planning for the tasks and activities involved makes the process much easier.