How to ensure that your eLearning initiative succeeds?
eLearning when done right produces excellent results. Your staff could save 40% of their training time and increase learning achievement by 15 – 25% and you could save 50% to 70% by replacing instructor-led training with effective eLearning.
These of course are very impressive numbers, however, not everyone has been able achieve these results. eLearning has been around for several years now – and organizations both big and small have adapted their training goals to include some forms of eLearning with varying degrees of success. What make one project a roaring success while another is a dismal failure?
One of the most common complaints I hear about eLearning projects is that the project took too long to complete and often cost much more than was initially budgeted.
Regardless of whether you are part of an in-house team or the vendor team it is important that you identify all the key stakeholders that are likely to be impacted by your project. Stakeholders could include the single point of contact or project manager (if you are a vendor), the subject matter experts, the HR or training teams, the business unit managers and even the learners. Once you have identified who your stakeholders are, ensure that you clearly explain your expectations from them in terms of time commitment and documentation. Your project plan should be realistic but also take into account the fact that business demands will take priority over providing you with support. Have a contingency plan in place (buffer time, more than one SME etc.)
One of biggest reasons a project runs off time or budget is because the scope of the project keeps changing over the course of the project. As the project / training manager it is important to identify and clearly articulate the objectives that your project will attempt to achieve. It is just as important to articulate how these objectives will be achieved. Once you have established the what and how, the next step is to share your thoughts with the key stakeholders and get their feedback. Remain flexible but assertive about adherence to the project scope.
TMI (Too much information):
In his blog post, “Stop Wasting Time: Designing Effective and Efficient Learning Systems”, Rob Hubbard states that the biggest cost in any eLearning or training program is the time it take your learn to go through the content you have created for them. Most of us believe that it is important for us to add as much information to ensure that the learners know everything there is to know about the topic. However, instead of helping your project, this just add pages and pages of content (plus time and money) without any benefit. Instead the focus should be on what you want the learners to be able to achieve at the end of the program – keep ONLY the essential information and leave out all the “good to know” stuff.
These are a few of the aspects that should be considered in order to ensure that your eLearning project is successful. What other processes do you use to ensure success?