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Managing e-Learning Development

If you are an e-Learning Project Manager, you know how difficult it is managing e-Learning development with all the details that go into course building. You are responsible for the entire project — from the kickoff call/meeting to launch of the course. It can feel overwhelming and a little scary managing Custom e-Learning Development. The last thing you want is to miss an important detail early on that will throw the project for a major loop later down the road.

To try and ease some of that anxiety, try looking at project management as you would an e-Learning course. Would it be effective learning if you expected your Learner to master everything by the end of Chapter 1? No, not really. Your learners would panic, feel overwhelmed, and give up all together.  It would be too much too soon.

The same holds true as you manage your projects. Chunk your projects up into phases and decide up front what the mandatory requirements are for each phase. Tell yourself and your team/client that you cannot move forward to the next phase until all of the current phase’s requirements are achieved.  Define the potential risks for each phase, and know what to do if they occur.

So let’s start with the project kickoff.  What information is critical at the kickoff of an e-Learning project? To help, I suggest you utilize a project kickoff agenda when managing e-Learning development at the beginning of each and every project.  I have been managing e-Learning projects for about 8 1/2 years now, and as time has passed, my kickoff agenda has certainly evolved. I have learned many lessons, (sometimes the hard way), which have contributed to my kickoff agenda.  For example, 8 years ago I would never have thought to ask if the course is going to be viewed on an iPad. Or even better, I wouldn’t have thought it important to find out if the course will be viewed on a smart phone. So as technology changes and your experience grows, so will your kickoff agenda.

Here are 10 questions, (most certainly not all), that must be asked when starting your project. (Notice: that they are broken down into specific topics.)

Roles and Responsibilities:

1. Who are the project contributors

2. What are each project contributor’s distinct responsibilities?


3. Who are the Subject Matter Experts and what is their availability?

4. Will the course ever need to be translated?


5. How big is the course – what is the required seat time?

6. How many knowledge checks/interactions/animations etc.?


7. What browser(s) will the audience be using? (Very important for QA purposes)

8. Will the course ever be viewed on an iPad or mobile? (This impacts course design, development, and QA)


9. What are the major milestone dates?

10. Are there any holidays, vacations etc. that will impact our required launch dates?

We’d like to hear from you! Tell us what items you feel are critical to know from the very start of your project? Which unanswered questions will stop your project in its tracks?


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