Once a project is planned and kicked off, the role of the project manager is more than simply nudging team members—digitally, of course—to complete their projects on time.
The project manager must find ways to encourage and engage team members to add quality and effort that may not have been laid out in the plan. Indeed, success shouldn’t just be measured by a deadline that is met, but rather with results that exceed expectations, including those of the learners.
What clues can a project manager find to determine that a training and development project is succeeding? Again, far from completed tasks, there are several to uncover. Let’s have a look at a few.
Managing or participating in an eLearning development project can be full of potential pitfalls and challenges.
Download this eLearning Project Plan template to keep everyone engaged and maintain oversight on the entire project’s progress.
1. Having to say “no”
Perhaps one of the biggest signs that your training and development project is going well—perhaps even too well—is that team members are constantly coming up with new ideas to improve the project: new modules, new content, new course extensions. This is also known as scope creep.
While no one wants to be in the position of having to reject creativity, especially for a team that is super-engaged in a project, explain that if the project were to take on these new components, then certain issues might arise:
- The project might not meet its deadline
- Costs might escalate
- New elements might distract from the core learning content
- Multimedia modules might not be compatible with the hardware or operating systems of the learners
However, rather than be the bad guy, the project manager can accept all of these suggestions and keep them for consideration for a future project.
2. Tasks are completed too slowly
This might seem like a sign that a training project is in trouble, but delays can also be a sign that a project is going well—but of course, it still needs to be reined in.
As with having to say No to a flurry of new ideas brought to the project manager to improve a project, too much time spent on any one task can mean that team members are too focused on perfection. Striving for excellence should always be encouraged, but if any single task drags down the potential delivery date for the course, then it’s a sign of something that is “too good.”
3. Almost no struggles between stakeholders
Because of the multiple contributors, managers, and teams involved in creating a training and development project, there is bound to be friction, especially between the manager or training owner and the L&D team.
This generally occurs because a manager or training owner might have strong ideas about what employees need, which might differ from what the executive team thinks employees need, which might differ from what the L&D team is actually capable of delivering given timelines, budgets, and resources.
The absence of friction certainly means that a project has been set up for success. Healthy discourse is never a bad thing, but this should occur long before project kick off.
4. A flurry of new training requests
When a team is engaged, word can spread quickly. A team of subject matter experts, instructional designers, and learning leaders working on an exciting learning project will get noticed, encouraging managers to consider new training for their team members.
An uptick in training requests can be a subtle signal that a training project is so successful that others want to participate and bring that success to their team.
5. (Not so obvious) ROI
Feedback loops are critical, and both employees and managers can determine rather quickly whether a learning experience truly delivered on its promise.
However, savvy learning leaders need to go deeper when uncovering the ROI of a course. Additionally, not all metrics to measure success need to be universal. For example, the success of a compliance training might not be measured in the same way as the success of a training for the marketing team on data visualization techniques.
To find the not-so-obvious measures of learning success, learning leaders need to work closely with the training owner on the business side to determine the most optimal ways to observe positive outcomes.
Learning leaders need to ensure they are fully prepared to bring the maximum possible value to their business partners.
Download our Learning and Development Strategy Toolkit to ensure you are prepared for the rest of the year.