Why Project Management Should Be a Natural Part of a Learning Design System

In today’s increasingly projectized world, aren’t we all project managers?  We are constantly finding ourselves in team environments needing to initiate, plan, execute, and monitor projects — all with a substantial amount of reporting and analytics built in.

The Project Management Professional (PMP) certification, issued by the Project Management Institute (PMI), the global nonprofit association dedicated to the project management profession, is a standalone designation currently held by more than 800,000 people worldwide. The certification requires that one pass an exam, in addition to completing a certain number of hours of education and project management experience.

To become a learning and development professional, one does not need to hold the PMP designation. However, many of the core principles embedded in the PMP standard should absolutely apply when designing and building learning experiences in an organization.

The Association for Talent Development (ATD) discusses the need to think like a project manager when designing learning solutions. “Thinking like a project manager (PM) requires a shift in perspective,” notes Anjana Karumathil in TD magazine. “For example, an instructional designer focuses on learning experiences, skills gaps, and learning outcomes; a PM focuses on stakeholders, budget, schedule, and quality of deliverables.”

Indeed, speaking the language of the business can only strengthen the instructional designer’s mission and credibility within the organization.

In fact, when designing courses, an organization doesn’t even need separate project management software. A single platform can be set to carry out important administrative tasks, such as managing inbound training requests, conducting a needs analysis, crowdsourcing training content from subject matter experts, assigning tasks to team members, managing deadlines, and measuring quality.

The same platform, apart from essentially acting as a digital project management and monitoring tool, should also be able to take content from subject matter experts and automatically create chapters, summaries, and quizzes or assessments – while ensuring that the courses are right-fit and purpose-built for your learners’ needs.

Aside from establishing and nurturing a culture of learning, in which knowledge is part of the company’s DNA, a commitment to building effective courses via strong project management will instill greater confidence in your learners. Managers from different departments will note the efficiency of the process and will seek you out to build courses for their teams.

By embracing newer ideologies like a Learning Design Systems (LDS), anyone can learn how to design training content – rapidly and at scale – that satisfies your learners, the instructional design team, and the organization as a whole. 

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Why Project Management Should Be a Natural Part of a Learning Design System