There’s a lot to think about when it comes to keeping a learning and development project running smoothly. From managing stakeholder expectations to ensuring you have the resources available to meet deadlines, training projects comprise lots of moving parts, almost all of which have the potential to derail your project’s progress.
To keep your L&D project on track, here are four expert tips for running training initiatives that provide timely, effective learning solutions for your organization.
1. Adopt a Project Planning ToolAs digital transformation continues apace for learning and development, your operations and processes will likely require an overhaul. When you consider globally dispersed teams and stakeholders and the rise of remote work, it’s vital to find ways to accurately:
- Prioritize training initiatives.
- Plan your team’s workload.
- Schedule project kick-offs, tasks, and deadlines accurately.
Relying on spreadsheet-based planning and email communication for effective learning operations is typically the root cause of common training project issues, such as:
- Scope creep
- Disengaged project contributors
- Missed deadlines
- Inefficient processes and resource usage
By adopting learning-specific project planning technology, you can ensure that your project schedule sets your team up for success.
2. Set Expectations Clearly for Your StakeholdersMost training projects require in-depth contributions from stakeholders and subject matter experts. It’s essential that everyone involved in the project, from the person who requested it to the people actively contributing, are on the same page from the start.
During your kick-off meeting, allocate a significant period of time to defining the scope of the project. Everyone should be clear on what you’re trying to accomplish, the target audience of the training, timelines, and complexity level of the training itself.
Not only should you discuss what will be done, it’s important to clarify what will not be done for this project. By having this conversation openly and honestly at the start, you can avoid scope creep and extra demands further down the line.
3. Tackle Scope CreepEven when you take the time to set expectations early on, scope creep can still happen no matter how much you prepare.
Get ahead of it early on. As soon as you sense that stakeholders or contributors are moving away from the original goals or parameters of the project, it’s time to interject.
Sometimes, depending on who your stakeholders are, you may end up agreeing to a change of scope. In that case, it should be clearly communicated what the impact will be on deadlines, the training budget, and resources needed to complete the project.
If you’re finding that scope creep is happening frequently for your training projects, more time and detail may be needed earlier on during the planning phase.
4. Create Effective and Practical DocumentationDocumentation is essential for efficient project management. But the most important characteristic of effective training project documentation is whether it is actionable or not.
For example, you might create a project charter, which includes the objectives, scope, and a high-level plan. But does your project team understand their roles and responsibilities? Are you tracking the progress of your project at a granular-enough level? Will you be producing a status report at regular intervals?
The more you put in writing, the more user-friendly your documentation will be—increasing the likelihood of successful project completion.
Remember these tips when implementing your next L&D project for a smoother process and more successful training rollout. And if your organization needs a new project planning tool, reach out to me to learn more about Synapse.