Project management is not optional.
L&D teams need project management skills to be successful. "Effective project management requires being able to plan, organize, direct, and control resources for a finite period to complete specific goals and objectives," ATD's Talent Development Capability Model explains.
In "Project Management for L&D Purposes," Mary Beth Imbarrato advises readers on how to start using project management principles with your L&D team. You can begin by reviewing your organization's project management process and applying that framework to your team; then, you can customize the process to fit the L&D team's specific needs. To create a project management process for your team, revisit recent L&D projects and review what has worked and what has created stumbling blocks.
Imbarrato outlines the Project Management Institute's phases: initiation, planning, execution, monitoring, and closing. During the initiation phase, the L&D project lead will meet with the project sponsor to define the project, including aspects such as risks, what is in and out of scope, and what success will look like. The results of that discussion will contribute to the project charter, which the L&D lead should draft and the project sponsor should approve.
The L&D project team can then have a kickoff meeting to establish roles, responsibilities, and other components of the project.