How Project Managers Create Better Learning
A certified project management professional has expertise in key areas that help to ensure a project’s success. But have you ever considered how learning projects can benefit from this expertise?
Scope it right, from the start.
A Project Manager can help you define success for your learning project and figure out what’s required to make this happen. When scoping your learning project, you need to determine the learning experience that’s needed, but you also need to consider what’s financially feasible for your project. Project Managers can help you scope your project early in the process so you’re not scrambling later. It’s all about aligning expectations to identify what success looks like and clearly being able to identify when the project is done.
Keep it on time and on budget.
One could argue the primary benefit offered by Project Managers is their ability to keep a project on time and on budget. This is especially true for learning projects where you are continuously learning new aspects about the learning topic, audience, and requirements. The Project Manager can ensure you meet the set out quality standards at project kick-off, without adding additional time or budget when it’s unnecessary to do so.
Manage scope creep.
Scope creep can happen on any project, but learning deliverables are especially susceptible. Every day you learn new information and are continuously trying to provide the best learning experience for your users. A Project Manager will support you to track any potential changes to the project and estimate the cost and impact on the overall project, as well as advise you on what should be implemented now and what could wait for a future update. This means the right changes will make their way into the learning at the right time.
Mitigate risks and manage issues.
How often do you recognize a risk with a project, but don’t know who to bring the concern to. Should you talk to the stakeholders, management, or someone else? A Project Manager makes this process easy. By bringing any potential concerns to your learning Project Manager, they can use tools and skills to assess the risk, determine project impacts, identify mitigation strategies, escalate appropriately, and track the risk mitigation action(s) to prevent the risk from materializing. In addition to the mitigation actions, the Project Manager will identify contingent actions, and subsequent ownership and tracking, should the risk materialize in a project issue. By bringing any concerns to your learning Project Manager, they can use tools and skills to assess any issues, determine project impacts, escalate appropriately, and track the action(s) until the issue is resolved. Project Management takes the guess work out of the equation to streamline project issues, making sure work progresses and obstacles are avoided.
Communicate often and openly.
The learning Project Manager is the central point of contact for all project information. Whether through weekly meetings, status updates, or 1:1 meetings, the Project Manager knows what’s going on. This broad knowledge of the overall project and stakeholders allows the Project Manager to recognize risks early assess potential impacts and keep everyone informed. It’s through this two-way communication that the Project Manager is able to address timeline changes, keep the project on budget, manage scope, identify risks, and implement mitigation strategies all to ensure you get the learning solution you need, when you need it.
When considering a new learning project, set yourself up for success by making a Project Manager one of the first team members you bring on board. Using their expertise from the start of a project will help you to produce the right learning solution, resulting in better learning for your users.