The lifeblood of course creation is the team that builds it. Without proper and effective collaboration and project management in place, the course will not be developed effectively, leading to learner disappointment and lower ROI.
Teams certainly need to harness the right project management tools and software in order to track assignments and ensure that everyone is certainly sticking to their tasks and completing those tasks on time.
While we’ve covered Agile Learning methodologies extensively in this blog, we continue to discover new ways of doing things better. We work tirelessly to help L&D teams discover ever more effective ways of creating learning experiences. Below are 5 recent findings which we feel can help you and your team develop content even more effectively.
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Discover “hidden” features
You might rely on your project management software to keep track of everyone’s tasks, but vendors continually make changes to their platforms—oftentimes without even informing customers.
Encourage team members to truly maximize the functionality of your project management app. Encourage them to “discover” new features that no one on the team had been aware of, in order to make workflows more productive.
If you have a team leader or Scrum Master responsible for keeping everyone on track, determine if there are administrative functionalities that aren’t being exploited. For example, there might be a way to prevent team members from making edits to or changing the due date of a task that was assigned to them. Of course, this isn’t to make team members resentful of the Scrum Master; rather, it’s a way to gently push people to completion of assigned tasks so that the course can be developed and pushed to learners more quickly.
Champion everyone’s inner developer
Further to this discussion of project management software features that aren’t being fully exploited, perhaps some do not exist and need to be built.
Most enterprise project management software comes with an API or SDK. Of course, you would not expect your L&D team members or even your subject matter experts to build an application specifically for use by your team to build courses. However, inspiration and innovation come when you least expect it.
One of your team members may have noticed a missing functionality, or a better way to report or visualize data on the team’s performance. She may also be quietly taking a Web development course in her free time. As part of her course creation, she must build a capstone project—and an app that uses your project management software’s API to create a new reporting tool for the L&D team might be just the perfect solution. Everyone wins!
People will leave behind a legacy
With every new course creation project comes new experiences for the team. While you always want to implement the tried and true, you never know when new ways of doing things will appear.
This will most likely occur because of two fluctuating “people” aspects to course development:
- New subject matter experts join the team, bringing their own perspective and knowledge.
- Each course has a different audience which might require a unique learning style.
Keep a log of these changes course by course. These might be formalized as project notes in your LMS or entries to your L&D wiki (if you have one), or they might just be a handful of Post-It notes affixed to your monitor.
The idea is that each new team member or course experience brings with it a legacy, something to remember which might be applicable to a future course build down the line. You and others on the L&D team can benefit from these continuous, newfound results.
Train the trainers
We’ve mentioned this in several past blog posts, but it’s worth re-iterating here: do not be afraid to train the trainers.
Although valuable for subject matter experts who are new to L&D—or course creation in general—having training readily available for anyone involved in your learning projects is never a bad idea. Such training can be utilized by new team members and outside contractors who may be brought in from time to time to help in course development.
L&D leaders can update the training once per quarter to maintain relevance and value. Delivered before project kickoff, training on how to work with L&D can be both technical and non-technical in nature so team members can hit the ground running on Day One.
“Open-minded” might be a term that comes to mind, but here, we’ve decided to use empathetic instead.
Possessing and practicing emotional intelligence will help you and your team members get through some of the more difficult aspects of course development. Deadlines might get missed. Difficult material may be harder to hash out and make presentable than first thought.
According to Harvard Business Review, empathy enables us to connect with others in a real and meaningful way. This in turn makes us happier—and more effective—at work.
And we all can benefit from being happier and more effective.
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