Generating Support for Your E-Learning Projects

An e-learning project requires the support of many groups throughout the organization.  Gathering this support and troubleshooting any issues will help your project flow more smoothly. The following are several tips to help you generate the support you need to help make your project a success.

1. Identify Stakeholders

Because e-learning projects tend to be more expensive and more involved than a classroom training project, you will often need to involve more people.  Take the time to figure out who the additional people are before you need them-or before they find you!

Use the following worksheet to identify the different groups who may want to have a say in how the project is handled.  It is better to involve too many people than to forget someone with important input.

TableNick

You can download a printable copy of this worksheet here.

2. Recognize Priorities, Motives, and Obstacles

Now that you’ve found them, don’t be surprised if they don’t all jump up and down for joy about your new project.  Take the time to think about the priorities and motives each group might be dealing with and the obstacles that might arise.  For example:

  • Upper management – Might be hesitant because previous I.T. projects did not result in the benefits promised.
  • Training management – May agree with the business case on paper, but they don’t want to personally be responsible for the risks.
  • Trainers – Might resist because they secretly wonder if their jobs will go away or if they will understand the new technology.
  • Information Technology department – May pose objections because they are already overworked and this would be one more system to support.
  • Line managers – Might consider this just another management fad that will take up their time.
  • Employees – May be uncomfortable with the technology and disappointed that they don’t get the “time off” to go to the training classes which they enjoy. 

At this point in your project, you have taken the time to analyze the benefits, costs, and risks of the project from your perspective.  Take the time to really look at the project honestly from everyone else’s perspective.  This will help you overcome resistance, remove potential obstacles for these groups, and create a cohesive team.

3. Educate on Features, Benefits, and Costs

From this point until the formal project sign-off, your job is communication.  Use your strategic plan, benefit analysis, and other information to educate the key stakeholders on what you are trying to do and why.  But also be sure to listen to everyone’s input as well.  Work hard to distinguish what is a fear and what is a legitimate concern.  Be prepared to make compromises or adjustments to meet stakeholder needs.

Can you make any additional recommendations for ways to gather support for projects?

Nick Elkins

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