Learning and development projects can seem overwhelming sometimes. With so many business objectives and stakeholders, many projects quickly scale out of control. But just as with other project management tasks, there is a strategy to reigning things in when it comes to L&D. Here are 4 common barriers to keeping your project on time and on budget, and how you can overcome these challenges.
Barrier 1: Reactive Planning and Strategy
Many learning and development projects are funded and undertaken in response to a challenge a business or team encounters. While this is very common and is often a great way to rally support and resources for a particular project, it often means that there is little to know strategic planning that goes into a project in the rush to get the training to the people who need it as soon as possible. But in the long run, it is the planning work that will help save a company time and money in their L&D projects.
With that in mind, take the time you need to develop a robust plan for your L&D project. Do what you can to anticipate the obstacles and challenges that can result in schedule and budget over-runs. By knowing what to expect, you can act progressively and do what is needed to keep everyone on track.
Barrier 2: Stakeholder Challenges
One of the biggest hurdles that any L&D project manager will encounter is managing the people involved in the decision-making process. Stakeholders need to be brought onboard early enough in the process that their input can help shape the process and provide the support your project needs to succeed. But beware the challenge of juggling stakeholders with conflicting viewpoints or priorities. Keep in mind that while most stakeholders will want to be helpful, sometimes they require a bit of a leash to keep them on task and to keep your project on schedule and on budget.
Barrier 3: Unrealistic Timelines
When it comes to staying on schedule in your training projects, having a realistic timeline at the beginning of the project can make a huge difference. Being realistic when it comes to setting the schedule takes research and a solid understanding of the work that needs to be accomplished. From there, it takes constant follow through and coordination to keep all participants on target and delivering according to their specific engagements. If timelines need to be adjusted, that’s ok. It happens to the best of projects. You never know what can happen, even in a well-planned and documented learning and development program. But being aware of the needed changes and how they will impact the overall timeline is critical to keeping the project on time and on budget.
Barrier 4: Siloed Team Members
Communication is critical to helping your team stay on track. When everyone is working in a silo, that lack of communication can lead a project down a dangerous track. Luckily, everyone knows and likely will respond to a reminder to increase communication. As a project manager for an L&D project, the easiest way to increase communication is to build out that communication into the schedule with weekly or bi-weekly check ins that make sure everyone is on the same page.
Are you looking for consultants who can build efficient and effective training programs for your company?
Effectiveness in today’s business climate requires both expertise and resources. Clarity delivers both, on-demand, to help your organization perform at its best. Our learning and development consultants combine strategic insight with tactical know-how to enable you to keep the momentum moving forward on projects, goals, and initiatives. For more tips on how to keep your next Learning and Development project on time and on budget, contact Clarity Consultants today.