Project Management: What an L&D Professional Needs to Know
During a typical workday for learning and development (L&D) professionals, handling projects is often part of the equation. As a result, understanding critical aspects of project management is essential for everyone working in the field.
By focusing on the primary components of project management, it’s easier to cover all of the necessary cases. Here’s a look at what L&D professionals need to know about project management.
Tracking for Coordination
L&D projects usually involve cross-departmental teams, each with their own responsibilities in regard to the project ahead. Choosing software that facilitates task-tracking and simplifies coordination makes a difference, ensuring everyone is aware of the part they play and when their assigned deliverables are due.
During an L&D project, defining and controlling the scope is essential. Along with identifying measurable targets and outlining core goals, L&D professionals must limit scope creep to ensure the project remains on time and on budget.
Breaking down large projects into smaller milestones helps support reliable time estimations at the outset of a project. Additionally, it simplifies delegation and makes determining dependencies similar, leading to more realistic timelines.
Within an L&D project, budgeting is vital for controlling costs. First, an initial budget is required to outline cost expectations and allocate the available funds. Ideally, a small amount is set aside for contingencies, ensuring there’s money available to handle the unexpected.
As the project unfolds, budgeting remains part of the equation. L&D professionals must monitor project spend to identify overages and make ongoing adjustments to ensure the project remains on target.
While developing training and educational material, L&D professionals need to ensure quality. Often, this means aligning efforts with the selected goals, assigning critical metrics to measure effectiveness, and frequent testing to ascertain whether the project is poised to hit those goals at completion.
Without effective communication, any L&D project can miss critical deadlines, encounter scope creep, or increase workloads due to inaccurate information. L&D professionals need to develop a thorough communication strategy, including choosing information delivery mechanisms to engage with stakeholders and setting timelines for updates and data requests.
Having a feedback mechanism is also wise. It allows key stakeholders to reach out to the project team members as needed, ensuring their perspectives are factored in as the project moves forward.
Outlining any potential risks that could lead to project failure allows L&D professionals to proactively find solutions in advance. Conduct evaluations, examine validity, assess accuracy, and develop answers to any obstacles that may occur along the way.
Stakeholder management is often more complex than L&D professionals expect. A sizeable number of stakeholders exist in these projects, including learners, managers, company leaders, instructors, vendors, and more. As a result, L&D professionals need to identify all of the stakeholders along with how they’re each impacted by the project and their unique needs.
Do You Need More Support from L&D Professionals for Your Next Project?
At Clarity, we have 30 years of experience in L&D, giving us the knowledge and expertise to provide support and guidance for L&D projects of all shapes and sizes. Plus, if you’re trying to expand your internal L&D team, Clarity can be your candidate search ally, connecting you with top talent right when you need them.
If you want to partner with leading L&D professionals, Clarity Consultants is here. Contact us today.