Preventing scope creep is vital in eLearning project management. While scope changes are sometimes necessary, unchecked expansion can lead to delays and budget issues. Here are eight strategies to keep your eLearning project on track and within its original scope. It’s all about controlling your eLearning development project, rather than letting it control you.
‘Scope creep’ is a term used to describe the expansion of a project outside of the planned objectives. It’s an inherent risk in any project but in this blog will focus on it in terms of eLearning development projects. Scope creep can originate from several sources, and it’s often very sneaky – if you’re not watching closely it tends to happen quietly without you realising before it’s too late.
You must take measures to control scope creep and to ensure that you and your team don’t fall victim to some of its negative consequences, which will usually include deadline delays and budget blowouts.
While scope creep is often used to describe negative or problematic situations, a change in scope is different. For example, sometimes during the design and development process, or through consultation with stakeholders/users, the project scope may change to include new features or aspects that may not have been originally considered. As long as potential impacts to the budget and timeline are weighed up, it is important to be able to adjust the scope to ensure you are meeting stakeholder needs.
But as scope creep is something we want to avoid, here are some strategies you can follow to keep it from derailing your projects.
Be sure you thoroughly understand the project objectives. Meet with the project’s stakeholders and/or your project management group and deliver an overview of the project their review and comments. This will reveal any misunderstandings about what your project will deliver and provide an opportunity to refine the timeline or budget if required, prior to starting work on the development.
Understand your priorities and the priorities of your stakeholders. This will help you make decisions about how far or by how much the original project scope can change. Make sure you have a solid understanding of the essential and non-essential elements.
Define your deliverables and have them approved by your stakeholders. Make sure you all agree on delivery dates so that the design and development team understands how much time they have to spend on different elements of the production process.
Break the deliverables into actual work requirements or separate elements.This will help to make it clear as to which deliverables depend on other deliverables . Be specific and detailed. The larger your project, the more detail you should include. Be sure to establish achievable goals. List them in any way that works, but a simple spreadsheet may be all you need.
Break the project down into major and minor milestones and complete a project schedule to be approved by your stakeholders. Whatever your method for determining task duration, give yourself some leeway. . When working with staff, be generous in your time allocation. .
Make sure that everyone on your design and development team is aware of the project’s timeline/schedule, and the corresponding deliverables. Communicate regularly with your team about how things are progressing.
Get all your stakeholders on board from the start. Monitor the work being done by your project team, to ensure that they are staying on track and not designing or developing material/s that are more complex or time-consuming than they need to be.
We are here to help
Managing scope in eLearning development projects is a critical skill. By following these strategies, you can ensure that your projects stay on track, meet stakeholder needs, and avoid the pitfalls of scope creep. Effective scope management leads to successful, on-time, and on-budget eLearning solutions.
At B Online Learning, we have extensive experience in managing projects to ensure they run smoothly. For information about our content development please visit our page or contact us to discuss your requirements.