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Whether it’s your first or fiftieth e-learning project, you will want the development process to run smoothly. That means a learning product developed on time, on budget, and that can deliver your agreed learning objectives. Project managers are absolutely critical to this task.

When you are selecting an e-learning partner, you will be looking for evidence of experience and expertise that gives you confidence in the project management team.

The most obvious essential e-learning project management skills include the following:

  • clear planning and organisation
  • resource and time management
  • robust risk management procedures
  • strong communication
  • project management experience

However, there are some other key qualities to look out for that don’t get talked about so much. Here are our top 5 underrated e-learning project management must-haves:

1. Friendliness

Handling budgets, timelines and project documentation attentively requires efficiency. However, effective project management also needs emotional literacy and people skills. If you find the project management team approachable and easy to talk to, it’s likely that other stakeholders will too. This will make it easier to complete joint tasks and to raise any potential issues that could otherwise derail your e-learning project.

2. Honesty

Look for project management teams who will work with integrity. While diplomatic communication is always important, you want to work with a project manager who is always going to be honest about what is possible or impossible within your budget, timeframe and requirements, and who readily acknowledges any challenges that arise along the e-learning development journey. This means you can trust them when they tell you things are on track, and also feel confident that they will put things right quickly if things go off course. Look for a culture of accountability and transparency.

3. Rigor

An e-learning product that is delivered at the best possible standard has a quality-oriented project manager behind it. They should have a rigorous approach to quality control, fastidiously checking project deliverables against agreed indicators at every single step of the process.

4. Creativity

Project management is not just a procedural task that involves setting and following agreed plans. Even with the best planning in the world, things often go awry due to circumstances outside the internal and external teams’ control. Look for project teams with evidence of creative approaches to challenging projects, such as those who have problem-solved their way through tricky technical requirements, eye-watering timeframes or sensitive subject-matter.

5. Specialist experience

Does your project manager have experience of working with your particular sector? Every industry is different in culture and this can bring unique challenges when building digital learning products, as you will likely be involving a range of industry stakeholders and subject specialists. Knowing that your project management team has some familiarity with your sector can reassure you that they will know how to make the most out of your stakeholders’ time to deliver an outstanding e-learning product.

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