Learning Project Planning

At Endurance Learning, we are busy planning for 2019 as we lay out our project schedules. I like to dig into project lifecycles before we kick-off each project so that I can understand the scope, where to assign resources, and what our availability looks like over the next few months. The beginning of the year is a great time to do some planning, let’s look at a few ways project tips and calls to action that can keep you and your team on-track for the new year.

Implement Templates

Many documents look similar – if not, the same – from project to project. Timelines are loosely similar for each project, as well as SOWs, outlines, lesson plans, Storyline master slides, voice-over scripts, and many other documents. These can be developed into an easy template that will not only save you time, it will create consistency from project to project.

Call to action

Spend some time in the new year creating templates for project documents you re-create for each project. If you need a few sample templates to get started, check out our lesson plan , PPT storyboard , job-aid, and training transfer templates.

Learn Lessons

Projects rarely run perfectly. The unexpected pops up during a critical period and impacts timelines and resources. While you can’t control for these curve balls, you can learn from them. Rather than blaming the person or thing that threw the project off course, learn to let go of blame and embrace the unexpected. It will take experience and the confidence to say it can be done better, and everyone needs to be as honest as possible without creating tension.

Call to action

Don’t mark projects as complete until you have a feedback/lessons learned session with your internal team. Discuss what went well, what would help on future projects, and update templates and processes based on the feedback at this meeting.

End Projects and Move On

A wise co-worker once told me “All projects must end.” Obviously, she hasn’t seen my basement remodel. Notwithstanding, projects do need to end, and files need to be archived in order to start fresh on new project. If at all possible, give your team a bit of down time or celebration after projects so they can show up ready for the next challenge.

Call to action

Celebrate the end of every project, even if it is a simple note that says, “Way to go, team!”. This is a good time to remind your team of accomplishments throughout the project, note any efficiencies you learned that you can take forward to future projects, and that they should use to admin time cleaning up old files.

What is your approach to your Learning projects this year? Do you use any special tricks to keep your projects on time? Let’s talk about it in the comments below!

2 thoughts on “Learning Project Planning

  1. Heather, I think the lessons learned phase can be the hardest. When the team is exhausted from the project and has recent struggles in mind, this can often lead to a warped view. Depending on the group, I think it can be important to create a structure that strongly encourages the team to share what went well. It can so easily be missed or ignored. I’ve seen teams give out awards like “Best Process Improvement” or “Best Improvisation”.

    • I agree, Tim! I am not disciplined in the lessons learned portion of a project, but I really see value in the exercise. I think it is especially important to reward good work during this phase, and I like your suggestion for awards. Maybe a meeting template or smile sheet can help with this part of the process where everyone lists one thing that went really well and one thing they learned for a future project.

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