Before you begin your e-learning project, a key ingredient to ensure that everything runs smoothing, gets done in a timely manner and most important stays within budget is to find the perfect Project Manager. Of course, you want someone who has the skills and knowledge along with years of experience. But should they have more? What are other qualities that a great e-learning Project Manger must have?
Here are 7 essential skills every e-learning Project Manager should master:
1. Strong knowledge and understanding of the e-learning industry
Having project management experience is not enough to be a great e-learning Project Manager. You must have a solid understanding of what the e-learning industry is all about – it is a face paced industry where every role is contributing to producing high quality content. Even having some educational or technical background would be considered a key asset to an e-learning Project Manger.
2. Professional Development – staying current with the trends
Knowing what resources and tools are available to produce great content is essential. As an e-learning Project Manager you almost act as the hub – you want to try and be just as knowledgeable as a designer as to what is out there and what you have access to. Staying current means that you are always on the hunt for information. Whether that be a workshop, an article, an e-learning conference, attending a webinar, etc. It means that you are proactively educating yourself about what is new on the e-learning landscape.
3. Leadership Qualities
I think this speaks for itself really. A Project Manager in any industry requires leadership qualities. Essential you are leading a team to create the best e-learning content that they can produce. You need to help them when they need help, you need to motivate them when they need that extra push – you need to keep them on track and on budget. No client likes to hear that the project is over budget and won’t be done within the timeframe that was originally established. It is also important to show compassion and empathy towards your team but at the same time knowing when to be assertive.
4. Know what resources you have available
As a Project Manager in general it is important to know what you have resources you have available to you with your budget and time frame – key words there! This doesn’t necessarily mean tools and applications for the developers, it could be a software program for the Project Manager themselves. So, they can manage their resources, tasks, and team with easy and organization!
5. Time Management skills
One would think this goes without saying, but it would be surprising to know how many Project Managers are out there who lack time management skills! This is the core, this is what will deliver your piece to the client when promised. Doesn’t matter the size of the task it needs to be documented and crossed off each time.
6. Conduct a S.W.O.T analyse
It is important, for every project, that you consider the risks (threats) involved. There are always going to be hiccups along the way and the better you are prepared for them, the better you can manage them. Conducting a S.W.O.T analyse (Strengths, Weakness, Opportunities, Threats) can help you prepare for those unforeseen circumstances. It might put you off track for a bit, but quick reflexes will get you back up and running in no time!
7. Conflict Resolution
This is the one we all love oh so much! Working in teams, conflict will arise, that is inevitable. It is important for everyone on the team to feel comfortable enough to say something and speak their mind, but as the project manager you need to make sure the friction stays to a minimum. It could get to the point where the Project Manager may have to step in before it gets ugly! To help deal with conflict situations, one must equip themselves with effective communication and interpersonal skills.
Source: E-Learning Industry