A day in the life... Project Manager

8 June 2016 | Bryony Sidwell | , , , ,

Here at Walkgrove, our focus is on producing learning resources that keep our learners engaged and motivated. And so it should be. But while the focus should be on the learner, as Project Managers, we also have to look to our team in order to achieve this.

It’s all very well having super enthusiastic and excited Project Managers and clients, but it means nothing if the e-learning team tasked with building the product isn’t remotely engaged or motivated by the content. One of our jobs as Project Manager is to make sure the team get involved.

CLIENT MEETING MODIFIEdFrom our very first client meeting, all the way through to ‘27-cups-of-tea-release-day' – Project Managers are constantly thinking about whether our deliverable is interesting or not. Personally, I think having the dreaded post-release feedback of, ”the course was a bit boring” is worse than hearing, ”I can’t actually get it to work.”

We involve graphic designers, writers and programmers from the very first day of the project. They help to write bids for us, we give them creative free reign and say ‘come up with some ideas’ and their little eyes sparkle, we drag them away from their dark, cluttered desk and make them come and meet real people. You will get to know the whole team and they will get to know you. Every project is different, every deliverable is different and every team’s experience will be different.

Involving team members in all aspects of a project’s journey keeps people engaged - clients and internal team members alike.

TEAM MODIFIED

At Walkgrove, it’s not just ‘compliance training #1’, it’s Louise’s project that she’s been tasked with getting built in the first six months of her new job. It’s not ‘Generic Bid #36’, it’s a client we’re really passionate about working with and we already have the perfect team lined up, ready to go. We’re already passing around ideas in the office, before the bid has even been started!

Throughout the e-learning process, as we’re communicating and fine-tuning, Project Managers are grappling with that part of their brains that is forever present…the part of your brain that wonders if the client is actually going to LIKE your solution or not. Like a metaphorical e-learning first date, we primp and preen our prototypes and alphas, in the hope that feedback will be positive (and hopefully lead to a second date). This quest for perfection is overseen by the PM, but is ultimately achieved by a switched on, engaged and motivated project team.

So, when we hear from clients that their solution has been well received on roll-out, and there is a high level of completion – we bask modestly in the warm glow of praise. We know that our course has successfully engaged a wide group of people, and has motivated them onto the next phase of their personal or professional development.