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How can proper documentation increase your eLearning project's success?

Author: Ing. Luis D. Arguello Araya, MPM, PMP.

When managing a project, you need to document both the customer's expectations as well as the project's history, based on important decisions that will be made along the way. To do so, you can use the process groups that are suggested and globally accepted as best practices in project management and then develop templates that you can use during the project's lifecycle.

You can choose which documents to use depending on the project's characteristics, but here's a list of the most common templates you should consider:

Initiation

Business Case: To justify the financial investment in your project, you need to write a Business Case. It lists the costs and benefits, so everyone knows what the return on investment (ROI) will be.

Feasibility Study: Before you kick-off your project, you will need to determine whether your project is feasible, using a Feasibility Study.

Project Charter: You will then need to document the objectives, scope, team, timeframes and deliverables in a Project Charter.

Planning

Project Plan: Create a Project Plan listing all of the tasks required to undertake your project from start to finish. Every task must be scheduled, so you know what needs to be done and when.

Resource Plan: Next, you will need to plan your resources by documenting the money, equipment and materials needed for your project.

Quality Plan: Set quality targets, so that the project deliverables meet your customer's expectations.

Risk Plan: All of the risks need to be documented as well as their likelihood and impact on the project.

Communication Plan: Plan your communications, so that you send the right messages to the right people, at the right time.

Execution

Time Management: use Timesheets to track time spent on your project. Then update your Project's Plan with your Timesheet data to see whether your project is still within schedule.

Cost Management: Track your costs using Expense Forms. Every expense is formally logged and approved, so that you can confirm at any time that you are currently under budget.

Change Management: Document each change on the project scope, using Change Forms. So you are able to control change ensuring that your project is always on track.

Risk Management: Use Risk Forms to document each risk associated with the project. You can then manage project risk carefully to guarantee that nothing will affect the project's schedule or budget.

Issue Management: As you move further along the project's schedule, you will see that issues tend to come up along the way, that's why you will need to research its impact on the project and then write it down on an Issue Form. You can then begin performing the necessary tasks to solve it quickly.

Closure

Project Closure Report: When your project is complete, document all of the actions needed for a proper closure. This includes releasing teams and suppliers, equipment and materials.

Post Project Review: After your project has been closed, you can review its success and document the results for your sponsor. That way, you can show that all of the objectives were met and that the project was delivered on time and within budget.

SHIFT and your project's documentation

SHIFT allows you to store in a single location all the documents that, as a project manager, you are going to develop for you eLearning project. Keeping your PM documents in a single spot is a great way to control access and versioning of those documents.

To do this, simply go to the Course Documentation section and then choose the "Project Management Documents" category. After doing so, you will be able to upload into the system as many documents as you need, considering the recommendations we have provided in this article to plan and keep control of your project.

By completing each of the documents suggested here, you can boost your eLearning project's chain of success. Take advantage of SHIFT's functionality as a document repository, this will allow you to store important documents in one place and also to keep your team and customers informed at all times.

Karla Gutierrez

Karla is an Inbound Marketer @Aura Interactiva, the developers of SHIFT. ES:Karla is an Inbound Marketer @Aura Interactiva, the developers of SHIFT.

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