In my previous role at a university, I managed a project to deploy new e-learning tools to make training in the university’s student record system more efficient. Thinking about that project….
Who were your stakeholders?
I was part of the Student Registry who were responsible for managing the university’s student record system and also had overall responsibility for training staff in the use of the system. So, the Registry staff along with staff users of the system across the university were stakeholders in the project. Managers who would provide the funding for the new e-learning tools would also be stakeholders.
What resources were used?
Microsoft Project was used to allocate tasks, manage timescales and it seemed to work very well.
How clear/achievable was the project plan?
The project plan was fairly clear and included a stage for evaluation of various e-learning tools including seeking advice from other HE institutions using e-learning for similar staff training.
What fallback position, if any, did you build into your plan in the event of full or partial project failure?
There was no fallback position as such. Though the use of e-learning tools for staff training would make training more efficient, not having e-learning tools to support training wouldn’t stop the delivery of training.
What methods did you use to evaluate your project?
Though no formal evaluation methods were used, the project progress was monitored on a regular basis through meetings with line managers. Colleagues in other teams and departments were kept up-to-date through team, inter-departmental meetings.
How did you measure project success?
Feedback was a major factor in measuring project success. A university wide survey about staff training (in general) was used to measure success. Past results from the survey about Registry offered training courses were compared with results from surveys after the new tools were introduced. There was a significant improvement in areas like how the training was delivered, how accessible the material was offsite/offline and engagement with the training courses.
Did you celebrate your success and did this encourage further developments?
The project success was celebrated as a big achievement for the Registry. The project helped to modernise an area of the university’s staff training provision which had not kept up with changing times & technologies. In order to help encourage further developments (within my institution and in others), I was encouraged to join a HE “trainers network” to learn/share techniques about delivering his type of training to staff.