A thoughtfully planned and robustly staffed team is integral to any e-learning project. After all, your project is only as strong as the people you’ve assembled to work on it. In my experience, a good project team is one whose team members have a varied skill set, with strengths and weaknesses that are complementary.   

Wondering how to build a team with the skills you need to succeed? Keep reading to find out.

1. Decide Who You Need

When building your project team, consider your needs and the skills of each individual. Does the course you’re creating need a lot of custom graphics? If you know your instructional designer is also a strong graphic designer, you might not need a professional graphic designer. But if they’re not, you might need to find one. Or maybe one of your SMEs is detail-oriented and has the free time to help out as a QA, so you don’t need to have a dedicated QA person. Thinking about these things ahead of time will help you select the right people for your project team. 

And while each project is different, there are some common roles e-learning pros agree should be on every team. Let’s take a look!

  • Primary Stakeholder: This is the person who has the final say on everything in the project. 
  • Subject Matter Expert (SME): This person provides the bulk of your content and reviews your course for accuracy. 
  • Project Manager (PM): This person is responsible for keeping the project on track. 
  • Instructional Designer (ID): The ID is responsible for writing, scripting, course design, and development (though sometimes a separate person does this). 
  • Graphic Designer: Sometimes the ID and the graphic designer are the same person. Either way, the person in this role is responsible for creating or sourcing any images, infographics, and other visual design elements.  
  • Quality Assurance (QA): This person is responsible for everything from testing links to editing content and is usually another ID or sometimes the PM.
  • Learning Management System (LMS) Administrator: The person responsible for managing a company’s LMS, including loading and administering e-learning courses in it. 

2. Check Availability and Staff for Overlap

When building your team, be sure to check the availability of each person. For example, it’s often challenging to schedule time with SMEs or to hire external resources—both of which can delay your project’s progress. If you start thinking about your team needs and see potential scheduling conflicts, be sure to plan accordingly. 

A good practice is to identify multiple team members who can do the same job. For example, instead of one SME, see if you can get two. Or maybe try to find an LMS administrator who also has ID skills. The more overlap your team has the better. You’re more likely to stay on schedule when multiple people can pick up the slack. The last thing you want is for your project to grind to a halt because your ID is out sick!

3. Assign Responsibilities 

Once you’ve decided who you need and identified areas where you’d like staffing overlap, it’s time to assign responsibilities. Remember: one person can take on multiple responsibilities. Like we talked about earlier, your ID might also be a graphic designer. Or maybe an SME can pick up some QA. Again, the wider the skill set of each individual on the team, the better off you are. Ideally, you’ll have 2-3 people who are able to do each task, even if it isn’t their primary assignment. For an example staffing chart, check out the table below: 

Name

Katie

Rashad

Sam

Dewayne

Maria

Primary Job

PM

ID

SME

LMS Admin

Graphic Designer

Secondary Job

SME

LMS Admin

QA

ID

PM

Backup

ID

Graphic Designer

QA

PM

QA

 

Once you’ve made these decisions, be sure to document and communicate these assignments to your team so everyone knows who’s responsible for what and how their work impacts others.

Wrap-Up

An e-learning project is more likely to be successful if it’s backed by a team of highly skilled individuals. By implementing the tips in this article, you can make sure you have the people you need to get the job done. 

If you’d like to dive deeper into the different roles outlined in this article—as well as some additional roles—check out this article: What Makes a Training Team? 11 Common Titles in E-Learning.

And if you’re looking for more project management tips, be sure to check out these articles:

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