How do you manage the work in your team?

Aug 09, 2011

My team has grown rapidly from a team of .... one (me!) to a team of eight full time people working on developing articulate content and it is still growing, what I want to know, is how do you manage work across a team? Do you have one person making one piece of content or do you get many people to work on different parts of the development process of one peice of content and one person doing the quality assurance? How do you get consistency  across the team in style and quality?

How do you manage the work in your team?

Looking forward to hearing your thoughts


9 Replies
Robert Kennedy

One of the ways that I have done it is to start small.  THe first draft is developed by one or a smaller group.  Then everyone else is working according to a template.  In bigger teams, templating or up front concepts are critical and help to not only maintain consistency but minimize personal interpretation.

My .02

steve mcmillen

Definitely agree with Robert.  We always go through a project first and build the necessary templates, define a style, and then document specific action items that are needed for a given client to produce a consistent and quality product for them. 

In addition to that we have found that a project management system is absolutely crucial.  We use a product called activeCollab.  It allows us to enter clients, have projects associated with them, and then set milestones, checklists, wiki type documentation, and a million other things.  We can also then assign specific tasks to specific people and then they can check them off when done.  All awhile keeping the project manager informed of what is going on.  It also has a time tracking system for labor.  We have found it to be extremely helpful and don't know how we would have kept some of our current project straight without it.  There are lots of software and web services out there that offer similar functions.

Clare Stead

Thanks guys, this is really helpful.  We do do as you say and meet as a small 'design team' and thrash out what each piece of content should contain.  But we have not created the templates etc, which would be an interesting addition.  My extra challenge is that my team is in two countries, some are in the UK but most of us are in Zambia where coms can be tricky at times! So your idea of setting the template up is perhaps a good one, but I do want to get from my arty staff (all based in the UK) the benifit of their talents and arty ideas at the starting stage!  All the teachers are here in Zambia....   May be what I need to do is add an extra stage in there, perhaps the teachers meet and design the content, then send it with a brief to the artist lot, who create the templates etc, and then when agreeded we can all go ahead and crack on.... what do you think?

Kate Hoelscher

We have a more simplistic problem related to this--we are working locally and have our external hard drives available over the network.  The problem is--when we work on another hard drive all the links to engage, quiz, and audio files are broken, even if the originator creates an articulate package. The articulate package, even if it did work, isn't a solution for us either because we usually need to go into the other files when the originator isn't there so have to go with what we can. 

I also vote for a database to track where everyone is at with projects.  Just my 2 cents.

Bob S


For what it's worth we face the same problem. I've posted here before about possible solutions.

Currently I'm investigating online collaborative review options. For example the kind of service ad agenices have used for years to review and mark-up graphics remotely. It seems a few of those services play nice with Flash....

Also, there is a great looking tool/service from one of Articulate's competitors. It's called Review from Rapid Intake. You can review and leave comments right on the screen and the designer can go back and see them later and even manage each issue separately with a task history.

I will let you know what I find out.


steve mcmillen

Oh the linking.  When we have someone working on an Articulate file they copy over everything to their local hard drive and then the first thing they do is go back through and relink all the Engage and Quizmaker files.  It adds time and the risks for problems if something is overlooked.  Unfortunately Articulate isn't really built in a way that allows it to work well in a network storage, multi developer environment.  I hope there are some changes in the new version that allow it to work better in that environment.  Once you know the gotcha's you can certainly work around them but they do add time and complication to the process.

Stephanie Harnett

Hi. When working in largers teams I tend to go with an assembly line approach. This creates deep compentency within the elearning skill sets, allows for rapid development using a templated approach and creates consistency between modules (if the team is generating more than one module of a series together). The skill sets and publishing process goes something like this:

1. SME(s) / ID(s) - these folks are the subject matter experts and the insructional designers. They team up to collect initial content and create the initial flow of training materials. This is done using Word with comments/tracking.

2. ID(s) - Create PowerPoint storyboard from using templated wireframe scenes - basically populating scenes with content from Word document. They add captions/narration script in notes area and use comments to add notes to developers regarding functionality/interactivity. They use comments/tracking to finalize storyboard.

3. Media / design specialist(s) - Uses finalized storyboard and swaps out wireframe images with real ones from re-usable object library, apples master template, adjusts scene layout selection as needed, makes any other graphic adjustments as needed.

** to this point just Word and PowerPoint documents have been shared devoid of anything Articulate-based**

4. Developer(s) - adds interactive components (engage, quizmaker), creates PowerPoint animations, syncs narration/animations, adjust slide properties, inserts external media, develops glossary and other job aid links/menus, is responsibile for publishing alpha version.

5. QA - team reviews published output and records changes using a spreadsheet, a task-based tool like SharePoint or other collaborative tool that allows multiple comments from multiple reviewers with ability to prioritize.

6. Developer(s) - makes adjustments and publishes a beta version.

7. QA - as above.

8. Developer(s) - makes adjustments and publishes final master.

As you can see, once the media folks are finished with the PowerPoint file and it is handed to the developer no one else on the team actually edits content in PowerPoint. This is because Articulate doesn't play well in a mult-developer environment. Reviewers check the published output, provide comments and send those back to the developer to complete. The developer then re-publishes. Also, in approaching creation of elearning this way, you allow the instructional designers (listed in step 1 and 2 above) to move onto the next project as you do for the media experts and developers once their step in this specific module is complete. This is what creates a deep skill sets within the team and consistency in development. Everyone begins to get very good at what they do and yet they all know what is going on since they work across modules instead of taking on multiple roles within the development of a single module.

Hope that helps!


eLearning Development

This post has been very timely for me.  We work in a small environment with usually just me and occasion I have other staff that I am training to develop articulate content.  This week I left one of those staff alone for the first time to work on a very big project while I am on vacation.  We went through an extensive planning and templating session on thursday and Friday and I will check in with her throughout the week.  As this is my first time doing this it made me feel better to know that we are using a similar process to more experienced groups.  As always the forums are a wealth of information and confidence boosting.  Thanks again.


Clare Stead

Thanks so much everyone for your input, sorry for my delay in getting back to you all... boy I need more time in a day! Kate we use Drop box and don't seem to have the problem with links so long as everything is packaged back up as an articulate package, but LOVE the idea of a database (so long as it is simple) to track where everyone is up to.....Stephanie, your team is obviously bigger than mine currently is, but basically the process you outline is pretty much what I think we use, but we don't (or have not yet) got to the point of mocking up the backgrounds before sending to the media chaps... am interested that you use the ID's to do the initial creating thing, why do you not use the creative folks to do this???

What are your thoughts on developing the text/script in word by the ID's, then getting the designers/illustrators/ content developers to create the interesting way to present the info??? Once they have decided how to present the info, it would be discussed with a project manager and then creatd by them.... Then there would be a QA check, voicing and translating, as that is a step that we need to add in, QA again, and then final publish... think that would work???

Thanks for your input everyone.


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