Organization tips for getting started with a new project?

I am ready to get started on my next  project but keep getting stopped before I even start. Does someone have basic organization tips for taking a 90 page PDF policy guide and starting to break it down into what would be good material for the eLearning and what is good to know information but doesn't really work in an activity format? 

Its a big ask but I just feel lost in the starting of creating. This is the first project I have created and Its no bueno: 

Any veteran advice is welcome (: 

4 Replies
Allison LaMotte

Hi Tina,

I totally understand how overwhelming it can be when you're starting out, especially with such a big first project!

In order to decide what content to include in your course, you should start by identifying the learning objectives and the audience. Here are a couple of articles that will help you get started:

Once you know who you're creating the course for and the objectives of the course, take a look at this article to help figure out which information to cut out and which information to leave in.

If you're at a loss as to how to structure the course, read this article to find out 4 easy ways to organize your content

I hope this helps! If you're looking for more useful tips on Instructional Design, we have created an entire series of articles on this topic that you can access via this link. There is also a wealth of great information in the E-Learning 101 section of E-Learning Heroes.

Best of luck with your first course! I would love to see how it turns out if you're able to share all or part of it here.

Bob S


There is an old newspaper adage around the idea of going in and cutting out absolutely everything that doesn't need to be there.  Then go back and cut some more. THEN you might be close to where the article should wind up.

I share that because when faced with something like a huge policy document such as you have, I often start by outright eliminating (from the training) what clearly can be handled another way.  Be merciless in trying to discount topic areas/pages that are truly obscure, once-in-a-million, only pertain to a handful of people, etc.   Put all of those things aside as reference material you can refer them to if need be.

Then with what's left, take Bruce's excellent suggestion of talking to the stakeholders about what THEY want and WHY. What are their pain points?  What are the most common policy violations they handle? What are the highest risk situations? etc.    THOSE....and only those..... are the things you might consider actually developing "training" around.

80/20 rule is your friend here.

Hope this helps and good luck!