Critical Attributes of ID Project Success

The 51 attributes, or project management practices, listed below are grouped according to the 10-Step ID (Instructional Development) Project Management model from Michael Greer’s text ID Project Management: Tools & Techniques for Instructional Designers and Developers, Educational Technology Publications, 1992.  Greer’s workshop Planning Successful ID Projects helps ID project managers develop the skills needed to implement many of these practices.

These critical attributes were published as part of the article “Critical Attributes of ID Project Success: Part II — The Survey Results,” Performance and Instruction, July 1993. This article reported the results of a survey of P&I readers regarding project management “best practices.”  For more detailed information, please refer to the article.

Phase I: Project Planning

Before Beginning the ID Project

1. Front-end analysis (needs analysis, job analysis, task analysis, etc.) was completed.

2. Front-end analysis appeared to be thorough and defensible.

Step 1: Project Scoping

3. Preliminary materials specifications (estimates of specific deliverables of video tape, pages of print materials, numbers of overheads, etc.) were completed.

4. Preliminary materials specifications seemed to be thorough and accurate.

5. A detailed project schedule and/or time estimate was completed.

6. The project schedule and/or time estimate was relatively fine-grained (i.e. describes the number of days required to complete various activities – not simply weeks, months, or phases).

7. A budget and/or cost estimate was completed.

8. The budget and/or cost estimate was relatively detailed (i.e. described costs of each phase, of labor, of outside purchases, etc.).

9. All scoping estimates are based on defensible rules of thumb or direct experience obtained from projects in our organization.

10. All appropriate planners, managers, and sponsors reviewed and approved the scoping estimates.

Step 2: Organizing the Project

11. Materials specifications, schedule, and budget were confirmed or revised based on elapsed time between proposal and eventual project approval.

12. List of project team members, including roles and responsibilities of each, was created.

13. Project diary or similar collection of important project documentation was established.

14. A well-organized kickoff meeting, assigning roles and responsibilities and clarifying important project issues, was executed.

15. A detailed project schedule, taking into consideration vacations, holidays, and other staff requirements, was developed and approved by team members.

16. (If applicable) Vendors or contractors were provided with a formal Request for Proposal (RFP) detailing the project requirements before they presented their bids.

17. (If applicable) Vendors were selected in a fair and impartial manner.

18. (If applicable) Clear mechanisms for handling all necessary vendor paperwork and obtaining vendor payment was established and executed.

Phase II:  Instructional Development

Step 3: Gather Information

(… some of this may have been done during front-end analysis)

19. An information gathering strategy and corresponding set of tools (questionnaires, interview guides, observation guidelines, etc.) were developed and then approved by the project sponsor.

20. The target audience for the materials was clearly specified.

21. Adequate details about the audience’s relevant work environment was gathered.

22. The specific tasks or skills which must be taught were clearly specified.

23. Adequate technical details about the course content were assembled.

Step 4: Develop the Blueprint or Specification

24. A debriefing session was conducted after completing information gathering in order to discuss implications of any new information learned on the preliminary design strategy.

25. A blueprint or set of design specifications was created.

26. The blueprint (design specifications) contained:

  • An adequate overview (big picture description) of the instructional materials and course flow.
  • An adequate description of specific performance objectives.
  • An adequate description of specific instructional strategies to be employed to attain all objectives.
  • A detailed outline of content to be included in support of each objective
  • A summary of media and materials to be created to support all objectives.

27. All appropriate reviewers reviewed the blueprint (design specifications) and provided helpful feedback.

28. Reviewer feedback was obtained quickly enough to allow the schedule to be maintained.

Step 5: Develop Draft Materials

29. The design team obtained formal approval (sign-off) of the blueprint (design specifications) from the course sponsor before going on to create draft materials.

30. Instructional designers and developers were provided with clear specifications (page layout, writing style, etc.) for draft development.

31. Preliminary and revised drafts of all materials were developed.

32. Preliminary and revised drafts of all materials were circulated to the appropriate reviewers (SMEs, planners, marketing policy people, etc.)

33. All appropriate reviewers reviewed the draft materials and provided helpful feedback.

34. Reviewer feedback was obtained quickly enough to allow the schedule to be maintained.

Step 6: Test Draft Materials

35. Formal approval (sign-off) of drafts by the course sponsor was obtained before testing draft materials.

36. A test run of all courseware was thoroughly planned; the test included a formal strategy for gathering evaluation data, summarizing it, and using the data to specify revisions.

37. A test run of all courseware was conducted.

38. Detailed revision specifications were developed and communicated to appropriate team members.

39. Revision specifications were approved (signed off) by the course sponsor.

Step 7: Produce Master Materials

40. A production strategy was presented to producers, including clear statements of expectations and deadlines.

41. High-quality master materials that could be used to create correspondingly high-quality reproductions were created.

42. Formal approval (sign-off) of these masters by the course sponsor was obtained.

Phase III:  Follow Up

Step 8: Reproduce

43. A reproduction strategy was presented to reproduction people, including clear statements of expectations and deadlines.

44. High-quality copies of all course materials, as defined by the design specifications, were created.

Step 9: Distribution

45. A distribution strategy was discussed with appropriate distribution personnel.

46. Copies of materials were assembled and properly stored.

47. An efficient distribution system existed for dissemination of course materials.

Step 10: Follow-up Evaluation

(… after the courseware has been implemented)

48. An evaluation strategy and a corresponding set of tools (questionnaires, interview guides, etc.) was developed and then approved by the course sponsor.

49. The planned evaluation strategy was executed.

50. Reports of trainee skill level after completing the training and recommendations for corresponding revisions to the materials were made.

51. Based on what was learned during this project, recommendations for improving our instructional development process were made.

Posted: June 26th, 2008 under ID Project Management, Project Management.
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