Having led and managed a number of digital projects for global clients, I am often asked ‘who do I really need in my digital learning team?’ Whether you’re designing your digital learning assets in-house or working with a vendor like us, having the right talent in terms of skill and capability is the key to success for your digital projects. Having one person who can only storyboard just won’t cut the mustard.
So who do you really need on your team?
1. Great Instructional Designers with strong project management skills and technical background
There are many of them out there and with lots of experience. But the question you need to ask yourself is whether they are the right fit for your project. Engaging an instructional designer with experience solely in one industry or a specific business, may not be the right person to design the learning pathway and deliver on the learning outcomes of your project.
Take the time to hire the right person with the right attitude too. They should have good relationship management skills and be ready to roll their sleeves up and work with a variety of different people who will offer different perspectives on how they see the final deliverable.
They should have experience in authoring tools – preferably a few. I see many organisations who use a combination, not just one and lastly, they should have strong project management skills. They are depended on for the entire instructional design process so they must be able to manage tasks on time and within budget.
2. A solid Production (or Development) Team (encompassing graphic designers, audio integrators, animators) or with solid experience in authoring tools in the case of rapid e-learning
If you’re using the same person for your instructional design and your development, then you should ensure they are confident and competent with managing the entire end-to-end process. There are many out there but in my experience, often the individual is great at either design or development. To be great at both (and have great project and relationship management skills) is a rare breed so if you can find them, keep them!
For more engaging, interactive and appealing digital learning projects, you’ll need graphic design guns, storytellers, animators, cartoonists, video experts, audio wizards, the list goes on. These are very specific skill sets…and that’s where we come in!
3. Experienced project Leaders (on both the design and production arms)
This is a no brainer. Without great project leaders, you can consider your project a failure. This one’s fairly self-explanatory.
Your business can’t survive without these. It’s. That. Simple. In every industry it’s the innovators that are where your investment in human capital is well spent. We are seeing many of them (really they are entrepreneurs!), who depart the organisation in order to branch out on their own and dance to the beat of their own drum…cue Naveen Jain founder of Moon Express the first privately funded commercial space company to develop and mine the resources of the moon!
Innovators are working in or heading up think tanks, incubators, innovation hubs and they’re focussed solely on finding new and creative ways to bring learning to life in the most advanced way possible. You pass them on the street, you just don’t know it. We know it.
5. The best Account Managers you can find!
Your account managers (or L&D partners) are crucial to the success of your digital projects. They should be managing the communications between your business partners and your project team. Be it a change in content or a new need, they are worth their weight in gold. They are there to ensure approvals are given on time, that any challenging conversations are managed well and ultimately, that your client (be it internal or external), is smiling every step of the way.