eLearning, on Balance

It’s a common problem in most B2B projects… Multiple decision-makers with multiple opinions on the ‘right’ way to do things. How do you find balance when these perspectives seem diametrically opposed? 

Training initiatives (and eLearning programs) can be especially ‘wobbly’ when it comes to satisfying multiple stakeholders. This is because you’re usually juggling several factors: 

  • A larger-than-average amount of content 
  • Opinions from differing departments (i.e., Learning & Development, Commercialization, Frontline Associates, etc.) 
  • A variety of methods to deliver the content
  • And sometimes varying end-users, and several distinct audiences 

All of these issues combined can lead to tension between ‘opposing forces.’ For instance, an SME might want to pack a Module with more detail, while frontline managers are pleading that the content should be concise and fast-paced. 

If you suspect that your eLearning might be headed toward this sort of dilemma, take a moment… chant ‘Om,’ and try these tips to help find your project’s ‘center.’  

1. Focus on the End-User

At the end of the day, you (and your eLearning) will usually be better served by erring on the side of what you think the end-user wants and needs. If that means choosing ‘tactical and concise’ over ‘strategic and detailed,’ then so be it.

2. Communicate

Sometimes tension is a result of blind spots. So make sure to emphasize communication. Kick off the project with an all-hands call. And create a project brief that includes sign-off from all stakeholders on key objectives and takeaways for eLearners.  

3. Look for Compromises

Should the eLearning be broken up into mini-subjects to help aid navigation for different audiences or learning occasions? Should you include an anytime/anywhere supplement, like a link to a video or a webpage checklist? And don’t forget that you might want to add a good ol’ fashioned Executive Summary… or included more technical details or FAQs in an appendix. 

Albert Einstein once said, “Life is like riding a bicycle. To keep your balance, you must keep moving.” And he makes a great point: one of the best ways to find your way through an imbalance is to not give up your forward momentum. Communicate, look for reasonable compromises, and never forget to focus on the end-user—and you have a great chance of keeping any project on track.

James Bizzell
Creative Director at Planet Studio.