The Number One Reason Why eLearning Projects Fail

You have the best subject matter experts, project managers, instructional designers, graphic designers, and web developers. You have an identified budget and a reasonable development timeline. There is no way the project can fail, is there? You have everything you need. People, money, time. How do you even know you have the right people, the applicable budget, and a reasonable timeline? What is missing?

The number one reason why eLearning initiatives fail is poorly identified requirements.

Requirements should be identified early in the process. Requirements are the basis for creating an RFP, evaluating proposals, determining whether to develop the eLearning in-house or with an outside vendor, if off-the-shelf or customized training is applicable, what resources are required, the associated costs, and how long it takes to develop.

Questions to help you identify requirements include:

  • What objectives must the training satisfy?
  • Does the content already exist or must it be created?
  • What technical limitations exist, if any?
    • What are minimum Internet browser requirements?
    • What are the allowed development languages?
  • What data must be tracked to the LMS?
  • What interactivity level is applicable?
  • Who is the audience for which the training is intended?
  • What type of training is required?
    • Application simulation?
    • Compliance?
    • Product?
    • Sales or operations?
  • Is the eLearning part of a blended solution?
  • How long is the training?

Requirements determine the scope of the initiative. There are many more questions that could be answered to help you identify solid requirements. The more answers you provide to these questions, the more accurate the people, money, and timeline.

Well-defined requirements provide the development team with a good understanding what they need to do. This saves you time and money in the long run because there is less re-work and modifications. Without well-defined requirements, designers and developers will assume what you have in mind.

More often than not, their interpretation will not be the same as yours. Welldefined requirements provide the development team as well as the project owner with a guide for the overall initiative.

The likelihood of completing the project on-time and under budget is greater if you know what you need to do and understand the potential risks. Requirements are the building blocks to a successful eLearning initiative.