As a sales trainer, it can sometimes seem impossible to get everything on your To Do list done on time. You’re juggling back to back meetings, managing multiple quick turnaround projects, taking conference calls on the move, running live training sessions and somehow finding the time to answer 100+ emails a day. It’s no wonder how project timelines can sometimes slip!
Here are a few tips to help ensure your project timelines stay on track.
Communicate project expectations and past learnings.
During the first few weeks of a project, it’s helpful to share any internal processes or past learnings with your project team. This could be things like – a specific electronic referencing system you use, system requirements, important due dates, communication preferences, key decision makers, etc. Sharing past experiences will help lead to future success.
Outline significant training dates and the curriculum rollout schedule.
Whether it is your drug’s PDUFA date, timing for the launch or POA meeting, or your new hire training schedule, these key dates will drive the overall project timeline and help prioritize the rollout plan. Any changes in the training dates should be communicated to your project manager so they can adjust the schedule accordingly and help manage the change in workflow.
Identify your key reviewers at the start of a project.
It is important to identify who, within your organization, will need to review a training deliverable prior to roll out. Many training partners will run their draft materials by a medical lead, members of the marketing team and colleagues in the training department to get their feedback ahead of the MLR meeting. You will want to inform these reviewers of your training plan and make sure they are aligned with your approach. A great way to begin their involvement is to schedule a concept review meeting or have them review the project outline. This will provide an overview of the content being created and how everything will fit into the overall learning curriculum.
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Maintain consistent contact with your review team throughout the duration of the project.
Once you have your review team on board with your training approach, you will want to maintain bi-weekly or monthly contact so they stay engaged. They will appreciate you sharing the estimated timeline and dates that they will be expected to review materials. When it comes time to ask for their review on something, make sure you clearly state the date in which you need their feedback returned. With everyone’s busy schedules and overloaded inboxes these days, a friendly reminder email a day or two before the feedback is due may also help stay on track.
Consolidate and review the team’s feedback.
It’s helpful to consolidate all feedback into one document so you can look for any trends or inconsistencies in your reviewers’ comments. If there are any contradictory comments, you will want to come to a resolution with the team prior to asking your project team to implement the changes. A quick 15-minute meeting could save you days’ worth of back and forth emails!
Anticipate any technology hurdles.
If you are hosting any materials on a Learning Management System, you will want to test this out prior to your first course being loaded. Different systems require different settings so you will want to work through those nuances in advance. You’ll want to work with your organization’s LMS coordinator to identify key settings like whether the training piece should be gated, what will trigger the completion status, and in what format the final files should be delivered. Your project manager would be happy to communicate with the LMS coordinator and provide test files to work with. Identifying tech specs and preferred settings ahead of time will help avoid delays in the days leading up to your content roll out.
Hopefully, you find that some of these tips help your next project stay on schedule.