The week at work – ups and downs of e-learning projects

It’s been a fruitful week at work. Finally the e-learning Supplier Panel has been chosen and announced, and it took more red tape than you’d see in Santa’s buracracy department at Xmas time. I’ve never been involved in a process that has had so much political, red tape or ego hurdles to cross than this. It has taken us about four or five months to get to this point and has cost the company a fair amount time and money, when without all these obstacles we could have done the job in one month and had an active panel when we needed it.

Still, at least it gives us a chance to change the process and ensure that next time it’s quicker. No, afraid not. The same red tape, political reasoning and ego’s are involved and apparently there is no reason to change it. Wait and see next time is the response.

However, we met with the Suppliers Monday and Tuesday and induced them into the Panel…is that induced or inducted? Interesting thought. Anyway, it was great, because suddenly our jobs were back. We could run the event the way it was supposed to be, talk openly about the job for the next two years and how to work together, and we felt empowered and able to carry out what we’re paid to do.

Didn’t last long though, back at the office, faced with 200 emails, I dug into the drudgery, and email after email brought problem after problem that we just couldn’t solve. Relying on someone else in another department who clearly wasn’t going to or wanting to help you, after all they had their belief about what we shouldn’t be doing.

Oh, it just drives me mad. I’ve had enough and I’ve started looking for other work. I worked from home today with a blistering headache and no end in sight to the continuing pressure, with no support from up the line other than things will change, in March they will. Quite frankly I don’t believe a word, we moved departments, away from the one we should really be in, fifteen months ago, and we’ve heard that same thing for all that time. I’m just not waiting around any longer, it’s time for me to move on and find new challenges, before I get so disheartened I walk out, or I get so wound up I start getting ill day after day.

It’s an interesting wake up call as well. We’ve been involved in the project to create and implement the largest e-learning systems in Europe, and have continued throughout to provide Consultancy and Support within the Company for the creation of all e-learning Programmes as well as managing the e-learning Supplier Panel. Yet we still go without recognition or assistance to carry out what needs to be done for the Company.

Still, we can be proud that we have the preferred e-learning Supplier Panel in place, with all six Companies eager for Business in the New Year. My next task is to complete the e-learning Development Standards which seem to have been going on for months. Currently at 60 pages of our SCORM implementation, adopted DDA Standards for e-learning, branding, technical specifications of varying systems, branding, how to implement questions, objective tracking, bookmarking, etc in the e-learning. It will finally be completed in January and form the complete bible of e-learning Development for the entire Company, although it will be a fluid document, at least it’s the first version for all to work with.

Plus, I get to work on what we call the Collaboration Suite. That is a proof of concept, and all going well a full delivery project, for collaborative learning in the workplace. It comprises of the following tools:

  • Virtual Classroom
  • Web Conferencing (Similar to the Virtual Classroom product but with less features)
  • Web Casting
  • Communities of Expertise (and the implementation of a Learner as a Learning item)
  • Team Messaging (Instant Messaging restricted to predefined teams)

It’s definitely an exciting project, and the Virtual Classroom (VC) part is a definite go as we have to replace the old VC system that was in the company before. Oddly enough a system I installed. I think, at the time, it was one of the largest implementations in Europe, with somewhere around 750 client installations. It was good, but dogged in the early days with technical issues, once these were sorted it was then plagued by misuse of the client infrastructure through lack of continued use and local knowledge of the system. So we quickly dismantled that and moved on.

Let’s hope this new Collaboration Suite can do the business. I have the project to run with and we have a proof of concept system running right now. Hopefully we’ll be able to evaluate it with the Supplier Panel and a couple of e-learning Projects. Definitely interesting.

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