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Agile Project Management for e-Learning Projects. Jody Baty MADLaT 2009 Conference May 8, 2009. Learning outcomes. At the end of this session, participants should be able to: Describe the unique nature of e-Learning projects

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Agile Project Management for e-Learning Projects


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    1. Agile Project Management for e-Learning Projects Jody Baty MADLaT 2009 Conference May 8, 2009

    2. Learning outcomes At the end of this session, participants should be able to: Describe the unique nature of e-Learning projects Discuss the challenges of traditional project management with respect to e-Learning projects Describe Scrum and how to adapt it to e-Learning projects

    3. About your presenter – Jody Baty Educational technology consultant Specializes in agile project management for e-Learning projects 10 years of experience as a classroom instructor and corporate trainer Working with Scrum for about one year Certified Scrum Master BSc.(Comp Sci), MEd. (Ed tech)

    4. Small group project – the Brainbuster Divide into groups of 4 or 5 participants Designate one person as the project observer Get a puzzle from presenter Solve the puzzle as a group (5 minutes) Project observer documents group problem solving process and interactions

    5. Small group project - observations How did your team start out its task? Was the problem solving process iterative or predefined? If it was iterative, what happened between the iterations? Was the team self-organizing or hierarchical? How was the definition of done determined? What did you do when you were done? Other observations…

    6. Nature of e-learning projects - dependency Ideal project timeline Typical project timeline Corporate learning projects exist to provide training on a product or service Learning development typically occurs at the end of the product development, resulting in compressed timelines

    7. Nature of e-learning projects - concurrency Realistic project timeline In my experience, scenario-based e-Learning has a development to delivery ratio of about 100:1, even with rapid application development tools E-Learning development must begin well before the product is in beta stage Focus on what can be done

    8. Nature of e-learning projects - delivery Synchronous learning tools – Elluminate, Adobe Connect, LiveMeeting…. Asynchronous LMS – Blackboard, Desire2Learn, Moodle, Angel….. Performance support – online help, expert systems, knowledge networks Thanks to these tools delivery to the audience is fast and inexpensive

    9. Classic project management - challenges Assumption #1: we have a repeatable, production line process But….. E-Learning projects are co-dependents; we can’t specify everything at the start Systems, products and learning outcomes change often Change in the parent project is amplified in the training team due to its location in development cycle

    10. Classic project management - challenges Assumption # 2: cost of failure to deploy properly is high But….. We aren’t distributing CDs or DVDs any longer; distribution is cheap via the web We can put out a less than perfect product and iterate; see all Web 2.0 companies Change in production mode is now possible – and should be welcomed since we can measure in real-time

    11. Classic project management - challenges Assumption # 3: plan-driven, bureaucratic approaches ensure corporate buy-in But….. Is signoff on a plan really buy-in? An actual working product (real signoff) occurs too late in the development cycle Would you rather see a buggy version or a perfect document representing the real version?

    12. What is Scrum? • Is a fundamentally simple process for agile project management • Based on empirical process control rather than a predefined plan • Uses 30 day sprints to develop a deliverable product

    13. Scrum process overview 24 hours Daily Scrum Meeting Backlog tasks expanded by team 30 days Sprint Backlog Deliverable product Product Backlog As prioritized by Product Owner

    14. Scrum’s roles • The Product Owner (Department head or similar) • Defines the parameters of the project, its success and definition of done (DoD) • Prioritizes tasks from product backlog • The Scrum Master (Instructional designer) • Owns the overall process • Resolves conflicts, removes barriers • Part of the team • The Team (SMEs, Multimedia Developers, Editor) • Owns the production process • Cross functional, self-organizing

    15. Components of Scrum • Project kickoff meeting • Product Backlog (course level outcomes) • Sprint Backlog (instructional objectives) • Daily Scrum • Tracking progress • Project review

    16. Project kickoff One day session with product owner The output is a Product Backlog Like a mini-DACUM Product backlog for e-Learning projects are the Course Level Learning Outcomes

    17. Product backlog Prioritized list of work to be performed on a course Product Owner responsible for prioritization Expressed in terms of Course Level Learning Outcomes Blooms Level (or controlled vocabulary) can be very helpful for estimating Definition of Done is the satisfaction of Performance Indicators

    18. Product backlog for e-Learning projects

    19. Sprint backlog Learning outcomes get divided into instructional objects (tasks) by the Team A fixed period of 30 days to develop a deliverable product The Sprint includes all ADDIE phases except evaluation Once a Sprint has started only the Scrum Team can add or remove items in Sprint backlog Abnormal termination of Sprint is called for when the Sprint Goal no longer makes sense

    20. Daily scrums • Daily 15 minute status meeting; • Same place and time every day; • Three questions; • What have you completed since last meeting? • What will you complete before next meeting? • What help do you need? • Any decisions to be made?

    21. Tracking progress – backlog effort

    22. Tracking – don’t overdo it Too much monitoring wastes time and suffocates the developers Does not increase the certainty of the indicators because of the chaotic nature of the system Too much data is meaningless No monitoring leads to blocks and possible idle time between assignments

    23. Sprint review Usually a demo of what was accomplished to the product owner by the team Informal, no more than two hours of prep Assess against sprint plan Can possibly be tied into Kirkpatrick Levels I & II

    24. Further information Scrum Alliance – www.scrumalliance.org Digital Learning blog – www.digitallearning.biz

    25. Questions? Please take a moment to fill out your session evaluation