This week we were tasked with Describing a project. Either personal or professional, that experienced issues related to scope creep.
What I have found as an instructional designer is that “Scope Creep” often happens. In fact, the current project that I am working on has suffered from the all too familiar “Scope Creep”. The course has had its own challenges along the way, it is a great course but from the beginning this particular course has taken on a life of its own. I might mention that this course was originally a larger course that included introductory information and more advanced information in one course. When we took on this project the idea was to take the preexisting course and make it better per the client. What the team soon found out was that this course actually needed to be two separate courses.
Once the decision to break the one course into two separate courses was made, the bigger task was and continues to be what information should be covered? How in depth do we need to go with the information? My team and I actually lovingly refer to this drift as the “ISD Drift”. This continues to be a challenge in my design world.
At present I am the leading Instructional Designer for my course. I am fortunate enough to work with an amazing team! Our Project Management team is great about scheduling weekly meetings with our team which once a month include our IT team and Graphics Team members. The Project Management team is also really great about scheduling and holding meetings with the Subject Matter Expert. This has been incredibly beneficial. As designers we have been able to ask questions of our SME. We have time to ask the SME if we are accurate with our concepts, what the student is expected to learn and why? Once the information is disseminated via the learning medium, what the learner is expected to do with what they have learned. Another great thing about this team is that we are able to use that “Scope Creep” AKA Instructional Design Drift to our advantage. We meet together generally via WebEx or communicate back and forth via e-mail. We serve as each other’s sounding boards.
This is so important when working in the area of instructional design. We also try to always keep several things at the forefront while working on any project. We want to make certain that we are meeting all deadlines, conscious of our budget and most importantly keeping our client in mind when designing. We often work mock-ups and present them to each other and to our SME. It is so important to make certain that you are heading in the right direction. That can be quite difficult at times.
I know that this blog was meant to point out the changes that I would make if I were managing the project. Honestly there isn’t anything that I would really change about this particular team or the scope creep issues. This team works really well together and keeps in constant communication with our project management team and the SME.
As a rule, anytime we feel that “Scope Creep” happening we are quick to speak with each other and our SME to once again keep all the goals of the project at the forefront.