Three e-learning project management tools

August 17, 2008

I feel like Philip Seymour Hoffman playing Lester Bangs in the movie Almost Famous:

William Miller: I’m glad you were home.
Lester Bangs: I’m always home. I’m uncool.

After a self-induced non-productive day on Friday, I thought I better spend Sunday afternoon catching up on my work. I used work as an excuse to get out of a family trip to a water park today because frankly, water parks make me look fat. Better to just be uncool today. (The average forty-something woman does not do anyone a favor by riding down a giant water slide called “killermanjaro.”)

Anyway, my several hours of working through an extensive task list was as good a feeling as organizing five e-learning courses in various states of (in)completion. What’s the key? Project management.

We don’t talk enough about project management for e-learning. Every single instructional designer has to be a project manager. Most of us were self-taught.

If you’re struggling along with pencil and paper, spreadsheets, email, etc. here are three resources for e-learning project management you can try.

MJI TeamWorks project management, collaboration, scheduling, team collaboration, resource management, project accounting, time/expensing reporting, and document management.

Basecamp – collaboration tool for communicating and collaborating on projects. (I’m trying this one now)

CleanCourse DMS is a project tracking and collaboration tool developed to simplify e-learning project management. This software lets you track issues, tasks, and documents associated with multiple projects.

I would love to hear how you’re managing your projects. I also welcome your stories of how uncool you are. Gotta stick together you know. You know who you are.

killermanjaro“…I’ll admit in front that I have a special affinity for things that don’t quite fit into any given demarcated category, partly because I’m one of those perennial misfits myself by choice as well as fate or whatever. – Lester Bangs

  • http://christinemartell.com/ Christine Martell

    I’m totally uncool. How this happened while I wasn’t looking I’m not quite sure. Since I don’t have kids to constantly point this out, I forget. Biggest proof – I don’t know how to text message. And the list of places I avoid due to the fat thing is endless.

    My project management system? Piles of yellow legal pads with lists and endless post it notes. Yikes!

  • http://christinemartell.com Christine Martell

    I’m totally uncool. How this happened while I wasn’t looking I’m not quite sure. Since I don’t have kids to constantly point this out, I forget. Biggest proof – I don’t know how to text message. And the list of places I avoid due to the fat thing is endless.

    My project management system? Piles of yellow legal pads with lists and endless post it notes. Yikes!

  • http://www.brandon-hall.com Janet Clarey

    Uncool Christine-

    Thanks for the smile this morning. I’m glad you’re uncool because I now know we will have a common bond at the conference. You will be happy to know that we will have a geek squad at the conference so you’ll leave knowing how to text.

    I think conferences are OK for the ‘fat thing’ too.

    Yellow legal pads and post its have worked for me in the past but the automated email stuff that happens within systems designed for project management are helpful to someone like me who gets caught up in the shiny shiny while deadlines loom.

    Looking forward to seeing you at the conference.

  • http://www.centraldesktop.com/ tia

    Hi Janet,

    Ditto (waterparks / fat)! I was vacationing in Palm Springs a few weeks ago and It was 120 degrees and I was in jeans. Everyone kept looking at me like I was an alien. Can you believe I’m not even comfortable wearing shorts! *sigh* LOL!

    Anyway, have you ever heard of Central Desktop? Central Desktop is a very simple to use collaboration and task management tool that was created for business teams. CD allows you to share information efficiently, communicate with others and collaborate on projects. It was Voted Business Week’s “Best of the Web” for Collaboration.

    …check it out when you have a moment…

    http://www.centraldesktop.com/

    Best,
    Tia
    Community Manager
    tia@centraldesktop-inc.com

  • http://www.centraldesktop.com tia

    Hi Janet,

    Ditto (waterparks / fat)! I was vacationing in Palm Springs a few weeks ago and It was 120 degrees and I was in jeans. Everyone kept looking at me like I was an alien. Can you believe I’m not even comfortable wearing shorts! *sigh* LOL!

    Anyway, have you ever heard of Central Desktop? Central Desktop is a very simple to use collaboration and task management tool that was created for business teams. CD allows you to share information efficiently, communicate with others and collaborate on projects. It was Voted Business Week’s “Best of the Web” for Collaboration.

    …check it out when you have a moment…

    http://www.centraldesktop.com/

    Best,
    Tia
    Community Manager
    tia@centraldesktop-inc.com

  • http://www.brandon-hall.com/ Janet Clarey

    Hi Tia-

    So it appears we will not be running into each other at a hula dancing competition or anything.

    You could always say you have an allergy to the sun. This would also allow for a quick exit for boring outdoor activities. Or, that you’re a top model for Levi’s “full coverage” active wear and feel compelled to always wear their product.

    Anyway, thanks for passing along the Central Desktop link. I will definitely check it out!

    Regards-
    Janet

  • http://www.brandon-hall.com Janet Clarey

    Hi Tia-

    So it appears we will not be running into each other at a hula dancing competition or anything.

    You could always say you have an allergy to the sun. This would also allow for a quick exit for boring outdoor activities. Or, that you’re a top model for Levi’s “full coverage” active wear and feel compelled to always wear their product.

    Anyway, thanks for passing along the Central Desktop link. I will definitely check it out!

    Regards-
    Janet

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  • http://technogenii.wordpress.com/ Kristina Scheider

    Hey Janet! I so agree with this statement: Every single instructional designer has to be a project manager. Most of us were self-taught.

    I actually have been teaching a course in project management for eLearning for the last 3 years – it’s a 2 days course and it runs 4-8 times a year.

    Project Managing E-Learning (ASTD E-Learning Series) was very helpful to me in the beginning. It also gave me some great tools. It might be a little outdated now but it has some strong principles.

    Also, I manage all the learning projects in my organization, and we are a virtual organization, and I have nothing but praise for http://dotproject.net/ – an open source system. I have no idea what I would do without it!

    Kristina Scheiders last blog post..How Gen Y Operates with Web 2.0

  • http://technogenii.wordpress.com/ Kristina Scheider

    Hey Janet! I so agree with this statement: Every single instructional designer has to be a project manager. Most of us were self-taught.

    I actually have been teaching a course in project management for eLearning for the last 3 years – it’s a 2 days course and it runs 4-8 times a year.

    Project Managing E-Learning (ASTD E-Learning Series) was very helpful to me in the beginning. It also gave me some great tools. It might be a little outdated now but it has some strong principles.

    Also, I manage all the learning projects in my organization, and we are a virtual organization, and I have nothing but praise for http://dotproject.net/ – an open source system. I have no idea what I would do without it!

    Kristina Scheiders last blog post..How Gen Y Operates with Web 2.0

  • http://www.brandon-hall.com/ Janet Clarey

    Hi Kristina-
    Excellent knowing that you’re teaching a course on this and thanks for reminding me of the ASTD series.

    dotproject I’ll add to my list.

    thanks

  • http://www.brandon-hall.com Janet Clarey

    Hi Kristina-
    Excellent knowing that you’re teaching a course on this and thanks for reminding me of the ASTD series.

    dotproject I’ll add to my list.

    thanks

  • http://www.brandon-hall.com/ Janet Clarey

    Uncool Christine-

    Thanks for the smile this morning. I'm glad you're uncool because I now know we will have a common bond at the conference. You will be happy to know that we will have a geek squad at the conference so you'll leave knowing how to text.

    I think conferences are OK for the 'fat thing' too.

    Yellow legal pads and post its have worked for me in the past but the automated email stuff that happens within systems designed for project management are helpful to someone like me who gets caught up in the shiny shiny while deadlines loom.

    Looking forward to seeing you at the conference.

  • http://www.sahilparikh.com/ Sahil Parikh

    You should also take Brightpod.com for a spin. Simple, intuitive and will help you prioritize/focus. I believe – Tasks that get delegated/tracked eventually get done 🙂

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