5 Things to Consider when Planning your PLM eLearning Projects

Rand 3D

By Barb Nash

If you're looking to incorporate eLearning as part of a PLM software implementation, here are 5 things to consider to help make your PLM adoption a success:



Since PLM software implementations are major initiatives involving many tasks to be handled by the project team such as creating use cases, software testing, documenting issues, change management communications, and project management, it is common for those tasks to take priority over eLearning development tasks if internal shared resources are used. Will your eLearning development plan need to be altered due to resources being unavailable? Will resources you find to help have the PLM software and processes knowledge, as well as instructional design expertise required to create effective PLM eLearning modules?



Depending on your product program and project commitments to your stakeholders, it may not be possible to change your go-live dates if anything on the project goes awry. Therefore, you will need to come up with creative options to meet the target dates. To reduce the eLearning development time, you could assess the design of your eLearning modules, the amount of content, and type of components within the modules. For example, you could review the process of creating some of the components to see where time could be saved. Or perhaps some content can be developed at a later time after go-live if using additional resources is not an option.



Developing PLM eLearning materials that reflect your company's workflows such as Engineering Change Management processes involves consideration into what processes are needed to include in the modules and what is not necessary for go-live. You can analyze the tasks for each role and obtain feedback from the end-users ahead of time to help determine the need-to-know tasks and workflows to include.





Bite-sized learning or microlearning is a popular request from end-users giving them the flexibility to learn in short amounts of time while still being able to keep up with their regular work. Mobile-friendly eLearning gives added flexibility for the end-user to learn anytime and anywhere with their mobile device. Knowing these two requirements when planning will allow you to build in the time needed for the development, including the time needed for testing of all required device sizes.




Not only are we finding that end-users are expecting bite-sized, mobile-friendly modules, they have high expectations on the quality of the modules. Time and expertise are required to create, review, update, and test the modules. Checks on functionality, formatting, grammar, and quality of multi-media and interactive content need to be performed to produce high quality modules.

In summary, if these potential situations are not considered in your planning, many can result in a stressful workplace and an overworked team with the quality of the eLearning modules lacking as well as the PLM adoption goals not being met. Planning for these situations and investigating your options can help ensure your PLM adoption is successful. 

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