All Instructional Designers hate this:
“Hey, can you just add one more little thing to this project? I just thought of it this morning.”
Inevitably, the little thing turns the project inside out and doubles the time and budget of the project. Don’t get me wrong, those ideas you have are great ideas – they’re just outside the scope of the current project.
We call that scope creep.
Your instructional designer will have to put on his nice happy face (because that does a good job of covering up the “are you kidding me” look), and tell you that your idea is great, but it’s outside the scope and budget of the project. If they agree to it, you need to expect a longer timeline and a bigger invoice.
To avoid this, we go to great lengths to try to get experts to the point where all of their ideas and all of their content are on the table before we start dreaming about what the project could become.
The best thing you can do to avoid scope creep is to ensure that your content is absolutely, 100% final. How can you have that level of certainty? Here are three things I’ve seen work:
- Outline the course 3 times (at least): Create an outline of your course on a Monday morning. Don’t look at it again. Outline the course again on Wednesday afternoon – but don’t look at your outline from Monday. Before you check out for your weekend, do the outline again. Now compare all three.
- You’re ready if: If you did it 95% the same each time, you’re probably ready. Take a hard look at that 5% to determine if that content is something that will make a difference for your intended client.
- You’re not ready if: If you outlined it differently each time or had different existing resources in mind each time, you’re not ready. Use your three outlines to clarify what it is that you really want. Create a final outline that includes a list of all the resources that will go into your course.
- Review your final outline with a colleague: Sometimes you are so close to the trees, you can’t see the forest. Have your business partner or professional colleague look at the outline with you to fill in the gaps.
- Present the content live: If you teach your own Saturday class at your business, this is a great chance to try your content. If you don’t, find a local group that would invite you to speak at their next meeting.
- If you can keep folks’ attention, if they are making eye contact with you (not their phones), and they give you great feedback – you’re probably ready.
- If you have no idea where to start, you’re probably not ready.
If you are certain that your content is 100% ready, you can be confident that you are already more than halfway to a great course launch.
The biggest part of a successful course is great content.
If you think you’ve got your content at 100%, but don’t know what to do next, we are here to help you take the next step. You can schedule a consultation with an Instructional Designer by contacting us.