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Trina Rimmer

Community Manager

Articulate

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Tips for collaborating

effectively with

stakeholders

Ask any e-learning professional about the

hardest part of their job, and you'll likely hear

some variation of 'working with project

stakeholders and/or Subject Matter Experts

(SMEs).' Try as we might, getting everyone

working together effectively always seems to

be a struggle. But why is collaborating with

stakeholders and SMEs so challenging? And

how can you collaborate more effectively?

Those are the big questions we'll tackle here.

Along the way, I'll share tips for getting the

information, involvement, and feedback you

need to meet project deadlines, create great

e-learning, and build stronger partnerships.

Why is collaboration such a

challenge?

Getting what you need from others is tricky

simply because people are busy! With

stakeholders and SMEs, their time and

expertise are usually in short supply, making it

difficult to get their full attention.

Then, once you have their time and attention,

you might be faced with another trial, one

that's more complex for e-learning projects.

Your stakeholders can't zero in on what

information learners really need. This can lead

them to resist your efforts to pare down their

content.

They might even ask you why you can't

simply take their materials and 'put them

online' as is.

Sound familiar? If so, maybe you've always

acquiesced, thinking you can't say no without

making you or your team look bad. On the flip

side, failing to push back gives your

stakeholders the impression that your job is

simply to add some sparkle to their

PowerPoint slides. Not exactly a recipe for

building a collaborative relationship is it? So

how do you get your busy stakeholders to

trust you with their content.

How do I collaborate more

effectively?

Effective collaboration starts on day one of the

project and continues well beyond its delivery

to the training audience. This means it's

crucial to get things off to a good start.

Most e-learning projects start with a project

kick-off meeting. This is a great opportunity for

you to identify who's who on the team and lay

the groundwork for a cooperative relationship.

Here are a few tips to help you to achieve

those goals:

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