The Monster Garage of eLearning

Have you seen Jesse James on the Discovery Channel's Monster Garage?
Each week Jesse and his handpicked team create a customized vehicle to dazzle and amaze you. So what does this have to do with eLearning? Read on...

Big boys like big toys

Did you see the episode when the:
* Cadillac Escalade becomes a tailgate party?
* DeLorean is transformed into a hovercraft?, or the
* Scary monster Santa float as it makes it debut in a parade?

WOW they were great... and it got me thinking...Jesse's approach to monster car design is directly related to leading successful eLearning programs. Here's why...

Each episode starts with a sketch of the "dream machine" and Jesse's verbal description of what he expects the machine to do. Just like Jesse's articulated vision, the training project leader has to be able to articulate the program vision and expectations to his boss and the team. If you can't describe the training purpose, it's time to re-think the project!

The Monster Garage rules are simple: 1) When completed, the monster machine must appear to be stock. 2) The team can spend no more than $3,000 cash for parts. 3) Jesse and his crew have only seven days and nights to design, build and race the machine.

So let's relate this to your training team... Have you taken time to create a simple set of rules for your team? Maybe you should take a lesson from the Monster Garage pit crew and make this a priority!

For the record, Jesse doesn't take NO for an answer, and whining is NOT an option. Hmmm... yet another good project managment tip!

Each Monster Garage project starts with a day of planning Even though the team is running on a very short time schedule, the first full day is set aside for PLANNING. Then the construction begins.

How often have you been tasked with developing a huge training project and no one really bothered to schedule time to PLAN? Using the Monster Garage analogy, if you are planning a 5 week development process, a full week should be devoted to planning. This is a good rule of thumb with about 20% of the project time should be spent in planning. Why? Because you can clearly articulate expectations, conduct essential research, collect information from a variety of stakeholders and produce a solid strategy for achieving the stated objectives. Keep in mind if you fail to plan, you plan to fail...

Just like the Monster Garage creations, online learning projects are big beasts and require a team effort. Jesse assembles his "dream team" based upon individual areas of expertise. He has welders, mechanics, fabricators and custom air-brush painters. His team must make the transformed vehicle not only look good, but "deliver on the promise" of functionality.

Likewise, the training project manager sets the scope with clearly defined roles and responsiblities for each team member:

Researchers determine existing content to leverage and competitive information as well. Instructional designers look for ways to create standardized templates that facilitate the learning process. They create the instruction sequence and determine the best way to create meaningful activities for accountable training. Programmers must produce solid error-free code. Developers take raw content and create lessons while the graphic artist adds visual elements with graphics, animations and color cues. The tighter you define roles and keep people on-track, the better. When it all comes together, a training project is truly a work of art.

And finally....the moment of truth and accountability happens...will the monster creation work? Jesse always takes "the dream machine" out for that victory spin. Just like the monster's moment of truth, it is inspirational when the AHA moment (light bulb) happens for your students in your beta test. It is fun to see students demonstrate proficiences from the training you created.

When your training team is successful and your training customer are happy, it's a win-win!! You accomplished what you set out to do. We thank Jesse James and the Monster Garage for his inspiration on project management!

Karen Miller has over twenty years experience in applying instructional systems design principles to create blended training solutions. She consistently delivers web-based training products on-time, under budget while exceeding customer expectations. She is a national training award winner (ASTD'98, ISPI'02), published author, adjunct college professor and an ISPI-Certified Performance Technologist. Her company, Instructional Design Consortium provides instructional expertise and USA-based outsourcing services for the design, development and delivery of online training.

In The News:

5 Ways SEO & Web Design Go Together  Search Engine Journal
What is the Purpose of Your Website?  Business 2 Community
What Is Web Design?  Technology Zimbabwe
The 10 Best Web Design Books  Best gaming pro
Work from Home, Earn and Be Your Own Boss  United News of Bangladesh
WePlay! Mad Moon Schedule  European Gaming Industry News
Website Design Trends For 2020  Hotel News Resource
2020 Web Design Trends  Business 2 Community
Seven web design mistakes that hurts user experience  Business MattersBusiness Matters

Why Choose A Professional Web Designer?

It seems that almost every Tom Dick and Harry do... Read More

Web Production And Design Tips

You have identified that to have an internet prescence would... Read More

Online Businesses Still Ignoring Dial-up Market

In this article you will find the parallel between two... Read More

6 Design Flaws Newbie Web Designers Make: Fool Everyone Into Thinking You Know What Youre Doing

Even if you're not an accomplished webmaster you can still... Read More

No Matr How Goud The Infomation...

Typos, misspellings, hideous grammar, exclamation overkill and run-on sentences all... Read More

Understanding How HTML Color Codes Work

Ever wonder how HTML color codes are put together? For... Read More

Why Long Web Pages are Better than Short Ones

Many Internet sites that try to sell you something have... Read More

Building a One-page Website

You've designed your logo, and you're ready to print your... Read More

Other Ways to Look at Things

Many people today are tired of the Microsoft software that... Read More

The Proper Way to Use Images

Most people will agree there is nothing more annoying than... Read More

Custom Icons For Your Specific Brand

Developing a software application is not easy at all; apart... Read More

How to Force Your Visitors to Order Immediately!

This may comes as a surprise to you but, if... Read More

Get Rid of Your Frames

A few years ago a lot of websites utilized frame... Read More

Save Time and Boost Profits with Free Content

Public domain gives you a head start creating ebooks, ecourses,... Read More

Use Exclusive Content - When Reprint Articles Dont Do Enough

There is no doubt that reprint articles can serve lots... Read More

A Crash Course on Graphic Philosophy 101

Novice and professional graphic designers, we are aware that you... Read More

The Key to Getting More Magic Shows Booked Online

This article is the result of a conversation I had... Read More

10 seconds is all it takes? (How to grab the attention of your audience with your web site)

FACT: 30 to 60% of visitors tend to drop off... Read More

Five Common Web Design Mistakes

There are often many mistakes encountered when creating a webpage... Read More

Website Background Colors and Graphics: What You Need to Know Before Designing Your Website

Designing your website means you have to be creative, plan... Read More

How to Find Inexpensive Web Design

Web design is a very competitive area and there is... Read More

Web Crimes: how to avoid common website design mistakes

Thinking about designing your own website? Think again about adding... Read More

Web Design: Should You Hire Someone or Do It Yourself?

So you need a website. You are not sure if... Read More

How To Choose A Website Designer

When you're self-employed, choosing a website designer is a crucial... Read More

7 Ways of Building Customers Trust With Your Web Site

When I purchase something from a web site I first... Read More