You may have many wonderful ideas that include the use of technology to enhance the way students learn and interact with each other. The problem is how to get them past the gatekeepers.

Who are the gatekeepers?

Gatekeepers are typically the departments that usually hinder new ideas for eLearning projects. The reason for this is their inability to realize what you are attempting to do. They set their sights only on their own department and can’t see the bigger picture.

What is the problem?

Not everyone sees what you are attempting to do. You just want to change somebody’s life for the good by turning your ideas into reality.

A simple email to these gatekeepers / stakeholders in which you share your ideas just won’t cut the ice. What exactly can you do to get your ideas approved and going?

First you will have to organize a meeting between the stakeholders and the gatekeepers. The robust and open discussions between different departments within the organization can become amusing! If you can even one key stakeholder to back up your concept, that can help you get your message across.

Sometimes an eLearning specialist just doesn’t have a clear and detailed understanding of your project and doesn’t know how it will help the organization. Your argument may then very well fall on deaf ears. This often happens. It’s like walking into a kangaroo court: To win them over you must start by proving that you are innocent.

So how can you win over the gatekeepers?

This is a tough question. I don’t have an exact answer, but here are a few suggestions you can try out:

1. Justify again and again

Keep on justifying why the project is rewarding to the participating students. This will improve your chances of getting it approved.

2. Refer to other projects

Show projects, be it inside or outside your own company, that are similar to that which you propose and explain why they are successful.

3. Conduct a survey to support your project

It helps to present your ideas together with hard facts. They show that you’ve done some research to support your concepts.

4. Plan and promote a support mechanism for the project to move forward

Provide tools and mechanisms to overcome resistance and to show the project will be supported when moving forward.

5. If possible, get an external third party to corroborate your idea on industry level

This can be risky as it can cost you money. But if you’re able to get your idea approved by an industry expert, it adds merit to your proposed project.

6. Determine the ROI of your Project if you can

If you can create a document showing Return On Investment (ROI), you might get the backing of the financial department, which will be a great help.

7. Run a risk analysis

Providing an analysis of risks and dangers of the project shows that you’ve done a thorough research.

8. Believe in what you can accomplish

Convincing the gatekeepers to accept your innovative ideas is never going to be easy. But keep trying nevertheless and look past the gatekeepers to visualize the students who will successfully use the technology you’re proposing.

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