Considering the Project Manager in the Instructional Design Process


January 9, 2013 by idinnovation


Project management emerged from traditional management in the 1950’s due to the emergence of complex projects associated with innovative technological trends and the need to adequately manage projects that were supported by a variety of stakeholders and contractors (Fabac, 2006).  According to the course text a project is a temporary venture undertaking to create a unique product or service that is targeted and specific which requires timely completion, is generally multidisciplinary and requires the management of conflicts (Portny, Mantel, Meredith, Shafer, & Sutton, 2008).  There are many definitions of project management.  Fabac (2006) contends that project management is the application of skills, tools, knowledge and applicable techniques to accurately project activities to meet or exceed stakeholder project expectations.


This is accomplished by balancing the demands of the scope, time, cost and quality or training, as well as managing the various stakeholder needs and expectations, and having the ability to identify both the identified needs and unidentified expectations of the project.

Portny, Mantel, Meredith, Shafer, & Sutton (2008) define project management as the process of directing a project from beginning to end which includes planning, organizing and controlling.

The skill set required by project managers differs from those required by instructional designers.

Brandon (2004) contends that instructional design (ID) and project management (PM) are two distinct parts of an instructional system that complement each other rather than duplicate.


The perspectives of the ID and PM are quite different in that the ID doesn’t consider it a project until the analysis is complete and the PM doesn’t consider it a project until the stakeholders are identified and there is a scope and budget.

The following blogs will cover topics concerning the role of Instructional Designers and Project Managers and how they influence the priorities during the initial phase of an instructional design (ID) project. Special attention will be given to the role of the instructional designer as a project manager and how to engage various stakeholders in an ID project in order to avoid potential hurdles.  The final blog for this course will offer my reflections on how project management skills, strategies, and methods correlate to my future career aspirations.


Brandon, B. (2004, October 11). Closing the Loop in e-Learning Development: How to reconnect instructional design and project management. Learning Solutions Magazine. Retrieved from

Fabac, J. N. (2006). Project management for systematic training.  Advances in Developing Human Resources, 8(4), 540-547.

Portny, S. E., Mantel, S. J., Meredith, J. R., Shafer, S. M., Sutton, M. M., & Kramer, B. E. (2008). Project management: Planning, scheduling, and controlling projects. Hoboken, NJ: John Wiley & Sons, Inc.

2 thoughts on “Considering the Project Manager in the Instructional Design Process

  1. Hello Sharifa,

    Even though we’re in different sections, I’m still looking forward to sharing in your blogging activities. Please check your Bulk Email for an invitation to follow my blog.

    Synthea R. Freeman

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