If you plan to host a party at home and the guest list is limited, hiring a temporary cook is the right thing to do. But if you invite a large number of people, you will need several hands to help you. In this case, you will approach a big catering service provider. Isn’t it so?
It is the same with e-learning course requirements. Most of the time, learning and development mangers face the dilemma of choosing between a temporary learning consultant or a project vendor for their e-learning course requirements.
In this blog I would like to highlight some points on whether to hire a temporary learning consultant or to outsource the project to an external vendor. But before that, let us see who e-learning consultants and e-learning vendors are.
E-learning Consultants: E-learning consultants are professionals with expertise in the e-learning domain and are hired to provide services or guidelines on e-learning course development projects. Learning consultants are generally self-directed and do whatever it takes to bring about solutions which fulfill client requirements.
E-learning Vendors: E-learning vendors have the expertise and comprehensive instructional designing, graphic and visual designing , project management skills, and knowledge on courseware authoring tools – knowledge required to develop a customized e-Learning course. They are experts in their field. They usually provide innovative learning solutions for large learning requirements according to client needs.
Now let’s see some tips which which will help you choose between an e-learning vendor and an e-learning consultant.
- Cost: Cost is one of the most important things to be considered. Several costs such as man power, technological costs etc, are involved in an e-learning project . If you require a team of 1-3 people in your e-learning course, then an e-learning consultant is the best option, but if you need huge manpower then you should go for an e-learning project vendor. E-learning vendors help you save time, cost and get positive ROI.
- Project Requirement: If you have a project requirement that can’t be handled by a single learning consultant, outsourcing to a project vendor is the best option. Project vendors will have large teams which can easily handle such big projects.
- Project Management : If you hire a single learning consultant, it will be very easy to communicate and co-ordinate with them, but if you hire learning consultants for various tasks, it becomes very tough to communicate with them and integrate their works within a limited time period. On the contrary, vendors will have a project manager for each course development team. Project managers are experts in handling projects. They know how to tackle time, budget and various project management parameters to deliver the best results to clients. The development team will co-ordinate and integrate their work under the guidance of the project manager.
- Quality Requirement: Quality requirement is also one of the criteria for selection between a vendor and consultant. Selecting a vendor partner or a single learning consultant depends on the quality of project you want. If you have a project in which various skills are required, then hiring a learning consultant is not a good idea. You should go for a project vendor in this case, as project vendors will have highly diverse teams with instructional designers, project managers, visual designers, etc.
- Time on Hand: Time is one of the major factors to be considered when selecting between project vendors and learning consultants. If you want the project to be delivered within a short period of time, then it is recommended to go for a project vendor because they have large teams and can deliver quickly. Managing the learning consultants is time consuming and increases complexity.
- Risk Level: There is a high level of risk with e-learning consultants. Suppose you approach a learning consultant for one project, it may be possible he or she may not be available the next time. But this will rarely happen with a project vendor company. Project vendor companies are very professional and assuredly deliver the project on time. They utilize developers based on the project requirement and availability of staff. Hence, they pose a very low risk.
If you require guidance for your e-learning project, you should hire a e-learning consultant.
But if you require extra pair of hands for a limited time period, then a project vendor company is your best choice.