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5 Mistakes to Avoid in E-learning Outsourcing

Today’s business landscape is characterized by constant change and to adapt to this change, employees are required to hone their skills and competencies continually. In order to provide efficient training to employees, many organizations make the decision of partnering with e-learning vendors. While outsourcing brings benefits, it comes with its own set of challenges as well. Many organizations make mistakes in outsourcing implementation and choice of e-learning outsourcing partners. Before you go ahead with outsourcing your online training needs, be aware of these mistakes that need to be avoided.

Mistake #1: Jumping the Gun

Often, organizations make the mistake of jumping to the conclusion that outsourcing is the solution to a problem, without actually evaluating whether outsourcing is required. Let’s look at a hypothetical situation where you have an online training on sales skills for the geographically diverse sales teams in your organization. You notice that the number of people taking the course is very less. Instead of investigating the reasons, coming to the incorrect conclusion that the training program did not appeal to the sales workforce might actually do more harm than good. Looking at outsourcing as a quick fix and getting the entire training curricula revamped might not be the solution.

For all you know, the majority of the sales workforce might be highly mobile and unable to access the online training programs on their mobile devices. Imagine the expenses involved in redesigning the entire curricula for no reason. Outsourcing might still be the solution, but the solution could have been something as simple as making your online training programs responsive so that they are accessible on mobile devices. Remember that e-learning outsourcing development cannot provide the right solution when you have not understood the actual problem. 

Mistake #2: Outsourcing Only to Cut Cost

Whether you like it or not, training budget is always a decisive factor in e-learning outsourcing. While every business aims to cut costs, that cannot become the sole reason to outsource. Though outsourcing provides a return on investment, initially it will prove to be expensive as compared to getting an in-house team to design e-learning courses. Also, just because a vendor promises a low cost for project development, does not mean they will guarantee the best results. The cost of e-learning outsourcing is directly proportional to the complexity of the course, its duration, and the multimedia elements and interactivities used in the online training program. 

Mistake #3: Not Performing Needs Analysis

An e-learning outsourcing vendor always performs a needs analysis. But, that does not mean that you can skip this step. It is essential for you to conduct a needs analysis and understand why you need a particular training program in the first place.

Let’s say you need an e-learning course to improve the effectiveness of your sales force. If you do not communicate the objective of the training program, the end product might turn out to be contrary to what you expected. Before you go to an e-learning outsourcing provider, outline your content and write down the objectives the training program needs to achieve. 

Mistake #4: Following Task-Based Outsourcing

The primary need to outsource e-learning is to address the current training requirement. When you are looking for an outsourcing vendor who can fix the current need, it means you are following ad-hoc outsourcing, also known as task-based outsourcing.

This could prove to be a drawback in the long run. For example, you have just got an online compliance training program designed for the employees in your organization. What if you are asked to rollout this training program in multiple languages to cater to a geographically diverse workforce? If the vendor whom you partnered cannot handle course translations, you might need to spend time and resources looking for a suitable vendor.

It is always better to look at your long-term training needs. Meet with the stakeholders and make a list of the different kinds of training programs your organization might need. When there is a potential for long-term outsourcing, you can always negotiate for a lower rate and create a win-win strategy for both your organization as well as the outsourcing vendor. Remember that the results from e-learning outsourcing are always better when you opt for an outsourcing partner who can understand your business, its mission, and business processes.

Mistake #5: Not Evaluating the E-learning Outsourcing Provider

Do not miss out on evaluating the e-learning outsourcing provider thoroughly. Ask for references, sample e-learning courses, and videos to get an idea of the work done by the e-learning outsourcing vendor. Also, view a sample of translation projects if that is a training requirement you’ll need in future. If you are buying an LMS, ask for a walkthrough of the product. Check if the potential outsourcing partner shares organizational values that are similar to yours. When you have a well-defined evaluation process in place, you can be sure of taking the right decision.

After you’ve made your choice of the e-learning outsourcing provider, keep the communication flowing. Let the vendor know that is perfectly fine to approach you with problems and suggestions. Watch out for the mistakes listed above and you will have a smooth e-learning outsourcing process in place.

eLearning Development Outsourcing: A Comprehensive eGuide to Select the Right Vendor