Having understood the role of training in increasing the potential and skillset of employees, most organizations today have set training and development teams in place. But an increasing number of them are still choosing to outsource their learning or training needs to professional eLearning vendors that offer different training services.
Outsourcing is a growing trend, becoming common in today’s challenging, fast-paced business world. Research shows that high-impact learning organizations outsource more learning services, allocating 20 percent of their training budgets to external providers. (Source: Chief Learning Officer).
And “Global Learning Services Outsourcing Market to reach $6.0 Billion by 2015” says the Global Industry Analysts.
While outsourcing content development or delivery is a very effective and an easy way to cut down costs, it may also involve unexpected costs or risks if the need is not properly evaluated. So any organization, before making a decision on whether to outsource or build in-house should answer these questions:
1. How capable is your internal team?
eLearning Courses Development requires specialized skills of need and content analysis, instructional designing, graphical components, courseware development tools and technical knowledge on delivery methods that go beyond the skill set of your internal staff.
2. How ready is your internal team?
Organizations usually have close deadlines or launch dates that have to be met; so it needs a dedicated team with focus and expertise. But the internal teams busy with their core responsibilities may delay the project. In-house teams cost more; so outsourcing can be the best option when you have fixed learning design standards, but your team is highly stretched for time.
3. What kind of information goes into it?
Some courses may include sensitive or confidential information that can be handed over only to the internal team. So it would be better if it can be handled to the internal team or else you should choose a trusted eLearning vendor who can take care of your confidential information. You can use legal agreements signed by the vendor, such as non-disclosures, if you are partnering with a new eLearning vendor.
4. Does the course development require project management control?
In order to get the best product outcome, you need to have a project management process in place like all other projects or else you may either not meet the deadlines or the expected quality may not come out. If you think your team can handle monitor, control and manage, then you can leave this on your internal teams’ shoulders.
But if it’s not a cake walk for your team, then you should think of outsourcing. eLearning Vendors commonly use the best project management tools or streamlined processes for developing the courses.
5. How can you keep the costs minimum?
Typically, the first reason organizations try to justify development resourcing to an internal team is costs. But, eLearning course development can become more expensive, if your organization lacks in-house expertise. And as we know, organizations are always under pressure to reduce expenses, and hiring an internal team of content developers, designers and developers can be an additional overhead.
Instead you can just outsource the development and get involved for reviews. This can free up your resources allowing them to concentrate more on their core responsibilities and also get a qualitative outcome. Also you can greatly cut down costs by outsourcing large volume work to a single eLearning vendor.
Do more with less and do only what’s right for your organization. Consider with respect to your internal skill set and then decide on what part of your eLearning development can be done internally and what can be outsourced.
I hope you found these insights useful. Do share your thoughts if you wish to add it to the list.