36% of the projects that companies initiate do not deliver the business outcomes they set out to achieve, and when an ill-planned project fails, an average of one-third of that project’s budget is wasted.
For L&D professionals trying to deliver really engaging e-learning courses, these facts can be pretty de-motivating: we know that great creative input is likely to be the making of a successful e-learning course, but we fear that bad creative judgement might be what ultimately throws our project off the rails. When organisations like the Project Management Institute tell us that bad project planning and lack of clear process puts more than £1,200 at risk for every £10,000 we spend, it’s understandable when L&D professionals opt to take things safe.
Maximising creativity usually means trying new things, with new people, to deliver new outcomes. This environment is always stimulating, but it’s really only risky when everything that everyone is doing is new. As one of the UK’s leading providers of custom e-learning, we’ve been lucky enough to develop really powerful collaborations with some of Britain’s biggest corporates. These partnerships work because the skills, creativity and know-how we bring to the party is counterbalanced by the insight, background knowledge and clarity that exists within the internal team.
Here are our top three tips for L&D professionals about to commission some custom e-learning:
Finding just the right custom e-learning people for a particular learning need may be more difficult that you think, so allocate ample time and resources to the tending process and ensure you see and talk to as many suppliers as you possibly can. This up-front investment will pay dividends not only because you’ll be able to choose a supplier from a wide range of options, but because every time you talk about your learning requirement to anyone, the requirement itself will become better defined.
Never lose sight of how you intend to demonstrate ROI back to the business once your custom e-learning has gone live. Ensure your provider can detail exactly how they intend to help you deliver your clearly defined learning objectives in terms of demonstrable and measurable outcomes. This all takes careful consultation between you and your e-learning course designers, who should be able to explain the framework for the course design process to you, and be able to work flexibly to accommodate your timescales along the way.
Custom e-learning should mean just that. Designed for your people, talking in the language of your brand, with content that delivers knowledge in an original and engaging way, just as if your most valued in-house trainer was there in the room. Make sure you know how well a potential supplier understands the subject matter to be communicated and ask what processes they will deploy if ever additional expertise in your specific business area is required.