Choosing the right custom eLearning company is a tall order. The outcome needs to successfully address one or many reasons because of which you began the process of outsourcing. In this article I will build upon the evaluation process and provide tips on how you can choose a custom eLearning company in India using my checklist.
How To Choose A Custom eLearning Company In India?
In my article How to evaluate a custom eLearning company in India I had shared my insight on top 6 criteria for evaluation. Here is a recap of the key aspects to focus on during your evaluation process:
- Capability and expertise.
- Size and capability to scale.
- Development process.
- Pricing model.
- Infrastructure and measures to protect your IP
Choosing the right custom eLearning company is a tall order. The outcome needs to successfully address the reason(s) that triggered your outsourcing initiative.
Just to recap from my earlier article Too Many eLearning Companies in India – How to Find the Best?, your decision to outsource could have been driven by:
- Scaling (to handle higher volumes).
- Reducing the time to market.
- Reduction in cost.
- Access to talent that you do not have.
- Addition of more innovative solutions to your portfolio.
In this article I will build upon the evaluation process and provide tips on how you can choose a custom eLearning company in India.
Choosing the right custom eLearning company in India should be driven by your assessment of qualities they must have and that will ensure that you are laying the foundation of a mutually beneficial and long term relationship. The cost of re-evaluation is high in case your initial choice does not work and often you may not get the required management support to do the exercise all over again.
I will provide you a checklist that will help you choose the right custom eLearning company in India. I have mapped each facet to a set of probing questions and how they will have an impact on the success of your outsourcing initiative.
- What is their focus?
Ask what their focus on custom eLearning development is.
Tip: This should map to 50% or more of their revenue. In turn, you get the assurance of the required support in the long run. If custom eLearning is their primary business, they will invest on enhancing skills, portfolio, and continuous improvement.
- What are their credentials?
Ask for their prior record in similar relationships.
Tip: Specifically ask the duration of each engagement and assess what percentage of these is long term. You need their longevity record to be more certain of how your relationship will be handled.
Ask for the resumes of the team that will be aligned to you, including Project Managers, Instructional Designers, Visual Designers, Technical Experts, and Quality Auditors.
Tip: Check on their talent nurturing and retention plans. This will provide good cues on how likely you are to continue with the team you ran your pilot with!
- Clear and well-defined process.
Ask for the process, supporting assets, and more specifically, how flexible their work-flow is to handle your requirement. Ask for assets being used on some projects to determine how effectively the prescribed processes are followed.
Tip: Check for the periodicity of updates to the existing work-flow. Ask about the AGILE practices.
Ask what drives their solution architecting. Ascertain if their solutions are driven by tools or learning experience.
Tip: Check if their solutions are based on learner performance and how they will create a positive impact on the business. Ascertain if they take a consultative approach to craft the right solution.
- Meeting deadlines (while sustaining quality).
Ask how they manage the schedules. Particularly check on the impact (if any) when concurrent projects happen.
Tip: Ask this question during the reference checks.
- Risk management and mitigation.
Ask about their framework and how exactly risks would be communicated to you (including their mitigation plan).
Tip: Ask how this learning will be factored in subsequent projects.
Ask about their framework for collaboration between distributed teams. Specifically ask about the coverage to handle time zone challenges.
Tip: Ascertain the effectiveness of their communication and collaboration during the reference checks.
Ask if this exists and, if so, how exactly this is driven. Ascertain if this is indeed part of their DNA.
Tip: Ascertain the outcomes and some success stories and certainly check this during the reference checks.
- Pricing model.
Ascertain that there are no hidden costs.
Tip: I have mentioned this at the end, although it is a very significant factor. This is because you need to weigh all of the aforementioned facets against your basic outsourcing cost to determine if the model will be feasible.
I hope this information will help you choose a custom eLearning company in India that will help you succeed in your outsourcing initiative.