Outsourcing eLearning development is an established model, and it has been used for the last couple of decades. As a result, there are plenty of pointers available that you can use to reach out to potential partners to outsource work to as well as guidelines on how to evaluate and select.
At EI Design, we have been offering these services for over 16 years and have had the privilege of working as partners for several organizations across the world. All these relationships (some of them over a decade-long) began with small projects and over time have grown to strategic partnerships.
If you are reading this article, you are either evaluating the outsourcing of your eLearning development for the first time or are looking for new partners. What has changed and what more needs to be done so that you can build for success?
In this article, I will share my practical insights on this aspect (the changing landscape that is triggering the need to change your learning strategy) that would help you in selecting a new partner who will align effectively to meet your mandate.
While there can be several reasons to outsource, most often, it is a strategic investment to stay competitive. It certainly brings the costs down. However, today’s need is to achieve lower costs plus significantly higher value through outsourcing strategy for your eLearning.
You have more options to pick from today-you have a wide range of potential partners onshore, nearshore as well as offshore.
Your needs are highly dynamic. While you may accomplish the part of evaluation and selection of the partner to outsource your eLearning development, how do you ensure that the same partner will be able to keep pace with the changing landscape? So, how can you build for success? This is exactly where I hope my pointers would help.
Before I share these pointers that can help you enhance your eLearning outsourcing strategy, let me begin with the following 3 key aspects that are part of your outsourcing process:
Before you embark on the journey to evaluate a potential partner to outsource eLearning development, consider the following points:
*NOTE: As you would note, this has a bearing on the partner selection. For the first situation (outsourcing specific projects and short-term partnership), it is easier to identify a partner as your needs and expectations are very specific and definitive.
In the second situation, as you seek a long-term partnership, the evaluation metrics become more complex as you need to assess the partner’s capability to not only meet your current requirements but also offer scalability in future. Since the landscape of learning solution designs is changing so rapidly, how do you determine if the selected partner will be able to align as effectively to the ever-changing landscape? I will touch upon this significant bit through my pointers.
In our experience, we have noted the following typical gains organizations seek:
The key outcome of outsourcing your eLearning is that it clears your bandwidth enabling you to focus on the following crucial aspects:
As you complete Step 1, you have clarity on why you opt to outsource your eLearning development and what gains it will provide.
In this stage, or else Step 2, you need to shortlist or identify the way forward through:
Each of these options has pros and cons, and you can assess their suitability once you plot them against the gains you aim to see through outsourcing your eLearning development.
For outsourcing strategy for eLearning development to be successful, you need a partner who can work closely with you across the stages of information gathering, Training Needs Analysis, learning strategy determination, implementation, and ongoing evaluation of impact.
But this is not all.
With constantly changing dynamics on account of business as well as learner expectations (notably, learning on the go, immersive learning designs, engaging high impact formats), your wish list on what capabilities the partner should bring in increases manifold.
In my practical experience, I see that successful partnership needs to have:
I see eLearning development companies falling into one of the following four quadrants on ‘Price’ versus ‘Value’:
The magic point is the partner who can offer “Low price, High value”.
I share my list of 10 parameters that would help you in meeting your outsourcing mandate, offset some of the challenges that such endeavors have, and create a partnership that will scale and align to your business goals.
I hope this article provides pointers that you can use as you evaluate and select the right partner to craft an effective and successful outsourcing strategy for your eLearning. If you have any queries, do contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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I work as a Project Lead at EI Design where I develop the visual design for client projects. My focus is to provide end products as per the client’s design and requirement. This puts me in a position where I need to understand core client requirements. I achieve this by communicating efficiently across the different domains that are involved in the project. As a Visual Designer, my focus is to develop eye-catching products that not only capture the imagination of end-users but also enhance their learning capabilities through our innovative technologies.
I begin my day by looking at the immediate tasks and deliverables at hand. My supervising manager overlooks the tasks for the day and assigns them according to individual competencies. I go through emails and prioritize my tasks accordingly. It helps me plan and execute my activities way ahead of delivery deadlines.
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My role at EI Design requires me to don multifaceted capabilities, starting from consulting with clients on Instructional Design requirements, strategizing learning approaches and handling presales opportunities as a Solution Architect, managing a domain with diverse skillsets, to innovating and exploring new learning design trends.
Through my journey at EI Design, I have learned to appreciate the value of Learning Innovation, Customer Relationship Management, and the power of Instructional Design in ensuring the required Behavioral Change mandates per end stakeholders. The sheer magnitude of the domain and the impact it creates on the learning landscape is impetus enough to innovate and accelerate every day.
I like to start early and plan my Urgent-Important matrix to begin. The whole day is an artful juggle between a Domain Head and a Solution Architect, with periodic connects with teams and customers. A perfect wrap-up would entail ticking off items in the matrix with tangible outcomes or action plans. Innovation and thought leadership are a constant underlying message in everything I do.
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As a part of the Design Strategy Team, I communicate with internal and external stakeholders on the strategy for design and the visual experience aspects. I also contribute to presales stages in creating design strategies and mock-ups that make our products stand out among the rest.
I constantly contribute to Learning and Development at the organizational level (specific trainings on design trends, best practices, knowledge sharing, and so on.) In addition, I guide and ensure that designers follow design briefs, guidelines, and prototypes in various stages of product development.
I receive my work at the beginning of the week and so I begin my day reviewing the previous week’s progress and then move on to the tasks allotted to me for the next week. On other days, I just go about my tasks according to the priorities assigned to them.
Apart from this, I coordinate with the Visual Design Team to assist with issues such as design variance, alterations, and clarifications. Most of my day is either spent in brainstorming fresh ideas for new projects or helping other domains carry out the functional aspects of our design strategies.
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I work with the Quality Assurance Team at EI Design, co-ordinating with multiple domains (ID, VA, Tech, and VD) to deliver exceptional product experiences for learners. It is my duty to ensure that the developers are equipped with accurate information in order to fix/uplift the product experience. I also bridge the gap between developers/testers and the client to provide clarity on the feedback received from client. In conclusion, I can say that I drive the quality of work generated across domains and monitor the performance of domains, teams, and individuals using Quality Measurement Analysis reports.
My day begins with organizing the activities for the day, checking emails for client responses, and allocating task to my team, depending on the ongoing projects on floor and the deliverables planned. Apart from this, on a regular day, I would receive client calls, conduct meetings, and communicate project requirements with my team and other domains that require my help. At the end of the day, I conduct status checks across all ongoing projects reviewed on the day and assess their progress. This helps me to ensure a high standard in the quality of work generated across all the products at EI Design.
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As a Senior Business Development Manager at EI Design, my main role is business mining, building new opportunities for our business.
I drive revenue for the business and build relationships with clients to expand our business. I help clients solve monotonous training challenges through engaging approaches and ensure smooth transaction throughout the project lifecycle. I am responsible for generating the customer satisfaction survey for EI Design, where I gather feedback from end-users and convey it to the client. I mentor new employees that join the business development domain and ensure that they are aligned to the business needs along with process training.
During my close to 2 years tenure at EI Design, I have helped achieve the committed revenue for the business and retained various clients. With the constant support of my team, I continue to ensure that our clients’ journey through the entire project lifecycle is hassle-free.
Reaching out to clients and presenting the best eLearning solutions is the core of my everyday life at EI Design. I ensure that all customer satisfaction surveys are delivered to clients while also continuing to work on building new business for EI Design. On a monotonous day at office, I ensure to build energy within the team and keep them motivated.
Work till you need no introduction.
I joined EI Design as a Quality Analyst and worked my way up to become an Associate Project Manager. I now help my team plan their daily tasks and provide the necessary guidance to meet project deadlines accordingly.
My role at EI Design involves the delivery of quality products to all our clients and address their concerns and queries through multiple stages of the project life cycle.
A majority of my work deals with managing various project requirements from numerous clients from across the globe. A regular day for me is getting involved in various meetings with team members, and attending client calls. I always ensure that I have a positive approach toward the projects that I handle. The environment around me is reciprocative and the support helps me overcome any obstacles within the project. Even so, it is important that I take crucial decisions at critical moments and ease the pressure off my team and maintain a smooth process flow. Apart from this, we normally take breaks to refresh ourselves and find ways to keep each other motivated.
Every time you come across a challenge you need to face it than avoid it. It will help you grow professionally as well as personally.
As the Project Lead at EI Design, my role involves supporting my team in delivering quality products and managing iterations. I am also responsible for coordinating multiple projects with clients across the globe. I am perpetually involved in supervising and guiding my team through the numerous tasks that come our way. It is my duty to ensure smooth functioning of daily processes and drive my team to deliver quality, while maintaining consistency.
My day at EI Design begins with a stand-up meeting where I assess my team’s workload, create a list of deliverables, and distribute tasks to team members accordingly.
It is my top priority to make sure that the team’s dependencies are taken care of and that there are no obstacles in project deliverables throughout the day.
Even so, there are times when I too would not be able to resolve an issue. But the speed and enthusiasm with which my team responds to escalations is a quality that I admire.
We normally get into discussions to check the difficulties faced by each member and find solutions to avoid them in future.
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I never knew my journey at EI design would be so rewarding and fulfilling. I have never felt the curiosity and enthusiasm drop over the time I’ve spent at EI Design, mainly due to the amazing work culture that we support. My seniors at EI design have always provided me the support and guidance I needed to grow as a professional. Not only have I been surrounded by brilliant professionals – people that I can look up to and take inspiration from – but there have been so many opportunities for me to develop and progress.
I work with EI Design as a Technology Manager and provide innovative technology solutions for our projects. I am also part of the Innovation and Solution Architecting Team, where we explore new tools and technologies in the market and come up with strategies to integrate them into our projects. As part of the Solution Architecting Team, I am constantly involved in providing futuristic solutions to clients. We, at EI Design, believe in pushing the boundaries of learning by making it creative and fun.
I start my day with early morning workouts to make sure that I am physically active and carry the same energy throughout the day. Most of my days begin with meetings to ensure that we are on track with ongoing projects. I detail the information provided in these meeting to concerned team members and keep project deliverables on track.
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“Stepping out of your comfort zone and trying new things is the best way to grow”.