One thing has always surprised me when doing elearning consulting projects, and it’s that nearly ever client failed to have a full-time instructional designer on their staff.
I suppose this was a good thing for my team since it meant more work for us, but I find it quite fascinating how today companies are still neglecting to bring in a true professional in this space.
The thing is, it wasn’t like these companies couldn’t afford to fill this kind of position – they were some of the biggest companies in the world.
One of the few exceptions was a project I did for a local state government – they actually had someone creating and maintaining their elearning. For the rest though, they were throwing dollars at consultants to do the work for them.
Consultants are certainly a smart option as you’re likely to get quality work out of a specialty shop. Plus, the projects that call for these firms are often too large for just a few people to handle. Ultimately though, the consultants leave, and with them so does their knowledge of the training program design, development, and implementation.
Hire Early & Benefit
Every company needs an instructional designer on their staff. I don’t mean some part-time position, or as one-of-many job responsibilities for some entry level HR Specialist. I mean a true ID that makes their living in the field and has a real passion for it.
Many of the larger companies prefer to bring in consulting firms to hammer out, and administer, new training. This is all well and good, but these same companies should also bring in a full-time instructional designer to join the team. This person should be working in the trenches with the consultants, learning everything about the program through every phase of the project.
Think about how much of an asset this individual immediately becomes to his employer. They now know the entire training program intimately from start to finish. How to edit content, where content has come from, why it exists, who the target audience is, and much more! Maintenance and quality assurance alone become much less costly to the organization because they have their own expert on-the-ground.
Cut Costs, Increase Profits
Hiring an instructional designer will help the organization maintain a high quality within their training materials, while at the same time reducing expenses from hiring outside firms for maintenance and re-work. Without a capable, knowledgeable instructional designer, the training beings to go stale – and a workforce trained on dated material does more damage than good.
If you are considering hiring an ID professional, then do it. Your bottom line will only benefit in the long-run.