How to Write a Business Case for Outsourcing E-Learning Development
If you have responsibility for training in your company, one of the best ways to convince senior management to outsource e-learning is to build a business case.
Without a strong business case, senior management might look at e-learning as simply a cost, without looking at the benefits. Also, they may look at e-learning as an investment in technology when, in reality, it is an investment in training and enhancing the skills of employees.
How do you create a compelling business case to convince senior management that outsourcing e-learning is the way to go?
Below are some tips on the main benefits that senior managers are likely to be interested in when reviewing a business case document. After that, you will find a brief overview of a sample e-learning business case structure.
Benefits of E-Learning You Can Include in Your Business Case
- Stay ahead of the competition – in most industries in Dubai and the surrounding region, the competition for talent is intense. This applies to other parts of the world too, leading to corporations investing heavily in staff retention policies and initiatives. A key part of that is providing employees with training opportunities to help them enhance their skills. E-learning fits into this perfectly.
- Meets the needs of learners – employees in the modern corporate environment often don’t regard traditional classroom-based training as being an efficient use of their time. Instead, they want something delivered to them digitally, that puts them in control. In addition, they want to use their phones, particularly younger generations, and they want immediate access to information. Outsourcing e-learning development delivers on all these requirements.
- Tailored to business needs – e-learning strategies are completely flexible, so can be tailored to your business needs. For example, you could build a library of e-learning courses to facilitate just-in-time learning. You can also offer automated personalised training plans to employees and you can build in feedback and research tools, so you can measure the success of the course through a range of different metrics.
- Reduce costs compared to other forms of training – it can also often be helpful to go into the basics of why e-learning can benefit your business. At the top of this list is the fact that e-learning, even outsourced e-learning, is cheaper than classroom-based training sessions. If you have a disparate workforce based in multiple locations, those savings are often substantial.
- Lower cost than developing e-learning in-house – the above point addresses the cost benefits of e-learning compared to classroom-based training. In addition, outsourcing e-learning is actually less costly than developing the e-learning materials in-house. When you develop in-house, you might need to hire new employees, upskill employees, purchase an LMS (Learning Management System), etc. These are all long-term commitments and costs that are not required when you outsource.
- Better quality than developing in-house – following on from the last point, you will also get a better-quality end-result when you outsource e-learning development. This is because good e-learning developers have a range of essential skills on their teams. This includes technical and visual design skills, both of which are important. Equally, important, however, is instructional design skills. In other words, good e-learning developers know how to design learning materials that facilitate learning, improve results, and make learning more enjoyable.
- Easy to deploy – another big benefit of e-learning is that it is easy to deploy. Plus, when you outsource e-learning development, you don’t have to worry about device compatibility issues as your developer will have all that covered.
- Success rates are measurable, so return on investment is measurable – last but definitely not least, e-learning results are measurable. This means you will be able to provide senior management with reports that include figures showing return on investment.
What Your Business Case Should Include
To help you further with the process of writing a business case for outsourcing e-learning development, here is a sample structure for the document:
- Explanation of the current training strategy and its shortcomings – start by explaining how you deliver training to employees now. Remember, don’t assume senior management understands the process or the challenges you face, so make sure you outline the key points.
- Advantages of e-learning – you should then use the points above to highlight the general benefits of e-learning.
- Advantages of outsourcing development – you then need to describe why outsourcing is the best approach to e-learning development.
- How the process works – it can also be helpful to give some detail on how the process works. You don’t have to go into specifics, but this can be important, particularly if members of senior management have concerns about a third-party developer being able to grasp what your business does.
- Explain the costs – you will need to include details of the cost of outsourcing e-learning development too.
- Explain the savings and the predicted return on investment – finally, explain how much the business will save by outsourcing e-learning development and how this translates to return on investment.
One final tip – talk to your preferred e-learning developer when preparing the business case. They will be able to help you with the information you need to make it as compelling as possible.