Outsourcing eLearning Development Benefits And Drawbacks
In this article, PulseLearning explore 4 important pros and cons of outsourcing eLearning development.
4 Pros Of Outsourcing eLearning Development
- You reduce development costs.
Unless your organization produces a steady flow of ongoing eLearning, it may be less expensive to outsource development rather than have a full-time developer in house. By outsourcing eLearning development, you access not only the human resources required for the job but also the technological resources, including hardware and software. This alone can greatly reduce your ongoing expenses incurred from acquiring and upgrading technology.
- You save time by working across time zones.
Outsourcing eLearning development to a vendor in a different time zone can significantly reduce development timelines. Feedback can be sent at the end of your business day for an outsourced team to pick up and implement before you get back to work in the morning.
- You gain instant expertise.
By outsourcing development work to a vendor specializing in eLearning projects, you instantly access their skills and knowledge. It’s likely that the vendor will have already developed similar projects, so they will be equipped to offer advice and solutions for improving the functionality of your product.
- You decrease resourcing issues.
If you do have a full-time eLearning developer in house, you could consider outsourcing to increase output when your team is at capacity. Engaging an external vendor can help you ramp up your development as required by augmenting your team without additional staffing.
4 Cons Of Outsourcing eLearning Development
- Communication misunderstandings.
Your instruction and direction needs to be crystal clear for your chosen vendor. Consider that the language you use within your organization might have a different meaning to outsiders. If you are dealing with an outsourced development team for whom English is not a first language, ensure instructions are given literally, avoiding ambiguous language.
- Loss of control.
In handing over your eLearning project for external development, you will need to let go and place trust into the vendor to whom you have outsourced the work. If you have concerns about quality or are working with a vendor for the first time, you could ask for a short demo version to be created initially so glitches can be rectified early. You should also ask for regular status updates and always keep communication channels open.
- Compromised quality.
The vendor might have a different idea about what a high-quality product looks like. Before engaging a vendor, ask to see samples of their work; this is especially important if you are looking for a team who can inject creativity into your product. Be aware that different vendors will have their own interpretation of what it means to use initiative to solve development problems, especially if it requires veering away from your instructions.
- Unexpected delays.
With your eLearning outsourced and out of your control, there could be unexpected circumstances that arise that could cause delays to your timeline. For example, the development team might have a technology issue or urgent requirement that takes priority. Try to gain insight early in the process about the vendor’s attitude to missing deadlines and realize that sense of accountability can vary between cultures.