Home » Instructional Design » Pivot Your Online Training by Outsourcing

by Adrian West and Ronnie Duncan

So many people have lamented 2020 as the year to forget. The COVID pandemic has hit with such a fierce vengeance that we can hardly help feeling stricken, even if we have not tested positive for the virus. Employers remain in a serious quandary for how best to keep business moving and income streams flowing.

In the world of Learning & Development, before Covid, Instructor Led Training (ILT) was the rule among corporate L&D groups. Large numbers of trainees were flown into headquarters locations where they checked into hotels, christened their expense accounts, and began a days-long or weeks-long journey of facilitated training. For most of us, that era is now gone.

Where are you now??

Our new world is chock full of online meetings (Zoom, MS Teams, Webex, etc.). At the onset of the pandemic, Learning & Development groups scrambled to repurpose ILT to webinars. Unfortunately, recording ILT sessions into virtual learning sessions is both ineffective and unappealing.  Learners on webinars surf the web, check email, etc., and pay very little attention. Now that it has become obvious that we will be battling the pandemic into 2021, urgent forward movement is the only real option.

eLearning and blended learning have been around for a while, and most corporate L&D organizations have made efforts toward implementation and adoption. But the pandemic is forcing change now. It is imperative that innovative ELearning and online learning platforms be designed and implemented, enabling enriched audience engagement, and measurable changes to knowledge and/or behavioral outcomes.

In most cases, corporate L&D groups maintain large libraries of training courses, so there is a significant backlog of training modules and content, in need of conversion to other ELearning or Online formats, to fit today’s needs. Meanwhile, L&D groups do not have the bandwidth to repurpose the trainings or keep up with new learning technologies (like multi-media, simulation, gamification, etc.).

Outsourcing, or project-based contracting, can be a viable solution for making the shift to better training programs. Whether or not it is clear how long you’ll need extra resources to repurpose trainings, there are real benefits to bringing in seasoned professionals with up-to-date skill sets to help meet your needs and transition to eLearning or Online Learning.

What to do next??

Since 2003, TimelyText has provided talent and services for Instructional Design, Rapid Development, L&D Project Management, and other training requirements. Whether you are a pharmaceutical or a gaming company, a leading-edge medical device manufacturer or a pioneer in the energy grid, a data warehouse and analytics operation or a business solutions giant with your work in the Cloud, we speak your language. Whether your needs involve Leadership Development, Enterprise Software Deployment, Soft Skills, Manufacturing Job Aids, or any number of other business elements, we offer strong professional assistance at every stage:

  • Defining and scoping a training program—Often, in as little as a week or two, a TimelyText Sr. ID can help you define your training requirements and determine the gaps, leaving with you with a high-level report of recommendations and estimates for how long, and how much, it will likely take to achieve them. The high-level report gives you a road map for moving forward, whether or not you choose to engage TimelyText for follow-on project stages. Upon request, we will generate a Statement of Work, outlining the project phases and costs. TimelyText SOWs are normally simple but can contain as much detail as you deem necessary.
  • Designing a curriculum and/or taking assessments of your existing course library—Who are your training audiences and what training vehicles are likely to resonate with them?
    • eLearning
    • VILT?
    • video?
    • a blended mixture?
  • Tackling issues of your most challenging content for delivery.
    • Are certain modules particularly difficult to learn?
    • Could failure be expensive, or even dangerous?
    • Could simulations mitigate your risks?
  • Developing courseware using current rapid development tools—We know that your training is an important part of your company’s brand. We’ll emulate your existing courseware’s look and feel, OR, build one for you. If you have a favorite suite of development tools, we’ll work within those bounds. If not, we can recommend tools that will suit your delivery requirements and your budgets.
  • Implementing the plan—TimelyText L&D professionals can be with you each step of the way, OR, you can choose the gaps in your plan where we can help you most. We can provide working team leaders with a small team of individual contributors, OR we can provide one or more individuals to work directly under your guidance. TimelyText teams are always scalable, growing and shrinking to provide just-in-time support, as you need it.

How to get started??

  • An Open Discussion— In any TimelyText engagement, the client is firmly in control. That’s why we begin by opening a dialog to gather information with the purpose of discovering your goals, establishing whether or not we can help, and forging an agreement for building an approach.
  • A Soft Commitment —As a small business, we are all about simplicity. Our standard Billing Form is a two-page document that includes only the basic terms for payment, language for establishing our contractors as TimelyText employees, and necessary contact information by which to do business. Naturally, if your firm requires a more detailed legal agreement, we are amenable, and you will find us easy to work with.
  • The Hours Worked; Only The Hours Worked—Throughout our long history, TimelyText has billed only the hours worked on any given engagement. You can terminate the work at any time. We don’t apply retainer fees, minimum billings, or overage penalties. On the other hand, we are right upfront about how we make our estimates. We typically author a draft SOW, for your input, as the basis for a Purchase Order. Because on so many projects we encounter hidden elements and barriers that can produce unexpected costs, we typically add 20 percent to our best estimate to ensure that we can come in under budget. That way, clients are almost never faced with the challenge of, “going back to the well,” for more funding, to complete their project objectives.

Anything else??

Yes, actually, there is one other thing. In fact, we offer a few additional specialties as a complement to our work in L&D. So, if you or others at your firm, need assistance with nearly any flavor of your corporate messaging, TimelyText is a boutique staffing agency, specializing in contract and temp-to-hire placements of corporate communication professionals, like those listed here:

  • Technical Writers—In fact, this is where TimelyText got started, in a previous business iteration, back in 1994. Over the years we have played key essential roles in development of User Guides, Admin Guides, Online Help, SOPs, White Papers, Design Sheets, Tech Specs, Web Content, How To Guides, FAQs, Glossaries, Indexes, and any other type of support document you can name (even some, you can’t).
  • Marketing Writers—Perhaps our fastest growing segment, development of impactful Marketing content for technology-based companies is merely another of the things we do very well. While we are not a viable substitute for your advertising agency of record, we do know more than a little about spinning stories; and quite a lot about making the leap from product features to customer benefits.
  • Corporate Communication Specialists—The methods for effectively managing your message to your employees, no matter where they are, can pose a dizzying dilemma. Change Management, Virtual Town Halls, Powerful Infographics, and Executive Presentations to the rank and file are increasingly important to your success, and fresh ideas can be the tipping point. Let’s talk!

So Here’s The REAL Question(s)…

  • What do you want to say?
  • Who do you want to tell?
  • How do you want to do that?

Call us. We’d like to help!

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