eLearning Project Estimation – Key Tips to Consider

eLearning Project Estimation-Key Tips to Consider

We see price tags attached to almost every product we purchase. For most tangible commodities, the final selling price includes the material cost, the labour cost and production-distribution rates too. Something similar goes behind determining the price for services, software too.

eLearning, in general, is considered to be a high-cost undertaking. But recently there has been a surge in eLearning requirements owing to the many benefits it offers. In the growing list of cognizance, it is good to add Project estimation too, as it can not just help in finding the right solution provider but also assist in identifying which solution works best for your organizational learning requirements.

We are content service providers and understand the ins and outs of eLearning development. Based on our experience, here are some key tips to consider in eLearning Project Estimation.

Tip 1# Research and Analysis

This is where it all begins. Be it any process model, research is an inevitable step. The analysis is required to understand the audience, the demand for eLearning in general, the general readiness of the organization, for comparison with existing eLearning and also for the most important content collation part if legacy content is involved. Each part here requires investment, time and cost of the expertise involved. The rates here can be hourly or per-day basis.

The research and analysis also can contribute in revealing whether an off-the-shelf eLearning or a custom development approach will work best for the aforesaid requirements and within the set L&D budget.

Tip 2# Resources and Management

eLearning development isn’t as simple as casting a spell. It involves infrastructure in terms of devices, development and testing tools, storage requirements etc. all of which must sync with the existing IT infrastructure, both for in-house development as well as eLearning purchased from an eLearning service provider (outsourcing). Along with that, the time and cost of utilizing the expertise of SMEs and Instructional designers in the project design stage, developer or eLearning specialist in the development stage and QA specialists, additional members in Development Operations too must be calculated. Management too is an essential component of any eLearning project, and that involves Project managers, content manager, and supporting staff.

Cost estimation hence should include: Time and money spent on course design, development and deployment, plus the cost incurred in case of large infrastructural changes, change management should be considered too.

Tip 3# Testing, Revisions and Implementation

While the QA specialists are an inclusive part of the project team, at times based on the device requirements there may be a need for external expertise for testing. The cost estimation should consider this aspect too in case the eLearning design calls for it. As far as testing itself goes, creating a flawless eLearning course happens only on paper and so, revisions after testing are inescapable factors of an eLearning project cycle. The project estimate should cover this aspect too. In addition to the cost for deployment and implementation, it is important to consider the LMS cost (if need be) or the integration cost in case of an existing LMS.

But, even with all that, the estimate should have room for addition in terms of slight modifications that may be required based on user feedback, content changes that cannot be overlooked, or changes due to slight compatibility issues in spite of all the testing efforts. In addition, there can be unforeseen errors, overlooked in the rush, issues pertaining to devices, authoring tools etc. that cannot be anticipated.

The eLearning course length is an important aspect too that greatly influences the overall cost. While custom eLearning development is often considered a costly endeavor, the benefits often surpass the cost. And as far as open-source tools go, there is always a hidden cost. So, weigh all the options well before making the final decision.

And, in case you are still unable to make the choice in spite of all the information available online, then you know where to find us.

Author:
Hands-on, dynamic and energetic executive, Amol has a multi-year experience in diverse technology industries and functions, in both Sales and Marketing and Operations. Engineer by graduate and an MBA professional, he started his career in 2004 as a Regional Sales Manager for one of the largest US MNC based out of India continues to live his passion for sales till date. Currently an eLearning and LMS consultant and & Board Member of Knowzies Technology Solutions, his responsibility is to manage the company's growth in the Americas, India and APAC, and encourage its Global expansion through his network of 1000+ qualified Elearning and SaaS experts. Amol is a serial blogger and a have delivered many webinar’s in his past engagements. He likes to write largely about latest eLearning technology trends, mobile learning, and learning technologies. His passion for eLearning makes him the perfect blend for designing solutions for large enterprises especially where the cost is the constraint. Prior to his current venture, Amol had a blast leading the International Business Operations for various leading LMS and eLearning organisations globally. Amol successfully managed a talented pool of professionals and partner companies (Channel network implementation) enabling the acquisition of many leading enterprises. A solid credo in business ethics and knowledge sharing are its key business drivers. He is what the Urban Dictionary would call a straight shooter, enjoys playing cards on the table and doesn't deal with fuss. Big in creating new connections and value to its network (because the network is quite everything), he is hungry for innovation and falls in love for true out-of-the-box thinkers. Cricket and food are superior passions. Loves the family and is blessed with two happening daughters and a caring wife. Over weekends you will find him in kitchen experimenting with new dishes. In case of any queries, you can reach to him on amol@knowzies.com.

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