Learn and Lead

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How to Decide Whether to Insource or Outsource Elearning Development?

I recently got a query on LinkedIn about needing help with decision between insourcing and outsourcing elearning content development.

I have a small request - is there a way to get a ball-park figure to develop one hour of e-learning content in India using rapid development software such as Articulate Studio/Storyline?

We have been doing e-learning development in house and our new VP of HR wants to consider the possibility of outsourcing it. I am in the process of doing a cost-benefit analysis and so, need this information.

I did go through the Chapman Alliance presentation and Karl Kapp's articles - however, I felt that it is better to hear from a practitioner & expert from India.


I wish the decision of insource and outsource was as simple as cost comparison. First of all, it is really hard to get a ball-park figure to develop one hour or elearning. It really depends on many many things, including the partner you chose. The range of price for one hour of elearning in the market is very wide and could even vary 10 times. Cost could even be significantly more if you include video, game based learning and high end simulations. So you can imagine taking this decision itself will be hard.

While comparing cost of insource and outsource efforts is important, another big factor is that whether all the skills required to develop elearning content are available within the organization. How you are currently structured and what the current utilization of the L&D staff is within the organization will also play a big role in insource vs outsource decision. If the utilization is sporadic, it would make sense to outsource instead of carrying the cost of unutilized time.

You should also consider what you want to achieve in the long run. Are there tasks that are not being accomplished because the internal team is busy with content development? Are there key strategies that are being left unattended that might get the much needed attention if you outsource?

And finally, what’s the really the volume of development the organization wants to create in what timeframe will also play a role in determining insource or outsource decision. Is it a one-time initiative to develop a critical mass of content for the organization? Are there enough volumes to justify outsourcing content?

Hope the above provides you with some pointers to taking the decision.

4 comments:

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Allan said...

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Clavis Technologies said...

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Disclaimer: The opinions expressed here are my personal opinions. Content published here is not read or approved in advance by my employers and does not necessarily reflect the views and opinions of my employers.

Creative Commons License This work by Manish Mohan is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-Share Alike 2.5 India License.

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