Variable/Blended Workforce Strategy
More and more companies are realizing the benefit of partnering with offshore resources to fulfill their content development needs. Typically this is due to either cost savings initiatives, a single or recurring increase in workload (but not consistent), or to leverage skills/technology not currently in the development team. As there are literally thousands of content development companies, it is often difficult to sift through and find the best match. With decades of experience selecting and engaging with offshore vendors, CCES can guide the client through this process and assist in all aspects of establishing and maintaining a value-added relationship.
Executed in a phased approach, the outcome of Phase 1 establishes or refines the strategy and defines the:
1. Criteria and selection requirements
2. Critical and measurable success factors
4. Relevant processes required for integration.
Phase 2 begins the selection process whereas CCES will compile a Vendor short list based on the requirements defined in Phase 1. Typically CCES will organize presentations allowing each vendor to present samples of work, a discussion of the vendor’s process and methodology, and discussions around a Proof of Concept project (the Proof of Concept is defined as a very small project, not more than one-week of duration, whereas the vendor will develop and deliver a customized course based on Client requirements and content). Based on all of these factors, CCES will assist in the selection, contracting (if appropriate), and implementation of these relationships.
The Learning Strategy is a comprehensive analysis of the organization from a learning perspective. It produces a roadmap for what the organization needs to do to accomplish its learning goals.
It is typically a 30 to 60 day engagement in which two consultants work with the client to explore current state, evaluate business objectives, assess the current organization, its resources and challenges in accomplishing those objectives, and recommend a plan for going forward.
The Learning Strategy document is a jointly developed document with the client. CCES will lead creation of the deliverable but we’ll work through iterations of deliverables with the Client sponsor to build the final plan. This plan is typically used to get buy-in and budgetary approval from a broader Client audience.
The Learning Strategy will be developed in light of 10 factors:
1. Content Requirements
2. Existing and Required Resources
4. Existing and Required Technology
5. Evaluation Requirements
6. Course Maintenance Needs
7. End-User Acceptance
8. End-User Support
9. Departmental Budgets and ROI Variables
10. Key Projects Required
Pre-Software Implementation Analysis
An objective, outside analysis of the organization to help determine what the risks are for the organization as it deploys the LMS. The analysis will look at a number of areas that are critical to successful LMS implementations including:
• Governance Processes
• Change Management and Communications
• Technical Infrastructure and Support
• Content Strategies
Unlike the Learning Strategy, the analysis is more of a diagnostic tool that simply identifies the areas of risk within the organization as it prepares to capitalize on the LMS investment. It does not make an attempt to remedy these risks but rather provides recommendations and best practices that will be helpful in creating solutions to these areas. It typically sets up the top 3 to 5 issues the organization needs to address prior to or in conjunction with the full deployment of the LMS.
The analysis is a less iterative document than the Learning Strategy and is truly just a snapshot assessment delivered by CCES to the client (as opposed to the joint collaboration of a deliverable that the Learning Strategy is).
Learning Value Analysis (LVA)
The Learning Value Analysis is a diagnostic tool to help clients who already have an LMS identify ways to get greater value from it. The LVA is typically suited for clients that have an LMS running but have gone or are going through internal changes such as changes in roles, personnel, strategies, organization structure, product lines, etc. The LVA provides an outside objective view of several key areas to help a client identify areas of focus for new initiatives.
Like the Pre-Software Implementation Analysis, the LVA is a simple assessment from CCES consultants to help identify key areas of opportunity. Areas that are evaluated include:
• Governance Processes
• Content Development and Delivery Processes
• Technical Infrastructure
• Key Business Initiatives
• ROI Measures
Front-End Analysis (FEA)
The Front End Analysis is a diagnostic service to help an organization fully define their objectives and explore the alternatives to addressing them. FEAs are conducted for a variety of purposes but a single FEA is typically focused on one specific challenge in the Learning Domain.
Regardless of the situation, a FEA follows a very standard process that includes
• deep analysis of the business objectives
• intent of the proposed initiative
• exploration between the client and CCES consultants of a variety of alternatives for addressing the issue
• external research and analysis into factors that need to be considered
• a summary of what has been found
• Recommendations and estimate for the subsequent tasks to be performed
Typically a FEA is the first phase in a three phase engagement. At the conclusion of the FEA one or more alternative solutions are developed for the client with an analysis of the pros, cons, risks, costs, and tasks required to validate the solution. A FEA is a pre-cursor to the next phase of work which is typically a Detailed Solution Design and/or Prototype phase depending on the situation. The FEA is structured such that all subsequent work can be conducted by the client, CCES or another vendor.
Common areas of interest where a FEA is a natural first step:
Learning Solution – A client has a specific learning challenge which may include a specific audience that needs a solution created for them, a specific product they need implemented, or a specific topic they need to create a blended training solution for.
Competency Management – a client is interested in building a comprehensive competency management solution for the organization but is just getting started.
Course Development – The client has a specific training objective but is not certain about the approach for addressing it. They may be debating between a variety of on-line approaches and/or instructor-led approaches or they may be trying to train a massive audience and wanting to determine the most effective and efficient way.