Now more than ever investments in learning technology need to show value to the organization. This value can be realized in reduced costs, improved performance, increased sales or some combination. As a learning leader, you may need to invest in a partner to increase the value training is bringing to your organization. This partner may be in consulting, learning technology or learning content development. Regardless, you will want to go through a professional selection process to help ensure you pick a partner that will help your organization achieve its learning goals.
Selecting an e-learning partner begins with defining your needs. You want to assess the strengths of your internal team and determine what you want to keep in-house and what you want to outsource to a partner. You”ll want to consider capacity, budget and timeline. You also need to determine if you want to engage a partner on a project basis or if you want a broader contractual relationship. For more information on Learning Partnerships, you can check out my white paper on the topic.
Once you have a general idea of your needs, budget and timeline, you should develop an e-Learning Request for Proposal (RFP). The RFP is your tool for qualifying and eventually selecting an e-learning partner. It combines a clear articulation of your needs with a request for information from the provider such as company background, work samples, proposed solution, and projected costs. The completed RFP forms the basis for selecting the provider or qualifying a “shortlist” of providers for an in-person review and final selection.
We recently posted a custom e-Learning RFP template on our learning solutions website. The RFP template will help you organize your needs and reach out to qualified prospective partners. It will help you start a process where you assess the capabilities, compatibility and costs of different providers. You will also use the Request for Proposal process to outline the criteria for selection. This is important to facilitate a fair selection process within your organization, much like when you hire an employee.
While developing an e-Learning RFP and a partner selection process requires time, it will help you properly document your needs and assess the qualifications of prospective partners. This will ultimately increase the likelihood of a successful relationship that increases the value of your training investments.