3 Factors to Consider Before You Build or Buy LMS Content

by Nathaniel Plamondon | Posted | Learning

3 Factors to Consider Before You Build or Buy LMS Content

Your organization's talent strategy affects every facet of your organization. And when it comes time to train your employees, it's because you want to reach a particular desired outcome, such as increased sales, remaining compliant, improving efficiencies or updating technical skills for newly purchased tools. The opportunities for training are seemingly endless and, depending on the situation, it may be better to buy the learning content than to have the learning team build it in-house.

So do you build your learning and training content or do you buy off-the-shelf courses from a vendor? It's by no means an easy decision, but your learning management system (LMS) should be full of outcome-focused content helps move the needle on your employees' performance and development.

Feeling stuck on what you need to do before you take the plunge? Here are three critical considerations that will help you to deliver a high-impact learning experience that's tailored to your organization's needs.

Consideration 1: Do you even need training?

When you know the value of eLearning and training, there's a temptation to offer courses and learning for every performance, engagement and development metric your organization wants to hit. But over-prescribing training is not the answer. You want to make sure that you're offering relevant training that ultimately moves the needle on performance.

Training shouldn't become a catch-all solution for any challenge or issue your organization is facing because sometimes there are environmental or motivational issues behind the problem that require a different approach.

Depending on the issue you're trying to address, consider these actions as alternatives to training:

Consideration 2: How organization-specific is the training?

Once you've addressed the question of whether your organizational challenge can be resolved or goal can be achieved with training, you need to get clear on how specific this training is to your organization. Why?

Before you start assigning any training to your employees, you need a strong understanding of how this particular course or workshop will develop your people to help achieve your desired outcome.

Ask yourself: Do I need to train my people on key company or industry insights that I just can't find the answer to anywhere else?

Consider your organization's intellectual property, your specific products or services, or that "secret sauce" that makes your organization competitive or unique within your industry. All of these examples could require unique, in-house training that you wouldn't be able to find in an off-the-shelf eLearning course.

You should also consider whether the training focuses on a broadly useable skill you want your employees to have that will help them with their development. This type of training could focus on areas such as leadership skills, presentation skills or technical skills.

Depending on how specific you want to (or have to) get with the content, you could either build your courses or buy. Only when you have clarity on what makes your organization unique, can you start to fill your LMS with content that yields real business results.

Consideration 3: Cost of production

Oh yes, the cost of creating versus curating content is a key piece of your learning strategy. There has to be a clear return on investment (ROI) for the resources you are going to dedicate to the training you're planning on creating or purchasing.

The cost of production is tied to several factors. As you're considering the full scope of training production, ask yourself:

  • What will it cost to produce, based on factors like topic or complexity?
  • What is the best format (text, presentation, webinar, video, etc.) to effectively deliver this training?
  • How long it will take to produce this project?
    • Will we need to leverage internal or external subject matter experts? How many staff hours will be required?
  • How often will we need to update the course to keep the content current?
    • Will we need to localize aspects of the training for different languages or cultures?
  • Conversely, what's the opportunity cost of the content vendor selection process, including managing the relationship with the content vendor, and the like?

Really dig into the details on the estimated cost so you know how to get mindshare (and wallet-share) with your CFO when it comes to your learning and talent programs.

It also helps to learn how to curate the right content for your LMS so that you can compare and contrast what will give you the best ROI. You might find that a mix of building training courses and purchasing off-the-shelf courses is the right approach for your organization.

So, should you create or curate eLearning content?

Your eLearning needs, challenges and strategies are unique to your organization, so it's only natural that you align your organizational goals to your training strategy.

Learn more by joining Spencer Thornton, OpenSesame's vice president of curation, and Jason Sevilla, Saba's own director of solution consulting, as they dive even deeper into what you need to know when building an eLearning library for your organization. Register today for their upcoming webinar, Curate or Create? How to Build an eLearning Library That Aligns to Your Talent Strategy.

Build an eLearning Library That Aligns to Your Talent Strategy

Learn how to build an budget-friendly eLearning course catalog that positively impacts performance, productivity and engagement.


Watch On-Demand
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Build an eLearning Library That Aligns to Your Talent Strategy

Learn how to build an budget-friendly eLearning course catalog that positively impacts performance, productivity and engagement.


Watch On-Demand


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