Friday, May 26, 2006

The 70 / 30 Rule?

We ran another webinar yesterday in our on-going series. It was titled How to Build a High Performance Team for Effective eLearning. We had 21 people logged on from across North America, representing a variety of sectors (educational, government, services, utilities, pharmaceutical, professional association, etc.). The focus of the webinar was how to put together a great eLearning development and implementation team, using both internal resources and filling competency gaps by contracting in needed expertise as required.

When we polled the group regarding how much they currently do in-house vs. contracting in needed help from the outside for their eLearning projects, the average that emerged was around 70% in-house vs. 30% contracted in. Now I know this is not a valid statistical sample (and not likely to become as entrenched as Pareto's 80 / 20 rule), but we found it interesting that this 70/30 split in eLearning effort was so prevalent across the board.

Another trend that we noticed from the group was that most contracted in a great deal of help as they started out in eLearning, but gradually developed more internal capacity and competency for eLearning as they went along. Some who have been at it a while may start inching up from the 70%, moving closer to 80% in time (hey, we're back to Pareto again!).

Our main point in the webinar was that you should not try to be a hero when starting out in eLearning. No one person, or even small group of people, will have all the necessary competencies to do eLearning well in the beginning. Realize this and you will save yourself a lot of grief. Identify your organization's core competencies around eLearning and contract in people who can bring special expertise and experience to round out what you lack.

Remember, experience is what you get just after you need it. Learn from those who already have experience (i.e. have already made the usual mistakes!).

Some of the competency gaps noted by webinar participants within their own organizations included: project management, technical skills, change management, and internal marketing (selling eLearning within the organization).

Identifying needed competencies for eLearning via competency mapping will be a topic of one of our upcoming webinars in June. For details on this, and for information on how to view a recording of yesterday's webinar, check out our website:


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