Driving Revenue with Online Learning: Innovation Necessitates Managing More Than the Triple Constraint
Management and leadership in online learning require a careful balance to project manage three variables to achieve a successful outcome: time, scope, and cost. But is that enough?
Absolutely not, and history is the best teacher. Famous brands like Kodak, Nokia, and Blockbuster allow you to easily be the armchair quarterback and point out that they all failed in evolving with changing market trends.
Why is it that we fail to adapt? Human nature suggests we want control and certainty in outcomes, and we are fearful of adapting to changing trends and taking risks that require innovation and change.
Learning is substantially impacted by changing market trends. Take Gen Z for example. This group, born from the mid-90s to early 2000s, make up 25% of the current U.S. population and will comprise 36% of the global workforce by 2020. What’s this have to do with learning? This group will be larger than baby boomers or millennials and, as you can guess, these learners are not just technology savvy but tend to be nomadic by nature. When Gen Zers have a problem to solve, they simply search YouTube for the latest how-to video with the most likes. They prefer consuming just in time vs. just in case training.
The question for learning professionals to ask is – are we adapting our online learning approach to mirror changing trends, or are we simply managing what project managers call the triple constraint?
The Triple Constraint
While we can be good stewards of managing a learning project to make sure it is delivered on-time and on-budget with the right scope of features, that is not enough for success. What is needed is a learning strategy that aligns with changing learning habits in order to drive revenue through innovation in three key areas:
Reducing logistical and operational overhead
Mobile on-the-go training
Growing a business typically means incurring growing costs. But what if there was a way to decrease expenses without jeopardizing the quality of work?
While a training solution might sound like more of an expense than a cost savings, there are a number of ways that an online learning solution yields a high return on your investment. In fact, it’s estimated that online learning has increased income for 42% of organizations.
How does online learning help cut your business costs and improve productivity?
Online Delivery Leads to Greater Scalability
You can’t predict the future and know what your business might look like next year, five years, or ten years from now. This can make investing in the right training or learning model for your business problematic.
With in-person learning options, you face variable costs. If you only have ten people in need of training today, you’ll pay a certain amount for instructors and courses. If your learners increase to 100 people next year, your training costs will significantly increase.
When you choose a scalable online learning system, however, it’s fast and simple to add or decrease the number of learners based on your needs. Unlike finite, physical training requirements, online learning can support an unlimited number of users.
Logistical and Operational Overhead is Reduced
Have you seen training videos from decades past? The lessons, setting, and method of playing these videos – like DVDs – are outdated. These old materials won’t resonate with today’s millennial workforce. Overhauling outdated training materials can cost a lot in time and resources. It’s also nearly impossible to cherry pick portions to update without changing the whole program.
You need training solutions that engage your employees and stay current with the challenges they’re facing today. When you use online learning solutions, you’ll find that they’re easy to update. There’s no need to reprint books or update lesson plans. You simply create the new training content, update it via the solution your organization uses, and the changes are reflected in the online lessons instantly.
This can be particularly beneficial for companies that require regular employee certifications and recertifications in their industry. Changes to the certification information and requirements can be integrated into your online learning solution with ease.
As your organization's learning program grows, overhead costs for instructor-led training will increase as well. More learners means you’ll need to partner with more instructors, dedicate more space for learning sessions, and invest in more training materials for everyone in your organization. Companies that have moved from instructor-led training to online learning solutions report a 50-70% savings in training costs.
When training is online and accessed using a laptop, tablet, or mobile device, there’s no need to dedicate more space. A single instructional video with already-created questions and interactive discussion boards plays the same role as an in-person instructor, and you can reach a much higher number of learners, too.
Mobile Learning is More Efficient
Carving hours out of your workday and gathering your whole team together can be a major drain on productivity. Your employees lose hours of work time sitting through concentrated, and sometimes boring, training sessions. With online, self-paced programs, learners can take control of their experience, eliminating wasted time on material that is irrelevant to their learning needs, creating a more efficient process and experience.
Online learning management solutions save both the learner and their employer time. In fact, it’s estimated that online learning can reduce overall training time 40 to 60% and mobile users complete training 45% faster than traditional computer users. This leads to a more efficient and effective learning process that takes less time than traditional methods.
Instead of your learners sitting in hours-long training sessions, they can easily learn on the go. Maybe they’re going through digital flashcards on the train commuting home or looking at a lesson with the extra five minutes they gained after a meeting ended early. When you’re employing and attracting a millennial workforce, this more efficient learning model is sure to appeal to tech-savvy employees.
One-Stop Shop for All Your Content Needs
When you choose an online learning solution for your company’s training needs, there’s a good chance you can get a lot more than just your basic training modules. With a top solution like BenchPrep, for example, you have access to a learning ecosystem, which performs functions far beyond just providing lessons and quizzes.
BenchPrep provides administrative tools, data dashboards, and a learning experience that easily integrates with your other tools as well. It’s a seamless one-stop-shop for all your training needs, and you have a central place to store all your future content. You gain more resources for your investment, making each dollar you spend go a lot further.
Online learning is a great way to engage with your learners, demonstrate that you value ongoing improvement, and, ultimately, cut business costs. When you find the right online learning solution for your business, you’re sure to see the positive impacts both on learner engagement and on your bottom line.
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