The Essentials Of A Microlearning Business Case
Whenever budget cuts occur in an organization, eLearning is usually the first to exit the picture. The training manager is left fighting the battle all alone while the decision-makers pay no heed. But here’s the catch, microlearning programs are expected to provide a much better and more effective result in a fraction of the initial budget.
This makes microlearning an ideal choice for companies as it can be done at a lower cost and is much more convenient. However, knowing this is the best choice for your organization and convincing the stakeholders about it are two entirely different situations. This is why microlearning platforms require a strong business case to be introduced into the organization.
Here are some ways you can create an effective business case for eLearning.
What Are The Current Pain Points?
Every organization, no matter how successful, has pain points that need to be addressed.
These pain points are your trump cards while creating case studies for eLearning. These are exactly the gaps your current training strategy is unable to fulfill and microlearning can help you with.
You can perform a training needs analysis to see what your current training strategy is lacking. This analysis would help also figure out the impact of these gaps on your bottom line.
A training needs analysis can be performed through 6 steps:
- Clarify the learning objectives and outcomes that are expected from the learning program.
- Align the learning objectives and outcomes with the employee skills and knowledge.
- Get the root of the problem and identify and pain points in the performance that would have an adverse effect on the overall productivity. This could be performed through eLearning assessments, observing employees on the job, conducting surveys, and evaluating the performance annually or quarterly.
- Prioritize the performance issues based on the goals of the organization.
- Evaluate the online training resources that are currently being utilized and analyze what is missing from them.
- Finally, develop an eLearning strategy that is aligned with the needs of the employees.
What Are The Benefits Of eLearning?
Once you have assessed what is missing from the traditional training strategy being used in your organization, focus on the benefits of eLearning. One way to do that is by mentioning how learning technologies equip the staff with training resources to be used on the spot in a moment of feed. Another benefit worth mentioning is the staff’s learning of new products, as well as improve their negotiation skills.
Do not exaggerate the benefits, but rightly estimate them. For example, you can estimate the increase in quarterly sales once online training has been implemented.
The Profits And Productivity
At the end of the day, it boils down to profit margin.
The impact eLearning would have on productivity and performance are of importance along with the cost-saving that would occur as compared to traditional training. In fact, emphasizing how much would be saved through this change and how a productivity boost means higher profits would be a smart move.
For instance, when training is conducted physically, instructor fees, as well as site rental costs, need to be factored in. Not to mention the current state of affairs given by the pandemic. Furthermore, implementing gamified microlearning design into your training would also allow your participants to spend more in the workplace and using what they learn much faster, easier to show real business impact. Ultimately, the sales would increase and employee turnover would reduce.
Explore Both Sides Of The Coin
Playing the devil’s advocate every so often isn’t a bad thing. When laying out your business case, consider all the risks involved in it and how you can avoid them. Make sure to be specific, and not vague with the details as they would only make your case weaker. Whether it’s hidden costs that could exceed budget or tentative delay in launch dates, make sure you have a plan of action laid out beforehand. The stakeholders and managers would need to know you have factored in the risks and have a game plan ready to deal with them.
If they were to notice them before you do, it might discourage them from investing in it.
The Inner Workings Of Your Strategy
When investing in an online learning platform, the investors and stakeholders do not want any surprises or unclear components.
Every step of the process needs to be clearly identified and they need to be sure all protocols are in place. Make sure to clearly highlight the entire microlearning implementation strategy from start to finish, including the tools and software that would be selected, as well as the team members involved in the process.
Time and cost estimates would prepare them for what to expect and would also demystify online training for all those who are unfamiliar with it.
The Required Tools
Along with timelines of each step, also specify which tools are required to ensure the success of the online training program.
This would include eLearning authoring tools, a microlearning platform, and maybe even software for video conferencing. Mention how each tool is necessary for the training and how it would be beneficial to the organization and its goals.
Including initial as well as ongoing costs for each platform would also be a good idea. For example, how much would be required to maintain the microlearning platform for a year?
The Competition’s Online Training
If your competition has already incorporated eLearning in their training strategy, include that and show the managers how the switch has benefited their organization. For instance, ever since your competition switched to eLearning, their profits have gone up by 15%. Highlighting the effective parts of their online training strategy and incorporating it in your own, along with pinpointing their areas of improvement that you would be avoiding would reel in the stakeholders.
The Major Takeaways
The conclusion of your business case in microlearning platforms should include the benefits it would bring to your organization. A brief recap of the cost, the timeline to implement, and the technologies that would be involved. While the stakeholders weigh pros and cons, they might not have the time to go through your case again in depth.
Adding a general overview at the end is a quick reminder of the benefits of online training and how it would be substantially beneficial for the organization and would affect productivity, performance, and profits.
Another factor worth mentioning in your conclusion is the amount of expenditure it would save your organization. Include evidence to strengthen your case. For instance, employee retention, how the material is reusable in other courses, and just-in-time training available to employees would improve their performance on their job. Furthermore, most millennials are not comfortable learning in a classroom environment anymore and prefer virtual training. Soon, the majority of the workforce would be millennials so it is integral organizations are prepared to welcome them and their needs beforehand.
The success of your case studies in eLearning is dependent upon how personal you get. Link all the components to the objectives and goals of your organization and do not use generalities. Emphasize in your case how eLearning is the most effective method of bridging gaps and the stamp of approval is inevitable.
Checklist For A Successful Business Case For A Microlearning Platform
1. Summarize The Business Case
The information you present needs to be concise and clear for the audience to easily comprehend. The summary should include the business need, the suggested solutions, the best solution and why, the total cost of the project, the return on the investment the stakeholders would make, possible challenges and issues that would be faced throughout the process, the expected timelines.
Most stakeholders would only read this section so all important information should be included here.
2. Explain The Business Needs
The business needs that would be fulfilled through digital microlearning should be mentioned. These needs can be identified through surveys, existing data, and training needs analysis.
3. Provide The Solution
Other than highlighting the benefits of incorporating microlearning platforms in your organization, also mention the repercussions of ignoring it. This section should also describe the process of finding solutions, the cost, and benefits of each solution mentioned, the best possible solution for your organization, and why.
4. Calculate The Cost
You could include numbers for reports that have researched the drop in expenditure for organizations after the included microlearning in their training. If you have included more than one solution, explain each of them in detail. If you have chosen a solution that is more expensive than another, justify the additional expenditure caused by your choice.
In the cost projection, the initial cost, as well as the maintenance costs, should be included. This ensures staying within budget and showing the management that you have factored in all costs and done thorough research.
5. Anticipate Challenges
Do not paint a rosy picture that is not believable. Make sure to mention potential challenges and how you would cater to them. Some of those could be resistance to change or lack of technical knowledge.
6. Plan For The eLearning Implementation
Highlight the steps that would be taken to implement this microlearning platform in your organization along with a specific timeline. This timeline should include specific milestones and the costs associated with each of them.
7. Highlight The Expected ROI
Other than costs, the stakeholders are most interested in the return on their investment. They would obviously want the most profits from their investment in eLearning. Highlighting the factors that would result in a higher ROI would be wise. These factors could be reduced training time, shorter time to be efficient in tasks, consistent learning, cost-saving in accommodation and travel, performance is easily and tracked and more efficiently.
Microlearning is quick to consume, but it’s not always quick to develop. Fortunately, this eBook has best practices and tips to choose the best platform in record time. Download the eBook Your Microlearning Journey Roadmap: How To Launch A Microlearning Game-Based Strategy That Gets Rapid Results for more insider secrets.