Professional dilemmas

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Many seem to learn by their mistakes with e-learning, but I don’t have the
budget to do this. I’m about to implement a programme of bespoke e-learning for
300 call centre staff. Can you offer me a checklist to evaluate the various
options open to me?

The fact you have identified the need for bespoke training is a plus. While
there is a lot of generic material, my experience with call centres is that the
individual nature of their operations means the generic route cannot meet your
requirements, except at the basic level.

A limited budget may tempt some to take shortcuts. Don’t. The most common,
ill-advised step is to buy into a solution without establishing how you will
assess the success of your programme. However, e-learning, and bespoke
e-learning in particular, works extremely well for call centre operations. Try
to manage your project in the following manner:

– Decide on your desired result. Writing your evaluation plan now, even in
draft form, will help in the long term.

– Make sure you have the backing/buy-in of the management team and the end
users as both are crucial to a success.

– Carefully select an e-learning provider to partner you in your project and
make sure you understand their implementation methodology and the products or
tools they are recommending.

– Gather the necessary people who will have a stake in the project’s success
– trainers, IT/network people, user representatives etc.

– Write a project plan for your team and your partner. A good partner will
be flexible and allow a few changes en route without cost implications.

– A good partner will provide the e-learning tools/products and techniques
and you will provide subject matter expertise. In the end, you may want to own
the e-learning tools, be trained on the techniques and be self-reliant for the
future. Many clients prefer this as it reduces the time required for
development. This will also give you the potential to slim down budgets in the

Response provided by Jeff Harrison-Turner, managing director of
specialist e-learning provider OP&S –

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