How To Gauge Your Blended Learning Budget And Improve Resource Allocation
The person in charge of purchasing office assets isn’t always in charge of the blended learning budget. They may be given the office credit card, but they don’t necessarily decide how much they can spend. That decision belongs to the finance department. And as a purchasing manager, you have to fight for your case. It helps if you can get this right the first time. You could always come back with revised estimates after your budget has even been approved. But you’re unlikely to get any extra cash. So what tips can you try out to ensure you set the right price point from the get-go? Here are some insider tips to set a realistic budget for your blended learning software and improve resource allocation.
6 Top Tips To Calculate Your Blended Learning Software Budget And Boost Resource Allocation
1. Assess Existing Resources
Think about everything you need to successfully facilitate your blended training program. This may include electronics (desktops, tablets, laptops, smartphones). It can also cover human resources such as mobile app developers and subject matter experts. Confirm the amount of time and funding each of these resource needs. For example, validate your content developer’s hourly rate and how long the course will take. Evaluating the assets you already have can cut costs as you can often repurpose training tools. Such as turning that printed manual into a downloadable PDF for your team that they can access via the blended learning LMS.
2. Verify In-House Skillsets
Check the programming languages that may be needed to build the course. Does your team possess that skill, and if not, how much to hire someone that does? You can also review existing collateral marketing to see if it can be repurposed for training. This information will show you how much you need to spend before the training program is up and running, both in terms of labor and equipment. And since time is money, your expected implementation period is key. In some cases, it may be more cost-effective to outsource certain blended learning software implementation tasks. And you need to factor these fees into your budget.
3. Evaluate Team Expectations
While your team’s thoughts and assumptions about the blended learning course may not influence its price, it can affect other factors. Ask them what they think blended training is like, and how it differs from offline and online training. Gauging their perception could clue you into the potential success of your training programme. It can also hint at which areas require the most effort. Trainees might, for example, expect to do three weeks online and one week off. You can also determine which support resources they require to get the most from the new blended learning software. For instance, they may need tutorials and video demos that show them how to navigate the system.
4. Confirm The Online/Offline Balance
The above ratio I mentioned in the last tip means you should put more time, effort, and resources into the software portion of your course. It’s also helpful to record as many of the offline training segments as possible. This provides additional training resources. Learners can review those portions at will, especially if they missed the course. These recordings can also be expanded into future courses at a fraction of the course development cost.
5. Select Appropriate Pricing Models
Per-user fees always feel cheaper, especially when the figure ends with “99 cents”. But if you really want value for money, you have to do the math. Look at your regular users. Find out whether it costs less to pay for each one to get a “wholesale” price with a user cap. For security purposes, every user should have their own logins. But seasonal workers and field teams probably don’t use the system as often. So, they can share an account or use guest logins. You should also evaluate other pricing options. For instance, some vendors offer an outright licensing fee so that you don’t have to pay monthly subscriptions. It might be more expensive up front, but cheaper in the long run.
6. Explore Your User Options
Both shared and guest accounts can have limited security access to maintain corporate confidentiality. And you shouldn’t be afraid to bargain. A lot of us are uneasy doing so at corporate levels. But you can always work out a customized payment plan based on frequency of usage. You could even request a price adjustment based on unused software features. See if they can sell you a modified (more affordable) version with irrelevant features knocked off. Another way to stretch resources when implementing new blended learning software is to scope out the services and features. You may find that you don’t really need advanced support services, for example. This can help you reduce your blended learning budget every month or make room for other necessary upgrades.
Budget is a big part of blended learning software acquisition. And it’s driven by multiple factors that may seem unrelated to learning technology. What are some of the elements you need to consider when you’re assigning resources and defining your budget? Evaluate in-house assets and skills to see what needs to be bought or sourced. Confirm your trainees’ expectations in relation to online vs offline time and/or activities. Dig into different user configurations with regard to pricing models. Armed with this information, and in consultation with IT, L&D, and finance, you can obtain approvals for a training budget guestimate.
Find a blended learning LMS that aligns with your budget and offers all the essential features. Use our online directory to start your search and determine which vendors provide the best value for money. You can also see who offers free trials so that you’re able to test-drive the tool before making an investment.