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Why every successful e-learning project starts with Needs Analysis

At Plume, Needs Analysis is the research phase that precedes any design or development. Whether your project is the creation of e-learning content or the building of a learning management system, we must first take the time to fully understand your business, your goals and the needs of your learners.

Our Needs Analysis process gives us a fully considered build strategy, where we have the opportunity to work together to define your needs and how they translate to features and functionality of your system.

Without Needs Analysis, we go in blind, which inevitably leads us into obstacles and expense that could have been avoided.

As an added bonus, the process also gives us the opportunity to work together without the commitment of a fuller project. You get to test-drive us, to understand how we work and can decide, or not, to engage us for the design and development of the project.

The end result is a fully considered strategy, ensuring everything we do is in the interest of all involved, generating greater results in less time and for a lower cost-investment.

Needs Analysis is essential for most successful projects

A doctor wouldn’t prescribe medicine without first diagnosing the issue. If they did, we’d be iller for longer, we’d make countless repeat trips to the doctors and have a cabinet full of medicine that wouldn’t resolve the issue.

Without Needs Analysis, an e-learning project is simply built on assumptions, which can often be wrong. When these incorrect assumptions lead to the development of a solution, the solution doesn’t work – resulting in lost time, money and sometimes customers.

Discovery brings efficiency to a project, reducing costs and increasing return.

But how does Needs Analysis work?

Our collaborative Needs Analysis process starts with a discovery session. Fuelled by coffee and Hobnobs, your team and ours work together to understand the problem that you hope that we can fix, the results you need to generate to make your investment worthwhile, and what really makes your users, learners andcustomers tick. The session is broken down into three sections:

What is the problem, really?

No matter how painful, we must first dig into the problem that you’d like us to resolve, and take the time to understand how this affects your business. Only after fully understanding the problem can we prescribe a viable remedy.

How will we know if we’re successful?

Here’s where we define the specific and measurable goals we’ll be working towards. Some examples we’ve helped our clients achieve include:

  • Increase learner engagement to improve course completion rates by 50%
  • Reduce training time for managers by 25% without compromising the quality of learning
  • Reduce application churn-rate by 25% through educational content in making best-use of the application

What do your customers need?

Your customers have goals too. We’ll help you to understand your customer’s needs at a deeper level, using this insight to ensure the platform and its content helps them to complete their goals as effortlessly as possible.

Then we go away and write a strategy report

We take our previous discussions and produce a report, outlining how we recommend tackling the project.

The Needs Analysis report doesn’t just include deliverables like a typical run-of-the-mill proposal, it explains the specific strategies we’d recommend and often the technologies, frameworks and approaches we’d use to achieve that, with case studies and examples where they’re needed to support our theories. If we still feel we’re the best agency for the job, the report will include detailed pricing for us to undertake the work, along with how we’d support you following delivery.

Should you choose to, you’re free to say goodbye at this stage – there’s no obligation to continue working with us and you’re free to take this document elsewhere for a third-party to design and develop your project.

How much does Needs Analysis cost, and how long does it take?

The fixed-cost of this phase is dependent on your project. For new builds, the cost is offset against the total cost of the project. The discovery session itself often takes an afternoon, with delivery of the report in the weeks following. Feel free to contact us for a quote.

Then what?

Sometimes, the strategy report sheds light onto unsustainable business models and the client chooses not to continue with the project at all. Although it may not seem like it at the time, this is a blessing in disguise – detecting fatal flaws early, before the monetary investment of the complete build.

In most cases though, the Needs Analysis document acts as the foundational structure of the rest of the build. Because we’ve taken the time to fully understand your business, the project and your customers, we become more efficient with the build and your business generates the results it needs in a shorter period of time.

To discuss your own project, ask us about Needs Analysis.

 

Not sure where to start with your own learning management system? See how we can help with Learning Management System development.