If you believe that a new elearning authoring tool would have a positive impact on your organization’s success, but need to get stakeholder buy-in, you need to put together a bulletproof business case. We’ve outlined a structure and key points you need to cover to help get your stakeholders onboard.
Remember, it’s not all about you
To build a strong business case for a new elearning authoring tool, you need to recognize that this isn’t all about you. Sure, an all-singing, all-dancing authoring tool will make your life easier – but that’s a side benefit for the business overall.
You need to think about key stakeholders:
- What are the big issues on their minds?
- How do these align with the goals of overall business strategy for the next three years?
- Why should they care about your project?
- What is going to make them look good in front of their bosses?
You need to be able to cut through the noise and make clear the tangible benefits this investment will have for the organization.
Here are our recommendations for what to include in your business case for a new elearning authoring tool (or any investment, for that matter!).
#1. The current state of play
How are you authoring at the moment, and what are the challenges with the existing approach? Think about things like efficiency and time spent, quality of projects, ability to scale up and adaptation to new demands. Also think about the changing needs of your learners and whether you can meet these with existing tools.
What are the risks of inaction?
#2. Benefits of an alternative approach
Directly address the shortcomings of the existing tool or approach, and clearly outline how the proposed solution will overcome these. Highlight the unique aspects of your suggested tool and why it best meets your needs over alternatives.
Paint the picture of the “promised land”! Help your stakeholders imagine and visualize how much better the business will be with the new tool compared to the current situation.
Remember, the best salespeople will save you time by helping you identify the benefits and put together a business case – use them! You can contact the Elucidat sales team here, they’ll happily support you with this.
#3. Be clear on costs
Communicate the costs of the new technology and make sure you consider things like training, if applicable. Compare this with existing costs and include other alternatives. If your recommended solution is more expensive, you need to be super clear on the additional benefit this brings to the organization. If you haven’t communicated the value clearly, then expect some questions from your stakeholders (or even a flat “No”).
#4. Address the risks head on
All projects, initiatives and changes in technology have risks. Address them head on and be clear on how you would mitigate them. For example, will switching to a new authoring tool slow down production? How can you mitigate this? Does the provider offer professional services and training to ensure a fast and smooth transition? Will the new tool still meet your needs in three years’ time?
#5. Share added benefits
You have outlined the benefits that address current business challenges, but are there other positive side effects? For example, will this tool help you attract the most forward-thinking instructional designers? Will you get regular product updates, rather than waiting for the yearly software release? What impact would higher quality learning have on staff retention?
#6. Provide proof of concept
Your stakeholders have got to the end of your business case and think it all sounds pretty good, but they won’t want to take a risk on an unproven tool. This is a good time to SHOW them your idea, rather than just TELLING them about it. Consider creating a proof of concept in the actual tool so they can “touch and feel” the final output, rather than having to use their imagination. At the least, share elearning examples from others using your tool of choice. You can also provide links to case studies and reviews, and cite other organizations like yours that are seeing success. This will give stakeholders confidence to make a positive decision.
The key to a really solid business case that will win over your stakeholders is making a clear link between a better authoring tool and current (and future) business challenges. Make it as concrete and simple as possible.
If building a business case still seems a little daunting, our consultants would be happy to help you with this (free of charge, of course!).