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(Mostly) Free Resources to Reduce Training Development Time

How much time does it take for you to develop your learning programs? It's a question whose answer can have enormous implications. We have heard from customers and readers over the years that one of the biggest challenges of delivering effective learning and development opportunities is the amount of time it takes to develop training materials. Here are three free tools (and a fee-based tool) that can be helpful in reducing your time to production!

How much time does it take for you to develop your learning programs? It’s a question whose answer can have enormous implications.

Of course, the first answer to this question is: “It depends.” But that’s not good enough if you’re having a serious conversation with your boss or with a potential client.

Robyn Defelice has been studying this question for years, and recently posted How Long Does It Take to Develop Training? through ATD, sharing her latest findings.

For me, one of the most interesting findings from her most recent report is the list of barriers to speedier training development. Following are several tools and resources you may want to use as you go forward to bring down the amount of time you spend on your own training projects.

Barrier #1 (Limited Resources)

67% of respondents listed limited resources (time, budget, head count) to be a significant barrier to more quickly developing training programs. While not a free resource, Endurance Learning’s Soapbox tool may help reduce your development time for instructor-led training by generating training activities for you, based upon your learning objectives.

Barrier #3 (Lack of Standardized Process or Templates)

The 3rd ranked barrier to more quickly developing learning programs, with 37% of respondents suggesting it was an issue, is the lack of a standardized process or template.

If you’re developing instructor-led training, the following lesson plan template may prove useful as you map out a session and/or if you’re handing off a session to someone else to deliver. Before opening PowerPoint, mapping out a session using a lesson plan template like this (or using our Storyboard template) could help keep your thoughts tightly organized and ultimately save you time by reducing the number of slides you actually need for your presentation.

Endurance Learning lesson plan template

If you’re developing elearning, the following storyboard template my prove helpful in identifying what should go onto each screen of your project, including where you may need voiceover and what the elearning developer (if it’s not you) should be keeping in mind.

elearning outline and storyboard template

Barriers #4 and #7 (SME-related Barriers)

Subject Matter Expert-related barriers appeared twice in this research. If you need to connect with an SME for your next project, the Subject Matter Expert Qualification Checklist could help determine which SME may be most appropriate for your project.

subject matter expert qualification sheet

Regardless of the project, spending some time finding tools, templates and processes to help your work flow more smoothly can reduce the amount of time you spend developing.

If you’ve found some other tools that have been helpful to you in reducing the amount of time it takes to generate a training program, please share them with me (and all the readers) in the comment section!

If you’d like to hear more from Robyn Defelice, we’ll be sharing a Train Like You Listen podcast on this topic on Monday, February 1, 2021.

You can sign up at any point for a Soapbox free trial or you can join us for a 15-minute call to see how Soapbox can benefit you.

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