As a self-proclaimed content snob, I used to have only one answer to this question: BUILD! Everything! We can build all the things!
Until I learned that it’s rare that you can build all the things for each initiative that your organization may have going on. Inevitably, some projects take a backseat to others and all of the things cannot get done, even with the best of intentions.
If you have all of the time, resources (like instructional designers, Subject Matter Experts, graphic designers, authoring tools, etc.), and budget at your disposal – then yes build all of the beautiful, instructionally sound things for training your organization. However, if you don’t have unlimited resources or let’s say you have time but not enough people to do the work, or you have a budget, but the project needs to be done yesterday – an off the shelf solution may be a good fit for you.
The hard part can be figuring out what to buy off the shelf versus what to spend your time and internal resources on building. First, start with the things that are specific to your company – like product training – that you should build internally. No one knows your products better than you and the people inside your organization. Now think about topics like MACRA, Account Management, Market Access, Leadership, and Disease State topics – those are topics that are specific to your industry, but not specific to your company. These are perfect examples of topics that you may benefit from purchasing from a reputable off-the-shelf provider so that your time, money and staff resources can be used to create company specific training.
For more in-depth information of when to buy versus when to build, the CMR Buy vs. Build tool can help. It will ask you some questions about the topic you want to train on, the resources you have available and your time and budget. Based on your answers, it will help you see when it might be beneficial for your organization to partner with an off-the-shelf provider versus building training internally.
Based on the information that you input into the tool, if the recommendation is to partner with an off-the-shelf provider – be sure to check out the Key Questions to Ask an Off-the-Shelf Provider.