Reducing the Pain of Creating and Delivering ‘Customized’ Learning

According to the ATD 2017 State of the Industry report, sponsored by LinkedIn Learning and, organizations spent $1,273 per employee in 2016 on direct learning, compared with $1,252 in 2015. The average number of formal learning hours used per employee also grew: 34.1 hours in 2016, up from 33.5 hours in 2015. This is the fourth consecutive yearly increase in both direct learning expenditures and the number of learning hours per employee – confirming organizations’ commitment to learning.

For larger organizations, this translates to some pretty big expenses but more importantly, to a lot more time invested in creating courses, delivering learning, and measuring success.


As job roles and work tasks become more specialized – and as more and more companies are witnessing the rise of individual contributors (ICs) who bring specific sets of knowledge and skills to an organization – the need for more customized training becomes increasingly paramount.

With the need to invest 40 to 140 hours of labor to develop 1 hour of training content – and at an average cost of $10,000 – according to the Chapman Alliance Research Study, what is the beleaguered L&D manager to do?

While training content may ultimately need to be specialized and individualized, the process to create and deliver that learning content does not need to be. A single platform can be set to take content and automatically create chapters, summaries, and quizzes or assessments – while ensuring that timing is in line so that the course isn’t too long or short for your learners’ needs.

But perhaps we are getting ahead of ourselves. How do you know if you even need to build a course? Software can be automated to perform administrative tasks such as managing inbound training requests, conducting a needs analysis, crowdsourcing training content among subject matter experts, and the like. Indeed, analysis before a course is built and delivered is extremely important.

Admittedly, off-the-shelf (OTS) courses are cheaper and faster to deliver to learners. But as knowledge becomes a company’s secret weapon – and the need for employees to acquire that knowledge – OTS courses simply cannot deliver. Employees are also savvier these days; they can sense when a ‘one-size-fits-all’ course is put in front of them, rather than a purpose-built, role-specific experience is delivered. (Indeed, this is your chance to really ‘wow’ them.)

Ultimately, your organization needs to establish and nurture a culture of learning, in which knowledge is part of the company’s DNA. By embracing newer ideologies like a Learning Design Systems (LDS), anyone can learn how to design training content – rapidly and at scale – that satisfies both your learners and your instructional design team. 

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Reducing the Pain of Creating and Delivering ‘Customized’ Learning