Why buying e-learning is like buying a fitted kitchen

by Viv on July 27, 2007

The amount of times my wife has been optimistically saying “lets get a new kitchen” has made me realise that my experience as a buyer of kitchens is probably not unlike that of many managers who are commissioning e-learning.

Firstly it all feels like quite a lot of money, so my fear of making a wrong decision is heightened.

Then there are all sorts of options for different finishes, accessories and gadgetry. We are going to have to live with the consequence of these decisions for years, so we need time to discuss and consult. As we only have these discussions a few times in a lifetime, they are likely to feel painfully slow to the kitchen suppliers.

And then once we’ve actually established what we’d like, there are lots of building options which give different results in terms of quality, time to install and cost:

  • I could build it myself using standard units from B&Q;
  • I could get a high street kitchen store to use of one their standard designs given the dimensions of the room; or
  • I could get in a bespoke kitchen specialist to design something.

Although in real life I do dabble in the kitchen, for the sake of keeping the analogy afloat, lets assume that I am the budget holder and my wife is the user. My priorities as a budget holder are to control costs which conflicts with the user’s desire to have a highly personalised product which will enable her to learn/cook in a fun and easy manner.

However, one thing is that different is that buyers persist in wanting suppliers to quote for e-learning by the hour. For the reasons above, that’s nearly as crazy as asking a kitchen supplier to quote by the cubic metre!

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