6 Surefire Ways to Lose an Instructional Design Contract

6 Surefire Ways to Lose an Instructional Design Contract By Leighanne Lankford

In the field of instructional design consulting, winning and keeping contracts with clients requires more than just technical prowess and creativity. It demands an understanding of client needs, effective communication, and meticulous project management. However, instructional designers can still find themselves dropped from a consulting gig due to various missteps throughout the process. In this article, we explore six surefire ways that instructional designers can inadvertently sabotage their engagement.

  1. Ignore the client’s objectives. It’s easier to just start on the project with your ideas than to really dig into your client’s objectives. What is the overall goal of this program? What are they trying to accomplish? How will they measure success? At TrainingPros, we strongly encourage our clients and consultants to have an initial kickoff meeting to define the objectives of the program.
  2. Skip the discussion about scope. Does the client want an hour-long eLearning course or three short microlearning courses? What objectives should be covered and tested? What should be left out of the course? What is already covered in other courses?
  3. Don’t come to agreement on delivery dates. Consultants that skip the question, “When do you want to see the first deliverable and what specifically do you want to see?” Some clients might be happy waiting until you have a completely finished draft. However, most clients would prefer to see your design document for the deliverable before you spend two weeks developing it. In addition, consultants need to plan around the critical deadlines the client has defined. A surefire way to lose that new contract is to plan a European vacation that occurs one week before the final deadline.
  4. Skip creating a small prototype. Whether you are creating a complex eLearning course or a PowerPoint file for a virtual classroom, if you skip creating a short sample for review you are much more likely to waste valuable time and money. At TrainingPros, we strongly encourage creating prototypes.
  5. Don’t define the review cycles. Consultants that don’t work with the client to define who will be reviewing the course and providing feedback will find themselves with ongoing reviews and changes that can make the development cycle much longer than it should be. In addition, defining at each review what should be reviewed and stating what has already been signed off can really speed up the development process.
  6. Skip the status report. The overall biggest reason consultants lose their contract is by skipping the status report. By doing this, they leave their client guessing about what has been accomplished. This can lead to embarrassment for the client when asked to give an update to their boss. It can also create the idea in the client’s mind that the consultant is billing with nothing to show for it. At TrainingPros, we remind our consultants to send weekly status reports several times at the start of a project.

In essence, winning and retaining instructional design contracts hinges on more than just technical expertise—it demands a holistic approach that encompasses client collaboration, clear communication, and effective project management. These proactive measures not only enhance the quality and efficiency of project delivery but also cultivate trust and confidence in the client-consultant relationship. By avoiding the six surefire ways outlined in this article, instructional designers can position themselves for greater success and longevity in the competitive landscape of instructional design contracting.

Are you tired of instructional design contractors that don’t deliver what you ask for? Let our industry-experienced Relationship Managers find the best consultant to help you start your project with confidence.

Picture of Leighanne Lankford

Leighanne Lankford

Leighanne Lankford lives life outside of the lines. From walking on fire to rappelling down buildings, she lives by the mantra, "playing it safe isn’t good enough." In her 30 years as a Learning and Development practitioner, thought-leader, and now business owner, Leighanne has always pushed boundaries and done things her way.
TrainingPros Blog Rings Logo Icon | When You Have More Projects Than People...

You Might Also Like

Search

Follow Us

12.8kFollowers
865Followers
349Fans
831Subscribers
76Followers
14.9kTotal fans
Leighanne Lankford lives life outside of the lines. From walking on fire to rappelling down buildings, she lives by the mantra, “playing it safe isn’t good enough.” In her 30 years as a Learning and Development practitioner, thought-leader, and now business owner, Leighanne has always pushed boundaries and done things her way.

Recent Posts