It all started when we created our own classroom materials, because we were not completely happy with what we saw around us. The quality of our course materials attracted the attention of our customers, who then asked us to develop course materials for their products. This works: one of the largest ISVs in The Netherlands let S2eP2 create initially one technical training. They were so happy with the results that they ordered several other training projects with us, bypassing their own education division!
S2eP2 has a unique approach for course development: we develop on a fixed price, fixed date base. We use techniques that we borrowed from project management that help us stay on track. From the first contact through the final delivery, we use four stages, some of which are subdivided into several steps. The customer can decide not to continue the project at the end of each stage, and at the end of some of the steps as well.
The stages and steps are:
- Stage 1: Quick scan
During this stage, we discuss the requirements with the customer, the expected results and we explain our approach. The deliverable for this stage is a document that states how we will continue with the second stage, at what cost, what key personnel of the customer will we involved and how long it will take. If the customer accepts this proposal, we continue with:
- Stage 2: Create the project plan
During this stage, we define the outline of the course. The deliverable is, of course, the project plan. In the project plan is defined what will be the objectives of the course, the audience and the deliverables for the next stages. Also included is an estimation of the people days involved, both for the customer and for the course developer. Because we know how many days will be involved, we will also present a project time schedule.
With the approved project plan the customer can invite one or more course development companies to bid for the contract. Because the times involved have been pinpointed in the project plan, it is possible for S2eP2 to include a fixed price and a fixed date for the completion of the project.
- Stage 3: Create the course contents
During this stage, the actual course contents are created. The deliverables fir this stage are the actual course materials (a student manual, audiovisuals, maybe a web-site, a trainer manual, even templates for the student invitations, if necessary). Besides these, we do have our project reports as deliverables as well: each reports tells where we are regarding the phases stated in the project plan.
If the project is large, this stage can be subdivided into phases, where each phase has clearly defined goals and deliverables. Whether the course development cycle is large or small, the customer should always feel confident that the actual creation of the course is on schedule and within budget.
- Stage 4: Deliver a pilot and a Train-the-Trainer session
Once all the materials have been completed, the setup and the manuals go through the acid test: does the course really reach the stated objectives with a live audience? After the pilot session the final touch is given to the contents and the lay-out, and then the course is ready for roll-out. Typically, courses that are developed by us, are given for a world-wide audience by several trainers from diverse backgrounds. If the need arises — and is addressed in the project plan — a Train-the-Trainer session will be planned to disseminate the materials.
Of course S2eP2 is capable of instructing from the course materials we have created ourselves.