ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

How to Estimate Training Design Timelines

Updated on August 6, 2017
Carolyn M Fields profile image

Lifelong learner, musician, author, world traveler, truth enthusiast, and all around bon vivant.

Source

Background

According to Langevin Learning Services, most classroom instructional design projects require 25 days (see work break down) of development for every day of instruction.

Here is a typical work breakdown:

Design Timeline

Task
Estimated Duration
 
 
Number of Work Days
As a Percentage of Total
Plan Project
2
8
Analyze Learners
1
4
List Tasks
1
4
Analyze Tasks
8
32
Write Objectives
0.5
2
Design Tests
2
8
Select Methods
1
4
Structure Course
1
4
Develop Materials
7
28
Validate Course
1
4
Evaluate Course
0.5
2
Total
25
100%

Tasks to Design Training

The tasks listed above are fairly universal. Some Instructional Designers may be tempted to take short cuts, or eliminate steps, but this only leads to an inferior design. For example, you may feel that you already know your audience, and that there is no real reason to do analyze your learners. This is where you might miss recent changes in the workplace. Also, some clients may tell you that "tests" are not needed. This would also be a mistake, since some sort of assessment needs to take place to validate learning has taken place. If you must, call it something else, e.g., knowledge check. But don't skip this, or any of the other steps.

Key Variables

Experienced Instructional Designers know that you can add or subtract as much as ten days (which is 40%) to/from the total, depending on:

  • The size and experience of your team and organization
  • The relative scope of the project
  • The availability of materials, Subject Matter Experts (SMEs), vendors, etc.
  • Work already completed

Obviously, a highly experienced team is going to take much less time to complete the project. Also, the availability of SMEs is such a key component, it can't be overstated. Also, access to reviewers and approvers is key (if you have them).

It should be noted that the above chart is for Classroom-based instruction. Computer-based or Web-based projects are more complex, and typically require between 75 and 300 days of development to every day of instruction.

Proposal

Here is my straightforward idea to “simplify” those variables.

  1. To estimate duration of a project, use a “standard” benchmark,
    such as 25 to 1, depending on the nature of the project.
  2. Add or subtract a percentage, based upon know complications or complexities.

Here is my table:

Complexity

Complexity
Percentage
Easy
Subtract 40%
Below Average
Subtract 20%
Average
No change
Above Average
Add 20%
Difficult
Add 40%

Example - Advanced Problem Solving

One-day of tradition classroom training. Instructor led. Need leader’s guide, participant materials and visual aids. Templates for these already exist. One experienced Instructional Designer. Limited SME availability, however, the client is motivated to have this project complete by a specified due date. Some materials already developed. Well-known audience characteristics.

Project Duration Estimate: 6 ½ hours of actual instruction (allowing for breaks and lunch) multiplied by the 25 to 1 standard = 162.5 hours design time. Apply a “below average” complexity factor = 130 hours is the revised estimate.


Conclusion

Regardless of what approach you take, you are going to need to justify your time estimates to your client. Hopefully, this has given you an additional tool.

Comments

Submit a Comment

  • RoadMonkey profile image

    RoadMonkey 

    3 years ago

    It takes quite a while to prepare training. And when you present it, you have to KNOW it too!

  • DreamerMeg profile image

    DreamerMeg 

    3 years ago from Northern Ireland

    Yes, this is very true yet many people do not realise this, they think that "training" comprises lifting a script from a drawer and reading it out!

working

This website uses cookies

As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, hubpages.com uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at: https://hubpages.com/privacy-policy#gdpr

Show Details
Necessary
HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the googleapis.com or gstatic.com domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
Features
Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
Marketing
Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
Statistics
Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)