At Keystone Development, every single training solution we create is bespoke. Yes, we do actually write every training course from scratch. We believe that a bespoke approach aids the transfer of learning, which is what training should be about. (See our previous blog for more on this!) That doesn’t mean that every single page of every workbook, or every single case study or activity is 100% unique. Of course from time to time we do use some materials more than once. However we NEVER simply rebadge a course and sell it to someone else as some training consultancies do.
Apart from the ethics of this (we offer a bespoke service so that is what we should provide) I find amending courses incredibly difficult and time consuming. It is frustrating for me to be asked to just make a few tweaks to an existing program (as I am often asked to do when employed as an associate for other consultancies), because this actually takes me almost as long as starting from a blank sheet of paper. Maybe it’s just the way that my mind works! I find writing bespoke training incredibly easy and this is how I do it.
1. Start with the objectives. You cannot hope to write a bespoke course if you don’t know what it is your client is trying to achieve.
2. Brainstorm all possible content that will meet these objectives. I tend to create many mind maps and litter my desk with post-it notes before finally settling on the content that will best meet the objectives.
3. Structure this content appropriately and add relevant times that reflect the emphasis that the client wants to put on various elements.
4. See what source material you have and can include. I never look at what I’ve already got until the content and structure is clear in my mind. If you start looking at existing material before this point it is too easy to drift away from the client specification and start trying to make what they want fit what you already have. Then, look at the gaps and work out what new or ‘in-house’ content needs to be researched and developed.
5. Write the programme! And here I do mean write the program – not copy and paste it from other documents. Only by properly writing it can you make sure the context, interpretation and emphasis is right and truly bespoke to the client.
In 17 years I have never yet produced two courses that are more than 50% the same. Even if similar content is to be covered, it tends to be covered in a different order with a different emphasis and in a different context. If you think that bespoke training can add value to your business, please contact us. Or, you can buy our e-book on Designing Training for £3.95 if you would like a more detailed guide.