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Does Your Training Consultant Have the Right Design Development Process?

What’s the first step to the laying the foundation for success of any learning and training development project? It’s good project management, with the right design development process. In fact, it’s so important that it could be considered one of the top criteria you might consider when selecting a training and learning development company and consultant.

Of course, you want to review the most important information ahead of time to choose your training consultant wisely. Instructional design experience is one factor and very important, but the right training consultant will also have a well-defined development process based on their experience and a track-record of successful projects with satisfied clients.

So, what does the right instructional design process look like? As a top training consultant and award-winning learning services vendor, we have more than a few ideas. Simply put, an effective process must include a plan for clear and consistent communication, and iterative processes with reviews to ensure alignment at each critical step of design development.

Here’s what that looks like, in detail.

Must-Haves in Effective Design Development Provided by Top Training Consultants

Item 1: Do they have a roadmap? The first step to finding the right training consultant is to ask if they have a roadmap or framework they follow. Having steps in place they can share with you should help you know what to expect. Not having one points to potential disorganization and delays.

Item 2: Will you have a dedicated project manager? Especially if you’re using a large team (but even if you aren’t), you’ll want a single point of contact with the experience to manage multi-disciplinary teams, coordinate between your SMEs and theirs, lay out steps and set benchmarks, and provide effective points of progress.

Item 3: What will they do to help you define a successful project outcome? Can they define success, and help you determine how you’ll measure the outcome to determine value? The beginning stage of any development process should be to set goals, get your teams in alignment, and determine the KPIs with which you can continue to monitor the effectiveness of your learning program.

Training consultant helping on a project

Item 4: What is their design philosophy? If you care that your project has the right branding, fits your culture, is purpose-driven and strikes the right tone to engage, motivate and inspire your learners, then you’ll want to look for a consultant that has designers on staff and is ready to address these needs through design workshops and review of early prototypes.

Item 5: Do they have a quality control process during the creation phase for effective reviews? You’ll want to see your deliverables during the development phase to ensure your teams continue to be in alignment.

Item 6: How will your consultant conduct the implementation phase? Will they hand off your solution without sticking around to ensure integration? Ideally, you’ll want a team that will help with testing, launch, and rollout. Even if you have your own IT team on staff, we suggest you find a consultant that include technical know-how to make sure your digital systems are compatible and fully integrated, and that you’re prepared at hand off.


If you have any questions as you’re searching for the right training and learning company, we suggest you bookmark this post to use as a basic checklist of items to look for. We’ve also covered this topic in a recent post with more information about how to choose the right vendor here.