Reflections & Experiences on in-house, out-house

From Clive Shepherd’s blog: In-house, out-house, that old question

He presents three basic options for learning development in an organization – move it all out, keep it all in, compromise with a small in-house group and use outside contractors where appropriate.

And I’ve lived through ALL three (and it’s still not over!). For years my group were working behind curtain #2 (the in-house crowd). Then only a few years ago, the company decided that the design and development of learning was not core to their business … and outsourced we were. Interestingly, my group was taken onboard by the outsourcing firm.

Now, the original company is reclaiming the learning design and development function. They want to have it back in-house, but with it looking more like what Clive writes about in the third option.

As we are going through this transition back to the original company, one of the conversations are about depth and breadth of knowledge and expertise. To what extent should a lil’ ol’ instructional designer like myself be experienced and expert, even, in programming or project management? Should we be specialists or generalists?

If we choose to specialize, then this could put serious limitations on the work to be done (“Sorry, we don’t have a designer who has capacity to work on your project right now.”)

If we choose to generalize we run the risk of “jack of all trades yet master of none” perhaps.

Individuals have been sharing their ideas and preferences; however, the company taking us back has yet to decide on their particular preference. More to follow I suppose.

About Rory

I make my home in the central part of the Garden State along with my family. When I'm not working as an Instructional Designer (focusing mostly on Web-Based learning ... and other eLearning technologies) or researching something, I'm found at home playing computer or video games. Among other things, I volunteer as a choir member and catechist for 8th graders at my parish.
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