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Balancing time and resources

Over the years of creating elearning, we’ve often had the challenge of a client asking for something that’s not quite in the scope of the project. Extra rounds of review, extra voiceover recording, extra graphics; somewhere along the process the client realizes they wanted something that wasn’t accounted for in the work estimate or project plan.

Depending on the changes, often we find workarounds that don’t incur extra costs to us or the client. Narration could have pieces edited in from a different part of the recording if the words are the same. Stock images could be sourced from free libraries instead of paid subscription sites.

However, these solutions don’t work in all cases. It might not be possible to cut and paste together audio in a natural-sounding way; or the stock graphics aren’t quite what the client envisioned.

At this point, we have to consider if just buying those stock photos or paying the voice artist for new recordings would be a better solution than spending more time working on editing or searching free graphics. After all, time is a type of resource, and must be managed alongside the more conventional, material resources.

Of course, we discuss the possibility of incurring extra costs to the client and present alternatives before moving forward. It’s possible that the client would rather have machine recorded voiceover and similar imagery instead of paying for new recordings and specific stock photos. They may choose to drop those changes altogether. We have to set expectations for what each option means for the client, their budget, and their project plan.


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