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Vol. 3, No. 10       August 09, 2007    

DSA-Award Winning Designs for Excellence

Did you know that DSA specializes in using the latest in instructional design strategies and techniques to help our clients develop effective classroom and e-learning instruction from scratch  for their internal training needs?

Think of a business problem, opportunity or strategic initiative that your company must address....

Think of a project that must be completed in record time or that requires specialized skills....

Think of the performance and productivity advantages of implementing programs that have been tested and proven to work....  

DSA encourages customers to consider using adult learning strategies such as cognitive apprenticeship, problem-based learning, goal-based scenarios, and real world authentic learning activities as the cornerstones of efficient, effective, and appealing learning experiences. These techniques are always considered as value-added strategies, while never losing sight of the business drivers for a project.

Read a white paper about DSA’s 2007 Award Winning approach.


Great Reasons to Let DSA Develop Your Training

When you have a project that must be completed in record time or that requires specialized skills, DSA's project teams can provide a dedicated resource, a fresh perspective, a broad base of experience, and an innovative approach to your project.

Learn more...


The Criterion Referenced Testing Workshop
Register Now . . .

You will use the practical ideas from this workshop to make test planning and development easier, faster and more effective. The techniques you will learn document the test development process, tying every facet of testing into the learning objectives of the training materials.

You will learn by doing—by working on your own project and by participating in meaningful group activities.

You will learn systematic test item and testing plan development methodologies that you can use again and again for any type of training.

You will discover and implement testing techniques specifically suited to the instruction under consideration, whether that is cognitive processes or observable psychomotor performance.

You will gain the skills necessary to produce valid and reliable tests.

You will learn specific shortcuts and time-savers for solving testing problems and challenges.

Register today at

Contact DSA
Darryl L. Sink & Associates, Inc.
One Cielo Vista Place
Monterey, CA 93940
Phone: 831.649.8384

Voicemail: 800.650.SINK (7465)
Fax: 831.649.3914
Workshops: Jane Sink, Vice President of Marketing

Today's Tip
Vendor Selection

Dr. Darryl SinkEver hire a consulting firm to design and develop an internal training program and end up less than thrilled with the results? Many of my clients report they have experience hiring the wrong vendor on one or more occasions. Do you have a process? Is it working? Are you using the process? Here is a basic process that works and ten tips for making this very important decision.

The Process of Selecting the Right Vendor

  1. Create a pre-qualified list of service providers
  2. Conduct a vendor pre-qualifying interview
  3. Provide an RFP
  4. Use a checklist to review proposals
  5. Evaluate the proposals to select the best match for the work to be completed
  6. Rate each proposal on Capacity, Availability, Reliability, and Compatibility
  7. Make a decision on based on their ratings and price

While this is a logical process and you may already have one too, here are some tips that seem to make it all work to make the best choice.

Tips and Best Practices in Vendor Selection

  1. Whenever possible, conduct a thorough bid process using RFP’s (Request for Proposal). Just utilizing the RFP process causes you to think through the details and to clearly communicate your expectations, which will save time and prevent many problems during the term of the project.
  2. In the RFP, be sure to request: references, samples, examples, and resumes of the vendor’s proposed team members.
  3. Tailor the RFP to your project’s specific needs and outcomes.  Do not make it a boilerplate exercise.
  4. Send RFP’s to at least three separate vendors that you have pre-qualified.
  5. Beware of the lowest bids.  They may not have the proper resources for the project and as the project progresses they may need to ask for additional money in order to complete the project.
  6. Examine all the needs for vendors at one time.  Some vendors may be able to provide for several needs, limiting the number of vendors to coordinate efforts with.
  7. If a project is very large, with an aggressive schedule, consider dividing up the work if logical divisions can be made, e.g., there is more than on instructional program.  This will allow the project team to capitalize on the strengths of multiple vendors.  This will also eliminate the exposure of giving the entire project to one vendor, that may have limited resources to deal with any problems that arise.
  8. Capability (including cost) should, in most cases, be the most important of the four categories to consider while examining the strengths of each vendor.
  9. Review the individual qualifications of the vendor’s team as well as the vendor’s overall performance.
  10. Look for a vendor who will add value to the project (e.g., full service, uses more qualified writers, and makes creative suggestions).
  11. Form a team for the selection process.  Include stakeholders, opinion leaders, and members with the technical, content and process expertise as needed.  This not only improves the quality of the decision, but also gains “buy-in” from the stakeholders and other project participants. 
  12. Have a content or technical expert interview the vendors.
  13. Consider having the vendor come to you and/or your selection team to present their proposals in person.
In summary, have a process and follow it. Refer to the tips above to refine your process and fine a great vendor. Good Luck.

Until next time,


Article 2007 Darryl L. Sink & Associates, Inc.

Related Tips


Learning and Performance Tips

Welcome to Learning and Performance Tips
, a DSA newsletter for Instructional Designers and Performance Consultants. Each issue will include at least one proven tip to help you get the most out of your development and consulting efforts.

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Copyright, Darryl L. Sink & Associates, Inc.
Monterey, California

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