Chuck Mead wrote:
> On Thu, 24 Jun 1999, Jared Buckley spewed into the bitstream:
> > Ok, so to get things started off, here's a question that we need to ask
> > ourselves before we begin considering a draft proposal for creating an
> > "approved courseware" program:
> >
> >     1)        Should we engage in granting our seal of approval to
> >       various vendors courseware and training programs?
> >
> >       PROS:
> >
> >           o   Additional future source of revenue for LPI.
> >           o   Creates a tie-in that should increase
> >               participation and visibility.
> >           o   Gives us some measure of control over how
> >               the programs are developed.
> Add... satisfies repeated, current, corporate requests.

Agreed, and a very important point.  A lot of industry enthusiasm gives
us the opportunity to take a leadership position that differentiates us
from other cert. programs.

> >       CONS:
> >
> >           o   Requires many additional resources from LPI
> >               including, but not limited to staffing.
> Not if it's sub-contracted to persons intimate with the LPI program... i.e. some
> of the people right here on this list and some of the others (which, I believe
> it should be). The contractors assessments will require review internally within
> LPI but this is certainly no where near as burdensome as it might otherwise be.

I disagree.  Even subcontracting is going to require that someone
recruit the contractors, draw up the actual contracts, supervise their
work, provide a means for quality assurance, and provide a dispute
resolution process.  We're probably not going to want to single source
this either as it will be a critical part of the approval program, so
that means dealing with multiple suppliers.  We can move some of the
work load to an outsourcer, but not all of it.  Even the oversight
functions we retain will be time consuming and potentially expensive.

> >           o   Until a successful program gets off the ground,
> >               approving vendor courseware will siphon funds
> >               away from our core responsibility: test creation.
> Vendors desiring this status will pay for 100% of this process... IOW... the
> analysis of materials is, without a doubt a professional service. The vendor
> will pay for this as well as a license fee for the logo and the LPI name! Our
> development here is based on the volunteer status of the members of this list so
> the net cost of the program's development to LPI is 0 (caveat: as long as people
> heed my comments about any existing or potential involvement with program or
> exam-dev!).

Yes, they'll all pay for it...eventually.  The real problem, as we're
seeing now in the test development arena, is generating cash flow. 
We've got to be able to see through the operations of LPI with our
current cash flow until accounts receivable can catch up.  That means
for at least a little while, we'll be subsidizing this operation from
cash reserves or test revenue.

> >           o   Creates potential ethical problems in that we're
> >               essentially awarding preferred status to vendors.
> As they've been asking for it I don't think they're concerned with this... and
> an additional point is that it's a merit based adjudication based on their
> content... how is that "preferred"? It's how the market works in any event.

I don't believe that designing a merit-based adjucation system is going
to be easy or cheap.  Plus, if there is a lot of money to be made of
courseware, then the LPI seal of approval will become very valuable. 
When there's big money on the table, people like to hedge their bets. 
The system will need to be designed to minimize external influences on
awarding approval.  This also raises the question of who within LPI is
going to be responsible for making this decision?  The Board?  The
corprel group?  A unnamed future employee(s)?


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