5.5 hours development for every minute of runtime

A client came up with their best practice evaluation of 5.5 hours of development for every minute of elearning runtime.

So a 10 minute elearning module should, according to their calculation, take 55hrs to produce. The expectation is a bit of everything, stock video, interaction, animation.

They provide the rough script/storyboard. All the rest is up to the developer.

As freelanced developers out there, would you take up a project like this? Is this a reasonable ratio?

8 Replies
Alexandros Anoyatis

That's between Level 2 and 3 of the Chapman study so at first glance I'd be willing to work with that for sure.

But really, it all depends on scope. Speaking of scope, I think the most important factor here is to determine which aspects of development you'd be willing to (or have to) outsource before you sign up for the project. Determining the costs of these would probably answer your question more safely than we can assume to do so.

For example: I have the capacity to shoot 1080p/60fps and have decent equipment for a home/indoors shoot, but if the client needs outdoors (or even aerial) footage I'll need to invest for at least a drone and a slider (these things are expensive!).

Additionally, you are expected to create/provide the animation, but of what kind? And to what level? 2d and 3d animation is really expensive and most of us aren't going to be able to take care of that without outsourcing the work. This will surely take a good chunk out of the budget.

Voiceover costs should also be factored in (although the talent pool is huge and I'm sure you'll be able to find a cost-effective solution there).

Good luck with your decision. Hope this helps,


Alexandros Anoyatis
XAn Choly

Where can I find more details about Chapman levels?



I can't give you an estimate on animation. This is always project-specific in my experience. The costs are generally quite high if you want a professional result, though.