Learning Solution Architect

SweetRush Inc. Remote, OR

About the Job

The Learning Solution Architect (SA) joins a team that leads SweetRush’s business development initiatives and partners closely with SweetRush team members to define all aspects of new client engagements, including the learning solution and budget and project plan, to address client business goals, challenges and constraints. This individual embodies and presents SweetRush’s capabilities and culture, with the ultimate goal of designing brilliant solutions for our client’s challenges and converting client inquiries to closed business. 

This is the ultimate position for someone who is a consummate Instructional Designer and Project Manager, as it embraces all Instructional Design and Project Management skills. This individual must love to craft solutions and to strategize and ‘win’ in competitive bidding situations. This individual is also great at building individual and organizational trust quickly by providing client-centered consultation that includes facilitating connections between the client and various SweetRush team members. This individual is also a great presenter who, by their voice, presence and intelligence, immediately engenders trust with clients on the phone or in-person. This individual must enjoy this work and bring a sense of humor and a calm demeanor in the face of timeline-driven challenges. 

The SA is involved in the beginning, crafting solutions, and in this capacity will affect a significant number of projects. However, at some point, you will hand off the project to the project team, so you will not be hands-on in further development. Being consultative and impacting a lot of projects, but not doing the actual development must be appealing to you. 

Responding to RFPs (Requests for Proposals) and crafting client solutions can be a demanding job that often is timeline-driven and exists within the context of ‘competition.’ Does this energize you or stress you out? If it energizes, read on! 
The Learning Solution Architect’s responsibilities and activities include:

Consulting and Solution Design
  • Applying understanding of instructional design approaches combined with SweetRush’s capabilities and expertise to create and define solutions to clients’ training challenges and needs
  • Leading scoping meetings with clients to ascertain their needs; asking appropriate questions in order to gather information to propose a solution and documenting responses
  • Providing real-time recommendations and consulting to clients to engage them, fuel discussions and built trust and rapport
  • Leading internal discussions regarding new projects and defining the solution with assistance from internal team members 
  • Embodying and representing SweetRush’s values of partnership, fairness, creativity and customer service
  • Participating in scope, price and timeline negotiations by revisiting any of these areas at the client’s or business development lead’s request and providing consultation on what might be altered within the solution while still keeping it feasible and effective; consulting with other team members on various aspects of the solution if needed to make these judgments

Work Effort / Timeline Estimation / Planning, Presentations and Documents
  • Estimating work effort for the solution using sophisticated SweetRush developed calculator tools combined with input from team members
  • Producing a high-level or detailed project plan (as appropriate) based on the client’s timing requirements, standard deliverable turnaround times and input from team members
  • Writing comprehensive proposals outlining proposed solutions and tying back to SweetRush’s unique value proposition
  •  assigning specific proposal writing assignments to team members as appropriate and editing/shaping their language to fit with the overall tone; 
  • incorporating boilerplate or previously written proposal sections while maintaining the overall tone and ensuring that no legacy or inaccurate information is included 
  • formatting all written solution and proposals to be graphically appealing and clear
  • Leading the development of and participating in capabilities presentations, which are customized to accompany proposals or to move client conversations forward; identifying the most relevant portfolio pieces to share with clients while keeping privacy needs in mind
  • Leading RFP response efforts which typically embrace all of the above activities on a larger scale and often with shorter timelines
  • Writing Statement of Work (SOW) contracts based on approved proposals
  • Consulting on appropriate resource assignments based on project and client needs

Transition and On-boarding
  • On-boarding (or handing off to) project managers, instructional designers, creative directors and technical leads assigned to projects on the project details, including any observations to date on key client players 
  • Attending initial meetings with clients as appropriate to provide continuity in the transition from scoping phase to project kick-off
  • Ensuring that the appropriate SweetRush team leader is engaged and informed at all stages as appropriate and that they have the high-level solution information packaged in a way that he/she can easily make decisions about pricing and price negotiations

Project Management for Business Development
  • Participating in weekly internal business development meeting and ensuring the CRM is up to date
  • Determining next steps and deadlines at every stage and ensuring both you and other team members meet those requirements

Account Management for Business Development
  • Work closely with other business development professionals and project managers to develop and manage accounts, including implementing client pursuit and re-engagement strategies
  • Proactively (time permitting!) identify and qualify sales opportunities with existing clients
  • Develop and maintain strong relationships with clients 
  • Develop strategies that support existing clients and that identify, educate, and capture new points of contact with existing clients
  • Meet with key decision makers and develop networks at all levels within existing clients

Key Attributes:
  • Understanding of instructional design approaches and ways to map learning objectives to levels of interactivity
  • Project management expertise, particularly the ability to engage team members and keep them on task in their contributions to deliverables and the ability to follow a standard process and make modifications as needed to achieve the best results
  • Ability to create a solid proposed solution from which a contract can be created, without needing to do a comprehensive content analysis, for which there is often not enough time or information
  • Excellent client and account management skills
  • Ability to present capabilities demonstrations and training solutions using appropriate technology in group and virtual settings
  • Experience in successfully participating in and conducting business development campaigns, using resources, and developing relationships with targeted decision makers
  • Highly professional demeanor in all communications; ability to speak in a clear, concise manner on client calls and in presentations
  • A sense of humor and a calm demeanor in the face of challenges others might find stressful 
  • Excellent written and verbal communication skills
  • Excellent time management skills; ability to juggle multiple projects and prioritize effectively
  • Resourcefulness in times of resource limitations and ability to wear multiple hats
  • Joy in developing long-term relationships with team and clients.

Requirements (minimum): 
  • Bachelor’s Degree in Instructional Design or related field (minimum!).
  • 7+ years experience in training/learning field – with a strong understanding of all aspects of blended learning solutions, and intimate understanding of eLearning
  • 5+ years experience working in a consulting environment
  • 5+ years experience working in a client-facing capacity.
  • Experience in or orientation towards business development 
  • Expert level with  Microsoft Word, Excel and Project 
  • Ability to travel between 10-25% with international travel a definite possibility