I believe that a training program can be extremely successful without spending additional money on the program. There are two ways to achieve these improvements; focus on the ‘Listen, Do, Review’ methodology of continuous improvement and focus on objectives that bring business value to your company. This new focus on continuous improvement and value add objectives will require a coordinated effort and long term plan to measure and deliver the objectives. This new focus will require a redesign of not only your training strategy, it will also require a redesign of your training organization and activities to support your redesigned training strategy. If this concept gains momentum it can have a profound impact on the training industry by changing from a fire-and-forget type training practice, to a ‘Listen, Do, Review’ type training practice.
The fire-and-forget practice is represented by the type of training programs that are currently most prevalent in the industry are programs that provide a class or seminar and hope that the content will stick. There is nothing wrong with this type of training program is you are searching for classes and seminars to fill a specific program that you are developing, or if you are trying to reward someone for their efforts. However, this is not a very good method if you are trying to develop a new skill and improve your workforce. In order to improve your workforce you must develop a strategy that defines where you want to progress in your workforce. Then you must determine how to implement, or deliver, your strategy.
You will recognize this suggestion as the standard method to guide all organizations; develop a mission statement, then develop a strategy to deliver the mission, then define the program required to meet the objectives and deliver the mission. This is the disconnect in many training programs causing a failure to deliver on the mission and strategy. I don’t think this failure is intentional, I think this failure is due to a lack of experience in delivering a program. I believe that the missing link to successfully delivering on your training mission and strategy is to focus on the basic nuts and bolts of program management and delivery. Think about the examinations provided by evaluations and papers over the years, especially the Chaos Reports from the Standish group, reporting that only 16% of projects are successful. Considering the results of this and similar research, why would you think that a training program can beat these odds?
It is critical to the success of both your training program and your company’s future that you reevaluate your training strategy along with the methods that you deliver your training programs. This includes implementing the program management methodology to delivery on the objectives of your training program and also the implementation of the ‘Listen, Do, Review’ type of continuous improvement methods and measurements. This is especially critical now because continuing education has become a prerequisite to the success of both the individual and the organization. Education and training can be one of the key ingredients to the continuing success of your company and a robust and effective training program can help to ensure this success.
And now for the audience participation portion of the show…
How do you plan and coordinate your training program? Have you contemplated, or implemented a ‘Listen, Do, Review’ model in your training program? Are you utilizing industry project management practices to help you deliver your training strategy?