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Archive for April, 2009

Training Analytics

By Bryant Nielson, Managing Director On April 28, 2009 NO COMMENTS

Training AnalyticsIn a financial environment where training organizations are being asked more than ever to prove their worth, effective measurement is probably in the front of everyone’s minds. There are many ways to measure training, from the basic to the advanced. What are some of the analytics you can use to measure training, and more importantly, to measure its effectiveness?

On the basic level, training managers can determine how effective a particular program is by the numbers. How many people have attended a training program, whether in the classroom or online? A better measurement is to know the total number in the target population and compare the actual attendee numbers to that. Many times, an organization’s mandatory training, such as compliance-related courses, can be measured in this manner. Where the goal is 100% attendance, it’s easy to determine success. But is this measurement effective in a “bottom-line” environment? There are two ways to look at this measurement. From the training manager’s perspective, you can determine if a course was engaging and informative enough to keep people coming in. But from an overall view, is this information concrete enough to hand to senior executives? Probably not. But it’s a good start.

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Learning Management System Basics (LMS)

By Bryant Nielson, Managing Director On April 21, 2009 NO COMMENTS

Learning Management SystemA Learning Management System (LMS) can provide tremendous benefits both for the training department and for the organization in general. There are numerous choices for LMS providers, as well as functionalities, so an LMS implementation project can become quite confusing. Just what are the LMS basics and how can a system help your organization?

To start with, let’s discuss what an LMS really is. In basic terms, the LMS is a system that helps you deliver and manage training in numerous formats. One of the first misconceptions about an LMS is that it is used solely for the delivery of online courses. While this is an important component, it is not the only reason to use an LMS. The LMS consists of a few separate parts. First, the management system consists of the tracking and reporting of the organization and individual learning activities. Second, the content authoring system (or LCMS) allows the training department to create and or upload its own in-house or purchased learning content and courses, and the third part is the content and courses themselves.

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Training and the New Global Economy

By Bryant Nielson, Managing Director On April 14, 2009 NO COMMENTS

Global TrainingNow that the world’s economy is in the worst shape it’s been in for many years, organizations are looking at every program, project, department, and even every employee. With this kind of uncertainty, the training organization must adapt to new conditions and keep providing great service. But what exactly can your learning organization do in order to stay competitive – and stay safe from cuts?

First, and possibly most important, is that the training organization must prove its worth better and more times than ever before. It is a sad but true fact that budget cuts often go to the training area first. After all, associates can be trained informally, on the job, and as a “bare-bones” function, right? We know this is somewhat true, but as organizations grow larger and become more complex, who has time to ensure that training occurs except the training department? Proving worth can be done in various ways at various times during training and development. Start out with a detailed but quick analysis of the problem when you’re asked to create new or improved courses. Put anticipated training results into numbers, preferably dollar or productivity numbers. It may take some detailed mathematics, but you can do it. Another way to prove value is to position the training organization as a problem solver. When a department comes to you and requests training, your analysis can lead to solutions. You could discover streamlined processes, gaps, and inefficiencies during the analysis and you should capitalize on this to show your value.

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No Excuses Corporate Training

By Bryant Nielson, Managing Director On April 7, 2009 NO COMMENTS

corporate-trainingNow more than ever, your training department must become an everyday part of the overall organization. Your training area may have been reactive in the past, designing and delivering training only when it was necessary or requested. This mindset is no longer applicable, especially in today’s economic turmoil. As the leader of a training organization, you must transform training from a “sometimes” event into an integral, cultural part of the overall organization. It’s time for “no excuses training”, and there are several ways to make the transformation.

The most important part of moving to “no excuses” is to prove that you are a strategic business partner and not a reactive organizational appendage. When you are asked to show the results of a particular program, don’t report in terms of numbers trained. Conduct further analysis in order to determine how the training impacted the bottom line. Did productivity increase? Did errors decrease? Did the training create a cost savings or bring in new business? When you take this approach, you’re proving that training is part of the organization’s success. But there’s more to this style of training management. If you’re asked to create training, look at the desired final result in terms of numbers that mean something to the target audience. For example, if a new product has been rolled out, how many sales need to occur in order to make that product profitable, and how can training impact those sales? Start thinking in your audience’s terms and not training and development terms. This mindset will go a long way.

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