Monday, June 18, 2012

Determining the purpose of training

Like in the case of any other business, the training business within an organization begins with determining the very purpose of offering training. This might seem obvious but I find very often that Training Managers in the business haven’t exactly asked themselves or their management these fundamental questions. Why are we offering training? A clear answer to this question is often the starting point for the Training Manager to think through, plan, prioritize and most importantly seek the required funding from upper management. 

Most CEOs pay plenty of lip-service to training but don’t back up their training managers with the required resources. The Training managers for their part often fail to ask the right questions of their upper management when it comes to making the case for the required resources and funds to build a training business how so ever small it might be. If I got a few pennies each time I heard a training manager say “I don’t have those kinds of funds” I will be writing this piece from my permanent beach house in a far away exotic island. In this article I hope to provide some ammunition or at least some food for thought for Training managers especially those who think that they don’t have the funds but still entertain great dreams of building a successful training offering.

At a high-level, training offered by organizations can be for direct, easily measurable benefits for the organization. For example, it can be for the purpose of generating revenue. i.e., it is a profit-motive. In such cases, it’s often a case of calculating the ROI. How much does it cost to deliver training both in terms of costs for technology, the time of the course developers, instructors etc. How much revenue can I generate? If the case for an acceptable ROI can be made, then the next question boils down to how quickly can I scale this business? Are my costs going to increase significantly in order to scale the business or does my business scale with incremental cost increases?