By Jason L. James, Jr., MSSL and Scott A. Gesty, CPA
During our careers, we have experienced several approaches to training across different organizations. We have found that the best training development and delivery experiences come to life when training and the business professionals collaborate. Unfortunately, there are many instances when the business or operations become disconnected with training, meaning they are doing things independent of each other that they should be doing in conjunction with.
The “No Important Personnel Left Behind Act” (NIPLBA)
The “No Important Personnel Left Behind Act” (NIPLBA) is not really an act, but maybe it should be. Consider the hypothetical or realistic chaos in your organization’s projects that could stem from the business detaching from training or vice versa. You probably would experience what we note as renegade operations and renegade training. Definitively, they are:
Renegade Operations: operations free from or involving limited training support
Renegade Training: training free from or involving limited operations support
The NIPLBA simply aims to involve all necessary personnel and involve them immediately. This will ensure that your organization has more than enough bright ideas to mull over and almost ensure that the brightest of the bright ideas will be put into action.
Let us assume the business is bringing on a new system to better handle some critical business processes. The members of the business will be the end-users and need to understand how the system works, but the members of the business don’t have the resources to put together a comprehensive systems training program that will support its processes. The business might conclude that on-the-job (OJT) training will suffice. So, the business moves forward with utilizing the system without offering the staff hands-on classroom training. After months of using the system, staff is still asking the system developer (an outside consulting firm) what could seem to be elementary questions, e.g., system navigation questions. There is consulting time and consulting fees attached to the inquiries from the business. All this time, there was a training professional who not only is highly competent in project management but could have helped the entire department understand the business processes by delivering the training. In hindsight, the training professional could have worked with the consultants to build an in-house systems training class, thus saving the business time and money.
Some noticeable benefits to training as a partnershipare:
It has been our experience that open communication between training and the business from the onset of a project like the aforementioned is critical to the success of the training program that will be developed and implemented. Working together as partners through the Training Needs Analysis, Training Proposal, Program Design & Development, ending with the final delivery and evaluation will ensure that all parties will remain focused on the final goal: successful implementation of the new business system.
Failure to work together almost always results in miscommunication and inefficiency. Lack of a signed training proposal very well may result in training delivering a solution that is either not what the business expects or possibly doesn’t meet the objective that is meant to be accomplished. Imagine how awkward it would be to be in the room when training presents a Web-based training module when the business was expecting an instructor-led training session! Think of all the wasted resources and time that went into the original development and the additional resources that will have to be employed to correct the misunderstanding. What if there isn’t enough time to make the change before the new system is supposed to go “live”? The results of the lack of partnership from the beginning potentially could have a significant impact to the company’s bottom line.
“Training as a partnership” is not always the fastest or easiest way to reach the best solution, but it is certainly an efficient manner of getting the job done right.
Scott A. Gesty, CPA, is a corporate training manager with an international financial services company. His professional experience is in accounting, project management, and classroom instruction. He can be reached at email@example.com.
Jason L. James, Jr., MSSL, is a corporate trainer with an international financial services company. His professional experience is in classroom instruction and instructional design, project management, accounting, and compliance. He can be reached at Jason.L.JamesJr@gmail.com.