Training Industry Quarterly - Fall 2008 - (Page 13)

BEFORE YOU BUY | DOUG HARWARD THE BOTTOM LINE: DO WHAT YOU DO BEST AND LET OTHERS DO WHAT THEY DO BEST. SEVEN WAYS TO GET THE MOST FROM YOUR TRAINING DOLLAR I t’s been well documented that training managers are under pressure to reduce spending, but offering less training is not always the solution. It may be a quick fix, but if your organization has an immediate need for training, you must look for other ways to find efficiencies. So what can you do to reduce waste in your training organization? To help with this dilemma, below is a list of seven concrete actions I’ve learned from some of the best training executives in the business. These are not suggestions of how you invest money to save money. They are about eliminating waste and beginning an ongoing strategy of process efficiency. And they are about thinking strategically, not tactically. Be sure to remember: Being frugal with your company’s money is always a good idea, not just during down economic times. Leverage internal resources Your role is to leverage in-house resources to deliver proprietary programs. You have very talented professionals who can deliver programs on strategy, process and application. The bottom line: Do what you do best and let others do what they do best. Reduce administration Administration is one of the biggest wastes in any training organization. We measure what doesn’t need to be measured, and over-schedule when we don’t need to schedule. Determine what is absolutely necessary, and stop the madness of creating reports that no one reads. Reduce travel for training Requiring employees to travel for training is becoming more expensive every day. Much of our training can easily be delivered through webinar technologies, with the cost per student sometimes in the tens of dollars instead of hundreds. Travel costs are usually bigger expenses than the training itself. Consolidate vendors Using multiple vendors for the same program may provide a level of flexibility, but it may add cost. Many vendors will provide additional discounts if you give them more volume, especially contracted instructors. Reduce your vendor’s cost Quite controversial, but I guarantee it works! The best advice I’ve ever received in negotiating with vendors is to focus on their cost, not on their price. We too often try to push our cost to our vendor and expect them to absorb it. Let’s not be naïve and believe they’re not passing it back in price and margins. They have to make a living also. And if they’re not, they won’t be your vendor for long. Rationalize portfolios Quit doing the stuff that doesn’t matter. If courses have no value to your business, quit running them. Begin by classifying training activities based on their strategic value to the business. Ask yourself, “How does this course impact the corporate mission?” If you cannot answer this question easily and succinctly, the training isn’t adding value. Convert learning courses into learning content Any younger employee will tell you the work day is no longer 9 to 5. Use your company’s intranet to provide greater access to learning content. Remember that content does not always mean courses; employees learn through reading also. Give them access to articles and case studies. These documents are great tools for the business schools and should work for you also. There is no magic in the number seven. I’m sure there are other creative steps that training executives could take, and I welcome those suggestions. If you know of any other proven initiatives, please share them with me. Doug Harward is CEO of Training Industry, Inc., and a former learning leader in the high-tech industry. E-mail Doug at 13 Training Industry Quarterly, Fall 2008 / A Training Industry, Inc. ezine /

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Training Industry Quarterly - Fall 2008

Training Industry Quarterly - Fall 2008
At the Editor's Desk
Ezine Email
Winning Organizations Through People
Before You Buy...
Learning Technologies
Informal Learning: Embracing Web 2.0
Leveraging Cutting-Edge Technologies for Learning
Reshaping the Learning Function to Think and Act Globally
The Importance and Growth of Customer Training
Meet Josh Blair
Meet Bob Dean
Meet Mark Myette
Training America's High-Flying Heroes
Closing Arguments

Training Industry Quarterly - Fall 2008