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Don't hire me! Evaluate your own training budget in three simple steps

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Fri Jan 12 2007

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I love doing a good training audit as much as anyone. But you can do a lot yourself. When I review training budgets for clients, one tool I use is to break spending into three categories:

1. The money spent to to fulfill obligations.

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These are the funds that are spent doing what the training group had committed to doing in the past. These might include ethics and sexual harassment training, new employee training, HIPPA compliance, and so on.

2. The money spent to reduce the cost of fulfilling the current obligation in the future

These are the funds used to automate processes wherever possible, consolidate vendors, or renegotiate, or find cheaper sources.

3. The money spend to deliver new (hopefully strategic) value.

This is the money spent to do something new. These are the new programs, the new infrastructure, and the new tools. Funnily enough, if companies are doing (1) well, these (3) activities are the only things that get noticed.

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So many groups are trapped in (1). The best groups are constantly engaged in (2) and then (3). One "aha," and I think I will get plenty of grief here as well for bringing this up, is that often putting resources in making incremental improvements in increasing the end-user satisfaction of (1) training (way different from customer satisfaction in corporate environments), comes out of category (3).

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