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December 2017
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TD Magazine
Use the Budget Cycle to Evaluate Training Programs

In " Preparing and Defending Your Training Budget," Lianabel Oliver Bigas writes, "The preparation of your departmental budget is the ideal time to question your current training programs and how they are being delivered, look for more effective training alternatives that may be better aligned to your client's needs, and redesign or improve existing processes."

For each of your major training programs, you can determine if resource allocation is aligned to organizational priorities by analyzing:

Head count. This facet drives labor and employee-related costs like training, travel, and supplies. Is your current training structure meeting your customer needs? Are there programs that could be consolidated or delivered in a more cost-effective manner?

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Spending. After you look at the number of employees who will need training, you can look at other costs related to training such as course development, equipment rental, and promotional materials.

Capital budget. If a major equipment purchase will be required in the coming year, you will be asked to submit a capital budget. Work with your finance department on business justification and to ensure that the purchase complies with required documentation and format.

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Assumptions, risks, and opportunities. Review your SWOT (strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats) analysis and your detailed work plan to identify risks and opportunities in your training budget—such as the possibility of project delays or increased costs above the estimation made.

These tips were adapted from the December 2017 issue of TD at Work.

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About the Author
The Association for Talent Development (ATD) is a professional membership organization supporting those who develop the knowledge and skills of employees in organizations around the world. The ATD Staff, along with a worldwide network of volunteers work to empower professionals to develop talent in the workplace.
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