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Sunday, July 28, 2013

Meeting the needs of the client

A couple of months ago I was given a problem by a line of business client. There was a new tool that had been purchased and the people in the field needed training fast. How could we meet the client's training needs and at the same time their budget needs?

That was quite the problem. The tool is very simple to use, the tool can be learned by a competent person in about an hour, but the purpose of the tool is so important the employees had to use it correctly. My first instinct, as it often is, was for a web based training. This solution would create a controlled learning environment. Every person would be able to learn the same thing the same way. 

There were two problems though. 

1) When training a person to use a tool, it is best to give them that tool. A video or a simulation are only so useful. 

2) WBT development is expensive. The Technology department gave an estimate of 200 hours for their part. Way too much money.

My solution? I wrote a video script that we produced in only a couple of weeks. I then wrote a training that the supervisors could present that was centered on this video and was followed by a hands on practice and assessment. Great.

The next problem was unexpected. We had saved employees having to leave their busy schedules to drive hours to the central training facility for a one hour training. Now the supervisors had to. 

My solution was to go back to the beginning. I quickly created a web based supervisor training (quick being two weeks or so) that allows the supervisors around the state to have the same train the trainer experience on their own time. They can then train their crews on their own schedule, and everybody get the training they need, when they need it.

So far, in the last month this solution has met with a great, positive response. 

What do you think?