Monday, January 05, 2009

Hemorrhaging Money

I've talked about this before and want to add a new voice to the choir. I get two kinds of calls from people wanting to "do" e-learning. The first come form those who are interested in expanding their scope to include more learners, to reduce travel and other costs, or to otherwise solve a business problem. The other calls come from those who want to know how to track and monitor and measure completions. They are always more interested in buying an LMS they don't yet need (and often don't even really know what it does) than in designing anything resembling effective online training.

The question of buying an LMS to track and monitor and yada yada recently came up on one of the Yahoo discussion groups to which I belong. Here are some fabulously in-your-face comments from Peter Hunter, www.breakingthemould.co.uk, quoted with his permission:

"If your training is not producing added value to your bottom line,then what is
the point of tracking it?

All you are doing is measuring the exact rate that the training
department is hemorrhaging money out of the company.

If your training is adding value, then measure the value it is adding.

When we train for the sake of training we are destroying the
organisation we are supposed to be supporting.

Think carefully about why you need this software and if the reason
turns out to be that your boss told you to get it, go ahead."

4 comments:

Dick Carlson said...

Talk about speaking the truth! I'm headed to the big city tomorrow to talk to a bunch of folks about this very topic, and I'm trying to decide if I should do this (and not get the contract) or just agree that they need to measure the exact rate of decline.

Lord, give me strength.

Jane Bozarth said...

Dick,
Try some Diet Mountain Dew. Works for me.

Dave Ferguson said...

I have tried at times to find a diplomatic way of saying, "How much of this person's job involves completing multiple-choice questions?"

Jane Bozarth said...

Dave, that reminds me of Roger Schank: "Learning objectives are usually based on whatever the training department has figured out a way to measure."