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How to Measure the Sustainability of your IT Training Program
IT training programs continue to evolve with leaps and bounds, in step with the advancements in technology. As the technological sphere begins to grow and diversify, while advancing exponentially, the shelf life of the training programs related to it reduces. This presents a conundrum for the modern enterprise that wants to launch a company-wide, or a specific team-centric IT training program, regarding the impact and overall sustainability of the program itself.
The concept of training the workforce is out of the question today, since higher profit margin and employee retention depends upon timely training and development. However, with so many learning paths available and more being introduced on an almost daily basis, selecting the right ones, with beneficial longevity, is not so simple.
So, how do you determine how effective your intended training program will be in the long run? How do you find out whether the technologies centered in the program will remain relevant some years down the road? And most importantly, how do you know if the training will deliver the IT skills necessary for the teams to drive innovation consistently?
Following are some helpful guidelines to help you answer these questions.
Measuring IT Training Program Sustainability and Effectiveness
Regardless of how impressive the program may look from the outside, it is the outcome that has all the value. This is because a quantitative and qualitative outcome is what companies aim for, when putting internal IT training into effect.
The ROI is the best way to establish whether training has had any real effect. While it may change over time, it can at least raise the vital questions that should be asked before starting IT training, such as potential ROI. Real-time analytics and metrics are also helpful here. However, the easiest way to read into the sustainability if a program is by observing 3 things – as follows.
Visual Cues: Clearly Visible Positive Change
Traditionally, the best way to demonstrate grasp over training was to perform various tasks under controlled settings. The issue with this approach today is that said tasks may demonstrate command over technologies and processes that the employee wouldn’t actually use in real life.
Modern collaborative and data sharing software systems allow managers to access a database of task-completion proof, such as highlighted entries in an Excel worksheet to show which tasks have been completed. It can also reveal two distinct elements; the practical long-term usability of the concepts learned, and the effectiveness advantage that some training features have over others. The latter can be determined by researching statistics and analytics related to those particular training features.
Real World Application
Simply put; if it proves itself in the real world, it is good enough! Not so simple though, is proving effective for a long period of time, even after a few training upgrades have emerged. To determine this, once again, analytics can prove invaluable, since they will allow managers to find out whether the adoption and application of the product is rising and/or stable.
Realistically, drops in performance are expected, and quicker tomorrow than today. However, if the teams can use the skills attained during, say, a new Agile learning path, and consistently improve the bottom line of the company for longer periods, the training will have proven sustainable.
IT Skill Assessment: A ‘Before and After’ Scenario
A very easy way to find out the potential sustainability of training en masse is to first test out the training on a single or several individuals; and measure their performance before training as well as after. Granted that in today’s fast-shifting IT landscape, this approach will not work all the time, as new technologies and training methodologies will probably emerge before the initial test has concluded. However, if done correctly, it can provide managers with a clear before and after scenario, thereby proving sustainability firsthand.
Using data analytics is necessary here due to the clear picture they provide of how steep the progress curve is, while also predicting whether the performance will continue to increase with new learning along the same learning path.
When gauged, analyzed and correctly applied, online IT training courses can be a difference between a drastic drop in the company’s own sustainability and a steady climb into a technically and technologically superior enterprise. Make sure to empower teams with online IT courses on a regular basis, to keep them up to speed with the rapidly developing IT sphere, as well as the requirement for better, more sustainable skills on the employee level.