December 5, 2016

“Establishing training content means focusing on what the job actually entails. Task analysis methods are important for this. These methods were developed within occupational psychology to ensure that what is trained is what is required. This is one of the most important areas in the psychology of training. If performance requirements are not identified, then training judgments may be inappropriate.

 .  .  . Left to their own devices, training specialists cannot deal appropriately with these decisions because they do not have direct knowledge or experience of the jobs that they are examining, nor the responsibility for how they are carried out .  .  .”  (“Occupational Psychology and Training”)

Knowing this, how should you proceed to select the training programs you will buy?

Should you go to the internet and search the web for vendors that supply training on that subject?  You can then look at the price each vendor charges for their particular solution.  And then you can buy the title that comes with the cheapest price.  Voilà!

Nothing to it — right?!?  Just pick out an appropriate title that costs the least amount of money and order it.  Simple as that!

Whoa!  Not so fast!

Assumptions are being made here that can certainly cost you much bigger bucks than the money you spend to buy the training title with the least expensive price.

So, why isn’t it that easy?

Well, you wouldn’t buy yourself a car that way, would you?  You’d be looking for the most value you could afford — right?

Absolutely!  You wouldn’t purchase a car for yourself solely by looking at automobile-names on a website or in the newspaper Want Ads.

Wouldn’t you, first, want to test drive the car?  Wouldn’t you want to look up car ratings on an appropriate website?  And, you might even want to talk with other users of the model you’ve chosen before making that purchase.

So, what makes you think that buying training courses can be successfully accomplished by looking at course titles in a catalog, cutting a PO, and sending a check?

We’re not so smart, after all, if we purchase training that way.  For buying a subject-title, with a course description, might just give us a “car” that doesn’t run well and ends up costing us more to maintain than it was ever worth in the first place.

Yet, Price — not, Value — is what is driving too many training courseware purchases today.  And, looking at course titles with their accompanying descriptions is absolutely no way to make courseware purchases.

Remember, you’re looking for content that will actually improve on-the-job performance and, therefore, add value to your organization.

Content, not title, should be the determinant.

More on Wednesday –  –  –

        — Bill Walton, co-Founder, ITC Learning  (Mondays & Wednesdays)

 (This is a personal blog.  Any views or opinions represented in this blog are personal and belong solely to the blog owner,, an independent consultant.  They do not represent those of people, institutions or organizations that the owner may or may not be associated with in a professional or personal capacity.)