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More diligence is owed to IT training

first_img Previous Article Next Article Comments are closed. Trainingand development professionals are not taking enough interest in IT skillstraining, argues Jason WilcoxTraditionallyuntouched by T&D teams, IT training is often seen as the poor relation to“proper” training. Instead, the task of training IT users is dumped on the ITdepartment.Askinga techie to train is not always a successful approach. As a task, it comes waydown the list below areas such as system maintenance and support.Toovercome this problem we must break down the barriers between IT and T&D.Both have an extremely important role to play in the future development of anorganisation – one provides access to the skills needed to move forward, theother the tools to carry out the job. T&Dand IT should not work autonomously. Aspects of IT such as migration to a newsuite of applications will have a major impact. Equally, new working practicesmay dictate future software and hardware requirements.Thelack of interest shown by T&D professionals may explain why in many companiesIT training is conducted less well than other forms of training. One of thepreferred methods of IT training is the “blanket coverage” approach – sendingusers on full-day courses from which they will hopefully extract the bits theyneed. Although this makes the organisation of such events easier, is it reallycost-effective and do people get what they want from it?Anotheroversight is training needs analysis. T&D professionals spend many hourscarrying out TNAs, but this is rarely employed in IT applications. More timeneeds to be spent finding out what staff need to do their jobs, and tailoringlearning to suit.Onesolution is modular training – breaking each application into bite-size chunksof no longer than two hours. Similarly, one-to-one interventions have a majorpart to play. These can be done at the user’s request and at their desk.Astraining practitioners we take into account our delegates’ knowledge levelswhen constructing a session, but this can be very difficult with IT training, asthere are many facets to each application. One person’s “intermediate” coursecan be another person’s “advanced”.Anotherarea where IT training is managed less well than other training is inoutsourcing. Many companies are turning to outside training providers when itcomes to IT and I do not condemn that. But if your business is heavily relianton IT skills it may be prudent to have a dedicated member of staff to supportthem. Ideally, they will know what makes the business tick, and be literate inthe applications being used. They should also be an experienced T&Dpractitioner, and treat it the same as any other subject.Companiesthat do outsource their IT training should look for a provider who issympathetic to their needs, rather than one who can provide “off-the-shelf”packages. It should be sourced using the same procedures you employ whenlooking for a soft skills provider. Stack it high, sell it cheap may work insome retail markets, but quality is what counts when you are talking about yourpeople.JasonWilcox is a training consultant at TrainingNet Related posts:No related photos. More diligence is owed to IT trainingOn 1 Mar 2000 in Personnel Todaylast_img read more