• Trevor Wilson

Training: Who are the key stakeholders?

Further to a recent article I posted, titled “unlocking long-term value”. I highlighted that we are focussing on 4 key areas:

Making ITIL certification training affordable for everyone

Ensuring company organisations get the best value when engaging ITSM Assist to deliver ITIL classroom courses

Helping people to create ITSM value in the workplace

Helping corporate organisations to keep the momentum going

My last article focussed on “Making IT certification training affordable for everyone” by the way of offering our ITIL foundation on-demand eLearning as a pay-as-you-go service for just £1.33 or $1.73 per lesson. So far, this has had a bigger response than I initially anticipated so there are clearly people out there who want to learn without being subjected to significant costs at the outset. And it is evident that there are people out there who are keen to self-initiate training without waiting for their peers prior approval.

Okay, I would now like to focus on “Ensuring company organisations get the best value when engaging ITSM Assist to deliver ITIL classroom courses”

Focusing directly on classroom training in isolation; Co-creating value is derived from several key stakeholders:

The business customer who should be satisfied that the course delivery specification matches requirements

The business sponsor who should be satisfied that costs to are kept to minimum and the best price has been secured.

The student (user) who should be satisfied that they have been suitably equipped to pass the exam.

The provider who should be satisfied that enough revenue has been secured to ensure they can invest in the resources to meet these expectations.

I could go on to focus on how value is co-created after class (in the workplace) but that is another topic/article and another key area we are focussing on.

So, when we find that several students attending class fail their exam which stakeholders are accountable for this? And/or when we find that the cost far outweighs the value gained who is accountable for this?

Whilst it goes without saying that the students are clearly responsible for parts of this, I would place accountability in terms of high failure rates with the business the customer. Could he or she have selected the wrong training provider? Or has he or she not made sure of the correct specification? This could even include verifying which trainer will be delivering the course prior to course delivery. In summary, I would place accountability with the business customer for not properly assessing the risks imposed and risks removed or reduced?

In terms of costs, I would look to the business sponsor for not properly assessing the costs imposed and costs removed versus the value gained/benefits realisation. I do accept that this measurement can only be fully realised after class (e.g. in the workplace) however, as previously highlighted this is another topic.

It is so easy to blame the students or the trainer as these aspects could be the cause or causes depending on what we are measuring but lets face it, we have stakeholders who assume levels of authority so this being the case they are accountable!

In my opinion, where onsite course delivery (customer site) is possible then this is the best specification. So, let’s see why?

From the business customer’s perspective (establishing the specification, removing and reducing risks).

Onsite course delivery enables more control in terms of being selective regarding the classroom trainer prior to course delivery. Let’s not kid ourselves, if the selection/specification is based purely on a training establishment with some standing then this is a serious mistake, the success of a classroom course fully centres on the trainer him or herself, and not the company who he or she is in employ. Onsite course delivery enables more control over the course format, the quality of materials to be used and not to mention, this approach allows the course to be monitored for quality, e.g. may be a business/stakeholder representative attending class for a short spell to observe.

In terms of specification, we, ITSM Assist now combine with classroom delivery on-demand e-learning (known as blended training). This is where students have on-demand access to eLearning typically 7-days prior to classroom delivery and 7-days after. Some of our clients prefer to give students access to our e-learning courses after classroom delivery. Whatever the scenario this ensures that ALL students get the best opportunity to pass the exam and more so, truly understand the topic. With our blended training approach students either come to class with already an excellent understanding of the topic and use the classroom to reinforce, and/or have the chance to rewind the course and play-back after class in preparation for taking their exam. Paper-based exams in class can still take place for those who prefer this approach and online exams (after class) for those who prefer online exams. For what it’s worth, we have had a 100% student pass rate since we introduced this format.

From the business sponsor’s perspective (reducing and removing costs)

Onsite course delivery enables a greater opportunity to reduce and remove costs. For example, our charge (except for student course books and exams) is fixed (e.g. not variable) regardless of the number of students attending, therefore the cost per head can become extremely competitive. Not to mention, combining our blended training approach supports online exams which in turn allows us to cut back one onsite day, e.g. the ITIL foundation course if as paper-based exams with no eLearning combined requires 3-days onsite however, our blended approach only requires 2-days onsite, thus further reducing the cost. Onsite course delivery also clearly reduces or eliminates incurring travel/accommodation costs.

From the student’s perspective (increasing the chances of passing the exam)

This doesn’t even need discussing, the student gets the best of both worlds. Our blended training approach offers everything the student needs, e.g. the experienced may only need the classroom element for reinforcement and clarification, and those who have been there and worn the T shirt’ (as to speak), well they probably don’t need anything, or at least as far as they believe. The inexperienced however, or those who feel intimidated win hands down, they can come to class with prior understanding, they can stop, rewind and play-back on-demand and take their exam at a time and location of their choosing, when they feel ready and fully prepared.

I think I mentioned in a previous article, training in the classroom is not a competitive sport, from a business perspective it is a team effort and where all students should significantly benefit without feeling as though they are competing with others in class.

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Trevor Wilson

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