Business Considerations in Training
by Ron Kurtus (revised 25 January 2001)
Training is a business proposition. Customers are buying a product and/or service, and the training management is selling that commodity. The problem is that often training managers do not look at training as a business with customers, users and suppliers.
Also, trainers, instructional designers and developers of course material need to be aware that training is a business where customer satisfactionas well as learner competencyis important. Before developing a training lesson, the needs of the players involved should be considered.
Questions you may have include:
- Who are the players involved in the process?
- What do the customers want?
- What do the learners want?
- What does management want?
This lesson will answer those questions.
Define the players
It is important to define who the players are before developing any type of training material. Typical people involved are:
- Customers - those who are paying for the training
- Learners - those who are receiving the instruction
- Training management - those who are contracted by the customers to deliver the training material
- Developers - those who develop the training material
- Deliverers - those who deliver the material to the learners
- Trainers for in-person instruction
- Authors and programmers for written, CBT and WBT material
- Actors for video and audio material
The satisfaction of the customers and all others involved in the training process follows the Total Quality Management (TQM) philosophy of doing business.
Customers and their desires
Customers are defined as those who pay for a product and/or service.
Who pays for training?
Adults may sometimes pay for their own training material. Companies pay for training of their workers, management, customers and suppliers.
What does the customer want?
Viable training organizations must adhere to the desires of the customer.
Upper management in companies usually wants their workers and managers to be informed on the latest techniques and tools for their jobs, as well as to increase their skill levels.
Management also wants their customers to have knowledge on how to use the product. They sometimes even will pay for their suppliers to be trained on certain techniques.
An individual who wants to increase his or her knowledge or skill may purchase training material or attend a seminar or class.
Learners and their motivation
Everyone wants to learn, but they usually do not like to be told what, when and where to learn. Those who are supposed to learn the material or skill may or may not want the knowledge taught to them.
Those being trained on business and work-related topics include workers, management, customers and users. Teachers are also trained to work in the school environment.
There are adults that are forced to take training in order to keep their jobs, while others are ambitious and want to learn so they can advance in their careers.
Curiosity or the desire to improve themselves usually motivates people who purchase books or pay for training classes. They are both the customer and the learner.
Management and their objectives
The main goal of management of a school or business is to make money. This is even true in non-profit organizations.
The way they make money is by providing a product and/or service for which the customers will pay money.
In many businesses, customer satisfaction is important to stay in business. Tax supported schools are often not as concerned about satisfying parents need, since they often are not really held accountable. Part of customer satisfaction is achieving the goals of the customer, as well as pleasing the learner.
Management of schools, educational organizations or businesses also has an objective or goal of seeing the students learn some specific information or skill.
In order to provide the type of product or service needed by the learner and wanted by the customer, educational material must be developed and delivered to the learner in a cost-effective manner. Management provides directions to lesson developers and those responsible for delivering the material.
The viewpoint of training is that of a business, where customers pay for the material which is delivered to the learners. The people responsible for developing the lessons or designing the instruction need to keep this in mind and be aware of the players and what they all want and expect.
Success by being concerned about the needs of others
Resources and references
Questions and comments
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