As a solution architect, I help clients find the perfect match between the challenges they face, and the technologies available. Today, innovative learning programs include a suite of technologies, ranging from the learner experience to the administrative functions—often referred to as a learning technology stack. While Training Orchestra and Watershed support a number of business scenarios, the following metrics are the essential stepping stones to sound decision-making as it relates to measuring the effectiveness of your classroom training investment.
1) Budget, Budget, Budget
Sensible budgeting is the backbone of any successful and sustainable organization, and it’s the first step in “doing more with less.” It may come as a surprise, but some of the world’s largest companies don’t always know exactly how they’re spending their budgets. In turn, it’s hard to get the full picture of the business impact of your training dollars if you don’t know specifically where they’re going.
Thankfully, a training resource management system (TRMS) helps you capture spending costs for every aspect of your classroom training—be it a conference center, an external instructor, snacks for a session, and any other item that constitutes an expense. Oftentimes, costs for these items live in different spreadsheets, which makes budgeting and forecasting difficult.
Centralizing data around resource costs will help you monitor expenses, see costs over time, and report on cost distribution per business unit or training resource. Cost monitoring and logistics management are the cornerstone of the TRMS.
2) Maximize your resources and track efficiency
The airline industry is credited with having reinvented resource efficiency through yield management, leading to increased occupancy rates and monetizing underutilized resources. This exercise in optimization increased profitability for airlines, all while cutting waste and improving customer experience. Think of your training classroom like an airplane. How will you ensure that you’re maximizing your fixed costs and resources?
To measure your resource utilization, you’ll need to monitor each and every resource in your training plan—a classroom, an instructor, a piece of equipment—essentially any item needed to facilitate the session. Using the resource repository tool of a TRMS, you can create a complete inventory of your resources and clearly see when and where they’re being utilized. Based on this view, you might discover that you’ve been spending more than allotted on one resource, you can resolve scheduling conflicts, or identify underutilized resources. Already, you’re gaining the insights needed to optimize.
3) Ok, so what’s the impact of all this?
That ever elusive Return on Investment is difficult to measure, especially in the age of the learning ecosystem, and when everyone has a different definition of ROI. Companies no longer train through just one channel; most companies have adopted a blended learning strategy that involves traditional classroom training with e-learning, micro-learning, virtual reality, and other contemporary learning strategies.
So, how do we track the business value of these learning investments, to justify spending? To begin with, a TRMS can help you measure your savings over time through automatic reporting and resource utilization measurement. For example, you can get an idea of how much you could save using the free Training Orchestra ROI calculator.
However, we recognize that today’s multi-layered approach to L&D proves that organizations need consolidated analytics to adequately measure what they’re spending. Without it, making decisions feels like driving in the dark—you’re guided by your intuition, but know full-well you could crash at any moment. You don’t have any certainty to back the choices you’re making.
That’s why a Learning Record Store (LRS), such as Watershed, combined with a TRMS, will give you a nuanced picture on all your training investments and returns. Taken together, tracking your costs, measuring resource use, and making meaning of its impact, will help you scale up your training in order to do more, with less.
About the author
Minh Poirier is the Solution Architect at Training Orchestra and designs training management solutions for global organizations in high-risk industries.
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