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Megacorp's New Trick: Training Compression
Old 05-24-2018, 10:57 AM   #1
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Megacorp's New Trick: Training Compression

As time goes on I've noticed a really distinct trend in professional training. Keep in mind that the purchaser for most professional training in the employer. Sure, many people pay for their own training, but much Megacorp professional development is training offered in-house, or is training offered to employees where most are reimbursed (or their training prepaid) by their employer. The trend I've noticed is training compression.

One of my jobs in my first career was the development and delivery of professional training within a Megacorp environment. Among of the things I learned from that professional experience were the proper pacing of training, the important of reinforcement, etc. The principles of effective training that I learned back then are now regularly ignored, probably in the interest of money.

Cloud technology is a big buzzword in Megacorps these days so offering Cloud technology training should be lucrative. Let's say you and your competitor offer Cloud technology training. You offer a professionally paced 4.5 day course. Your competitor offers a two day course, for slightly more per day, but of course a lot less in total. Who gets the business from Megacorp?

My colleagues are taking internal training today. Megacorp didn't bring an expert trainer in. They sent one person to the commercial training course and are now having him re-present the training, but in one day.

How effective will the training be?
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Old 05-24-2018, 11:01 AM   #2
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My colleagues are taking internal training today. Megacorp didn't bring an expert trainer in. They sent one person to the commercial training course and are now having him re-present the training, but in one day.

How effective will the training be?
We had that 'train the trainer' stuff in my old organizations. The primary downfall is it adds a filter, so the designated 'trainer' generally only trains others on what they thought was important and had no in depth background for answering questions.
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Old 05-24-2018, 11:18 AM   #3
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I worked for a very large megacorp that, in my early years there, invested a lot in training employees. If we changed toolsets, they'd spend a week training the team on the toolset. As new real time operating systems were deployed - we'd get trained in them.... over time that training became less frequent - despite the changes to tools and RTOSs on our product line. We were expected to pick it up on our own.

We did have some of the train-the-first-guy-and-have-him-train-everyone-else happening at the end. We'd get an overview in our one day dump from that employee - but in reality - that guy became the go-to expert as we taught ourselves and had questions.

Side note - I still crack up a decade later that "Cloud Computing" is such a popular buzzword. It really is just server based systems.... The 'cloud' just means you're going over the network (intranet, internet, vpn... whatever) to get to the data or processes you're using. I guess "server based services or data" isn't as sexy as "cloud computing".
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Old 05-24-2018, 11:35 AM   #4
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Side note - I still crack up a decade later that "Cloud Computing" is such a popular buzzword. It really is just server based systems.... The 'cloud' just means you're going over the network (intranet, internet, vpn... whatever) to get to the data or processes you're using. I guess "server based services or data" isn't as sexy as "cloud computing".
I have always attributed the 'cloud' thing to the symbols used on network design drawings in the 1990's. When something was going across the internet, the standard symbol was a cloud, because it was unnecessary to show all the hardware in the internet for local hardware purposes. The managers would come by and ask what's in that cloud. The answer was 'it's a mystery' ;-)
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Old 05-24-2018, 12:07 PM   #5
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... Side note - I still crack up a decade later that "Cloud Computing" is such a popular buzzword. ...
Yup. Back when we had Teletype terminals talking to a distant mainframe nobody told us that it was called "cloud computing."
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Old 05-24-2018, 12:27 PM   #6
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We had that 'train the trainer' stuff in my old organizations. The primary downfall is it adds a filter, so the designated 'trainer' generally only trains others on what they thought was important and had no in depth background for answering questions.
This. It's like that old password game in which one person at the head of a line whispers a message to the next person. By the time the message reaches the person at the end, it's been totally distorted.

Re Cloud, during the 2020s or so the hot tech area will address how insecure the Cloud is, and how critical it is for everyone to keep data local (add cool new buzzwords here). To be followed during the 2040s by how everyone should shift to Secure Cloud. Lather rinse repeat.
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Old 05-24-2018, 12:39 PM   #7
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Re Cloud, during the 2020s or so the hot tech area will address how insecure the Cloud is, and how critical it is for everyone to keep data local (add cool new buzzwords here). To be followed during the 2040s by how everyone should shift to Secure Cloud. Lather rinse repeat.
Actually, this is the third phase. Cloud is not new - not by a mile. The first two phases of those you outlined have already occurred, 1990s, 2000s. Now, the realization is percolating that no individual company can compete in terms of infrastructure security with the few big, secure cloud services. By 2020 all but the last of the deniers will have come around.
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Old 05-24-2018, 12:53 PM   #8
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Unfortunately, while training for your actual job gets compressed, training to meet bureaucratic government requirements expands. In megacorp government contracting division we had over a dozen mandatory online compliance-type courses, some of which were required annually.
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Old 05-24-2018, 12:55 PM   #9
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You actually get training of any type and length?
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Old 05-24-2018, 01:36 PM   #10
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I'm soooo glad I don't have to produce/participate in those things anymore


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Old 05-24-2018, 02:43 PM   #11
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I'm soooo glad I don't have to produce/participate in those things anymore





_B


Me too.
In the Olden Tymes Mega was actually committed to training on all matter of things. At some level it becomes more efficient to have in-house training and/or critical to maintain Mega trade details. Train the trainer was efficient in some cases but it wasn't taking an outside trainers course material and reproducing it for the masses.
Fast forward to recent times and training became more of a "check the box activity". Obviously you can check that box cheaper and easier using outside trainers even if they don't actually comprehend Mega's business. Training delivered via the cloud is faster cheaper, so what if employees don't actually get anything out of it. Some of the practices described by OP sound unethical to me.
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Old 05-24-2018, 04:00 PM   #12
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The principles of effective training that I learned back then are now regularly ignored, probably in the interest of money.
Times change. Former best practices are no longer always considered best. Sometimes that's good. Sometimes not.

Quote:
Cloud technology is a big buzzword in Megacorps these days so offering Cloud technology training should be lucrative. Let's say you and your competitor offer Cloud technology training. You offer a professionally paced 4.5 day course. Your competitor offers a two day course, for slightly more per day, but of course a lot less in total. Who gets the business from Megacorp?
It's not clear.

Any company that spends money on training wants that training to be effective (otherwise why spend any money at all?). If both trainings are equally effective, then the cheapest source should win.

I've been on plenty of 4.5 day training sessions that contained 1 day of "let's go around the room, introduce ourselves, and tell everyone what you expect to get out of this course" material, and .5 days of "let's summarize what we learned this week and see how earlier we can get the heck out of here" material. Frankly, most would have been better served being 2 day, more intensive courses so that we could get back to work sooner.

Quote:
My colleagues are taking internal training today. Megacorp didn't bring an expert trainer in. They sent one person to the commercial training course and are now having him re-present the training, but in one day.

How effective will the training be?
Nothing new here. That was the norm in the company where I worked when I started, back in the 1970s.
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