I honestly wish that before people get the title of Training Manager they would have to pass a written test, and one that includes writing a basic training proposal with identified solutions. Too many training managers are sent out looking for a training solution and barely know why or what it needs to accomplish, let alone are capable of pitching it for the necessary approvals.
One of the most common “treatments” that come out of a Training Physical is having the training manager learn the process of both a training needs analysis and proposal writing.
A training needs analysis should always answer the basic question of “what needs to be happening after we are done with the training?” We need to identify current behaviors and how improving skills would yield better productivity, service or whatever needs to happen that is not happening now.
Part of a training needs analysis is making sure there really is a skill building need. Too often we apply training as a performance solution, when in fact there is no skill deficiency.
Once we know where we are headed, and a training solution has been identified, we need to build a bridge on paper and in a verbal presentation. In the business world we call this a proposal. Yet, I run into a lot of training managers that cannot write a proposal and mostly because they are unable to articulate the story verbally.
When training managers are unable to produce these proposals, the vendors bidding for the sale write them and feed the manager the words. Not only does it present a slight conflict of interest, but if they didn’t do it for the manager they would never sell anything.
In my book, I labor on why it is vital that training managers do this work themselves, so they are presenting to their leadership an unbiased opinion and one that meets the needs of the organization not the training vendor.
So if you don’t know how to do a training needs analysis and/or write a training solutions proposal, please do yourself and company a favor and find someone who does and learn how!