Operating Without A Plan

Too many training functions are operating without any kind of training plan, strategic in nature, or even a sticky note list of things to do.  While this adds a tremendous amount of freedom to work on whatever appeals to you, there becomes a lack of accountability and a challenge to demonstrate a return on investment.

Some of you may read my other blog JK Hopkins Consulting, which is directed at management, leadership and workplace issues.  I just wrote my last entry on a generic interview I participated in last week that was a total waste of time.  In that blog though I was focusing on the interview process when the hiring company is unsure of what they want the new hire to do.

I would like to direct readers of this blog into understanding the dangers of operating training without a training plan.  And while this company was more than willing to hire someone who would create marching orders for the company, I take a very different approach to the purpose of a training plan.

Being a Franklin Planner instructor since the mid-90’s, I firmly believe that nothing much gets done without a plan and projects with due dates.  I also believe that training is a support function that needs to balance reactive and proactive tasks to make sure that personnel are capable of performing their job responsibilities.  So with this in mind, I believe we start with an understanding of the direction of the company, factor in the skill set of employees and design a training plan to achieve our goals.  Notice the training plan comes at the end, not the beginning of that process.

The company I was interviewing for was hiring a new training director to create a training function from scratch.  Yet there was no sense of how quickly things needed to be completed, and in reality they were willing to let the new hire set the pace based on a budget that was not yet created or approved.  Although it was easy to lay out a draft of what they could/should be looking at in phase-one, they had no sense of whether it could be funded or when which leaves due dates adrift.

Unfortunately there will be several candidates to make an offer to that are willing to look busy, accomplish little and operate for years without any serious accountability.  That is not what is best for the company, the training effort or any real trainer either.


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