For those of you in training that are about to embark on the annual budgeting process, I have one bit of advice I’d like to share. If you are unable to produce a training plan that spells out the deliverables for next year, then management should not approve your training budget!
If you are planning to budget money for training, then each project should have an associated price tag so management understands the cost of training. If your plan includes not only deliverables, but how each track back to a specific business objective or challenge, then the money you are asking for in a budget becomes the way things will get accomplished. And likewise if money is not approved, which projects fall out of the plan.
With this process I’ve never had a training budget not get the approval I needed to implement the training plan. Because if the discussion turns to how much the total is, I turn it back to which projects can we postpone for another year? Sometimes there are projects that can wait, but most of the time the people only counting the beans and not willing to give up on the deliverables.
What irritates me most is when management allows a budget approval without any kind of plan. I’ve heard comments like, “we have to provide training” or “we will approve projects as we go throughout the year.” Both setup the stage for a lot of waste, and end of the year splurging on anything to spend the budget.
By creating a training plan, that is supported by an approved budget, you have established a practice that can be held accountable. This my friends, is a good thing for your training efforts.