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Checking the "Inventory"—What have they already had?

Since we've now got our gross training requirements, it is time to take a look at the inventory of what our trained employee has already had in the way of training. This step presupposes that the organization, supervisor, HR depart­ment, or someone, has an accurate record of past training, education, and experience on every individual. For ex­ample, if you're introducing a new piece of equipment or software, it makes good business and personnel sense to know if you'll be building on what the employee already knows or starting from scratch with your training pro­gram. A great way to turn off a room full of students is by starting with the basics when everyone is an expert and just needs an update. If one discovers that there are some in the student population who are "expert" or can become "expert" easily, what a great source of mentors or peer tutors have been uncovered. A word of caution, know your audience to the extent that it makes sense to use the
"experts" in this way since, if they have no informal power or respect in the organization, they can undo the introduction of the new KSA very easily.

Arriving at the "Delta"—What must be provided

We've now defined the product, a "trained employee," and checked our inventory of what KSA is on-hand; so its time to determine the net training requirement. It would appear that Net Time Phasing works for training, too. In a basic sense, this means that if the goal is to get a group capable of using the organizational MRPII program at the latest release, Release 10, and there are some who are expert at Release 9 and some who are pretty good at Release 8, the plan must be to have two separate class sets; one an update from Release 9 to Release 10 and one more in depth series that get individuals from Release 8 to Release 10. You might even discover that there still a group under the stairs who don't use the system at all, which creates a whole different training challenge. While we're at it, we might consider a general overview for other beneficiaries and stakeholders to keep them up-to-date on the MRPII system.

The "Make-Buy Decision"—Where do I get what I need?

Since we've now established what training is needed, our next decision is the dreaded make-buy decision. Just as with a manufactured part, if you can "make the part," that is, do the training in house, that is very probably the way to do it. However, it may be simpler and more cost effective to buy the training from an outside vendor who has the necessary skills and courseware to do the job. That appears to be a pretty easy to define dichotomy; however, there is another option we should never overlook - the "make-buy" combination. By using the ready-made aspects of an outside vendor to train a group of internal trainers, you can reduce the time it takes to come up to speed while using your own people to deliver the message to the organization. An advantage of this approach which may even overshadow its cost effectiveness is that the training gains legitimacy since it is delivered by your own people to your own people. If you've moved to empowered teams and employee involve­ment, this combined option can be particularly effective since the teams will "take the training ball and run with it" since they'll see that the training is good for both the organization and themselves, collectively and as individu­als. If you choose the train-the-trainer option, be sure that you train-your-trainers in how to train. Just because you've been to the doctor a number of times it does not mean that you can diagnose and prescribe for yourself and others without additional education and training. It's the same with delivering training to others-Just because you've been to a lot of classes, seminars, and workshops and have lots of knowledge, that does not make you able to deliver it skillfully. Investment in a "how to train" course for in-house trainers is a good investment and does add to the KSA available within the organization. One word of caution is in order here and that is to be aware of the time sensitivity of the subject matter and its shelf life. If you choose to train trainers and have spread the word, part of your plan must address how you will keep their knowledge current and how update information will be delivered, if that is appropriate. The plan, also, must address how training will be delivered to any new employees and how remedial training will be delivered to the sick, lame, and lazy who never really seem to "get it." Part of wellness is preventive medicine and inoculations and that needs to be part of your training plan—keeping everyone's "training shot record" up to date!

To be Continued

For balance of this article, click on the below link:
Lean Manufacturing Articles and go to Series 02


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