Friday, October 30, 2009

Consulting: Technical Training pitfalls

A recent post by my friend Tim Stephens (i bet his filtrbox is ringing right now) brought up one of the problems with the way many conduct technical training (software training, skill trades training, maching repair, etc). If the training does not prepare the student to DO, then it is useless. Training where the "instructor" piles on technical details and trivia that don't support the NEEDED activities, are of no value.

For example, in a training class for a software tool, that will remain nameless, the "instructor" provided a dissertation on the underpinnings of the software. Aspects of the software, that had nothing to do with the operation of the program or the completion of a job. In fact Tim will probably remind me that much of the discussion focused on the way the prior version used to handle something, that was automated in the new version. Yes, hours of class were spent discussing features that did not exist anymore. How did that help the student do his/her job?

Training that does not focus on what the student needs to be able to do, and does not require them to apply knowledge serves only as ego stroking for the "instructor". The students need to feel free to try things out, make mistakes, and it is OK for them to leave knowing that there are things they don't know yet. Don't try to cram their heads with every little nugget of information, they will leave not knowing which to use in getting the job done.

No comments: