Training requirement management processes represent an important (and awkward) issue for all managers in charge of large companies with numerous employees and diversified businesses, roles and skills. The experience gained in the analysis of e-learning processes within enterprises induces us, in this section, to investigate in greater depth into the contents and make considerations based on years of work with some of the most prestigious multinational companies in Italy.
The analysis of the training requirement and our strong drive have enabled us to make some considerations on self-training, a process that encourages individuals to get involved in their training process and to understand their own needs; in Training plans? From theory to practice we have encouraged reflection on the digital aspect, by presenting the Training Matrices, an instrument that “engineers” the definition of the training requirement with the support of matrices for associating specific targets with an equivalent number of specific training courses dynamically.
On the scale of priorities associated with the design of training, the analysis of the training requirement occupies one of the top places: an indispensable process, carried out simultaneously or immediately after drawing up the budget and before managing projects and planning the training courses themselves.
The training needs require a dual analysis: a first one that concerns the employee himself, to identify his gaps and improvement areas and a second that is oriented to business needs. In fact, every training course responds to the company’s more general aims: “to elaborate a corporate training plan, the objectives to be reached through the planning of the training activities must be clear, evident and explicit [..] The training must not only reflect the company’s strategy but also sustain the development and improvement of the company’s business activities.” [Training management. From the training service to the Academy/Corporate University, Massimo Soriani Bellavista, Anna Faggin (written by)].
What makes training requirement management critical
In complex companies, with different local characteristics, the training requirement is often expressed in an unstructured way. It is important to “collect it” and turn it into accessible and processable information, by offering permanently up-to-date details on the life cycle of the training needs and maintaining a strong, monitorable bond between the needs that emerge and the training activities planned and carried out. The application solutions, which stem from digital disruption, are capable of contributing significantly to the management of complex procedures.
From the 4.0. point of view, digitalized management of the training requirement presents the following advantages:
- It favours the collection of the training needs in a bottom-up process managed within the LMS system, in an integrated and easily accessible way to all the players concerned;
- it permits an analysis of the correlations between needs and concrete projects;
- it involves the business directly in collecting the needs and monitoring the training data;
- it offers automatic, complete reporting on the training courses
Together satisfies the needs for training requirement management
Together offers the possibility of innovating the requirement management process from the digital point of view.
Within Together ecosystem, the entry of the requirement forms an integral part of the training management process, it entails direct compilation by the lines/businesses of a structured questionnaire on the requirements of the employee’s sphere of competence, giving rise to a bottom-up participatory workflow.
An example: the Sales & Marketing area manager enters the requirement of his department on the system. The same is done by the Project Management area manager. The standardization phase, managed centrally, serves to sum up and make uniform the needs expressed in the previous phase, indicating (for example) whether the need is new, urgent, recurrent and so on.
This phase also entails tracing the concrete effects of the collection of the requirement, which may develop into:
- new projects, managed generically on a Corporate level through a new design activity
- catalogue training, managed through the Training Matrices
- in-house training, managed directly by the line /business
- external training, which includes participation in external events
The final result entails the publication towards the lines of the activities correlated in the four reference areas, the fruit of the aggregations performed starting from the business’s answers.
The usefulness of the need defined in this phase is not however limited to determining a fundamental analysis of the training activities: e.g. as a training path, it can switch from in-house training to catalogue training, some contents of the previous year can be included in the current training programme, how much of the external training can become a new training project managed by Corporate, and what contents can become “open” pills, etc.
Some more details
In the Collection phase, every business will enter the needs of its line, specifying an attribution for each type of activity concerned.
In the Standardization phase, the central users will manage aggregations and any detailed revisions (e.g. two business lines express the same requirement and this can be aggregated, two requirements are neighbouring and can be satisfied by a single project, etc.)
The central departments can decide when to enter the publication phase in order to make the results accessible again to managers and lines.
A training requirement management 4.0 entails adopting digital methods and tools, which enable standard, normally manual processes (reporting, Excel file and e-mail management) to be automated, with a considerable saving of time and resources.
The owners of the training will benefit from an advanced reporting instrument, which will help them to report on the in-house training activity and consequent elaboration of the annual sustainability report.
“Experiencing the training process from the Total Quality Management point of view saves time and improves work from both the organizational and the in-house and external communication points of view” [Massimo Soriani Bellavista, Anna Faggin (written by)], reducing waste in time and project costs.