A strategic training program requires continuous and consistent management to succeed. Following a step-by-step process will not only benefit the development of your customers and channel partners but your entire organisation.
Whether you’re looking to outsource to a team of experts for support or just reviewing your in-house approach, we’re here to guide you with your training program management every step of the way.
Why Is Training Program Management Important?
Especially in the early stages of developing your training strategy, formally setting out how you intend to manage your program is crucial to its success. By keeping people engaged and continuously delivering support, your learners will experience real, lasting development, rather than a short-term fix that won’t stand the test of time.
A common issue with training programs is that they are designed and launched, then forgotten about. Dedicating the right resources, energy, and people to a long-term strategy is what’s going to drive real growth within your organisation.
With new products coming to market and ever-changing sales strategies, there is a constant requirement to update the training program to meet these new demands. A stale program is an ineffective one that won’t serve the needs of your partners, and engagement will fall sharply.
Engagement is particularly important when it comes to selling training courses, as this is a revenue stream that needs to be nurtured over time.
What Elements Must Be Included in Training Management?
Effective training management must incorporate these key areas:
Firstly, a learning management system (LMS) is a piece of operational software used for the creation and delivery of training programs. In order for an LMS to run smoothly, it requires the assistance of competent LMS administrators.
An LMS administrator takes responsibility for the LMS and acts as a point of support day-to-day, as well as monitoring the ongoing stability and performance of the LMS. They will usually be involved in defining user roles, building custom certifications, providing feedback for the learners, and supporting both users and learners alike.
The LMS administrator is a key role as this is where collaboration between cross-functional teams occurs. They need to be able to communicate with participating personnel and sustain a solid relationship with all teams and sectors within the organisation, as well as the project manager.
This also feeds into the program creation and review process, as the administrator will have their finger on the pulse of how exactly the LMS can serve to satisfy the needs of everyone involved.
Course Updates, Refreshes & New Courses
This is the most critical element to successful training program management. All too often, a training course with huge potential will fall flat over time due to a lack of care and attention – constant upkeep is needed to keep course content fresh and relevant. Moreover, if new products and updates are released, updated course content should be created to ensure knowledge is kept up to date.
With this process, it’s usually beneficial to utilise the knowledge and expertise of seasoned professionals in the learning and development business, particularly those with experience in designing, training, and managing a program, as your organisation will benefit from their understanding of your specific learning needs.
Good course management doesn’t stop once your program is released – making sure you’re continuously trying to level up your existing service or pivot to provide an even better training service will ensure you’re continuing to improve your organisation’s development, rather than coming to a standstill with your training.
Another element often overlooked when running a training program is learner support. A successful LMS is dependent on the success of the learners, which require continuous support and guidance to thrive.
Providing a fast response support service to your learners will enable them to stay motivated and assured in their training, charging your process with a level of trust that will benefit relationships and connectivity formed within your network.
Partners and customers require consistent support to make programs run smoothly. These elements include:
- Assistance with booking.
- Streamlining and updating hierarchies.
- Advice on the best courses to take.
- Advice on optimising training budget.
- Guidance on learning paths.
Budgeting and funding can sometimes be tricky to secure when delivering a training program. You might choose to sell your courses online to generate another stream of revenue, which will require a degree of management. Some of the tasks that need to be covered are processing payments and refunds, creating discount and promotional codes, raising invoices and reporting on revenue.
You also need to think about how these orders are accounted for. Will your finance department be willing to manage and report on these relatively small individual orders? If not then you might look to a training management outsource that will manage this aspect of the eCommerce function on your behalf.
Revenue gained from selling courses effectively either becomes additional profit or it can be reinvested to further expand your training and even enable your program to become self-funded.
Regularly Report & Monitor
Training and development initiatives should always be measured and evaluated so you can assess what’s working and what needs to be adjusted. Tangible results can easily be measured through things such as:
- Feedback: Possibly the most important factor, regular feedback is crucial to assessing the success of your training. Conduct surveys or arrange interviews to continuously monitor your opinions on the impact of your program.
- Behaviour: Monitor what has been e learned through behaviour assessment and evaluation. Has their learning led to an increase in sales?? You can use learning analytics here to collate development data.
- Business outcomes: This can be measured through your actual business performance, for example, sales, units sold and market share.
Steps Required to Manage Your Program
When tackling your program management, consider the following steps:
1. Prioritise Needs
First things first – identify your training objectives. This will provide you with the strategic direction needed to get started and allow you to produce a coherent plan that breaks down your goals into a manageable and structured order. Use this time to also set out your budget and decide on what time, costs and resources are required before your program launch.
2. Set Budget
Your budget is usually dependent on whether you opt for an in-house or outsourced approach to delivering your training. Although it might sound counter-intuitive, seeking out the help of an external company to support your training and development strategy could be the more cost-effective option.
With so many aspects to think of, sticking to a budget can be a problematic task when relying on an in-house team. Outsourcing gives you the security of a set budget that eliminates the risk of overspending. Every initial and ongoing cost will be covered in plans and discussions from the outset by specialists with experience in what expenses will be required for your particular goals.
3. Delivery Method
Possibly the most important step, identifying your delivery method of choice will form the basis of your entire strategy. This will all depend on your training needs and resource requirements.
Depending on your chosen method, you will also need to consider your approach to online learning – will your training be entirely online? Are you going to stick to classroom-based learning? Or, as is becoming increasingly adopted, would a blended approach suit better?
4. Create Courses
Course design is fundamental to the user experience. A course must be engaging to encourage the learner to actively participate, which is what will really make a difference to the user’s rate of knowledge retention.
Learning material has to offer value, especially in cases where courses are being sold, so make sure your courses are executed to a professional standard and deliver the necessary knowledge to meet the audience’s requirements.
5. Organise Ongoing Administration & Management
Make sure you have the necessary touchpoints in place so that your users, customers and learners feel supported throughout the entire process. Consider onboarding, technical support, user support, strategic support, and account support. The people in charge of management will make up the fabric of your program – they’ll be the ones your project managers, customers and learners come to for help and guidance, so you must get the right roles in place before you decide to launch.
6. Create Launch Plan
Before the program launch, think about the people who are going to be using your training – what will they find the most useful? Consider the following:
- At what point in time will your learners require training – for example, before a customer uses your product or service, or immediately prior, meaning it would need to be available on-demand?
- Will you use pull tactics that direct your learners to support pages when necessary, or push tactics via hints, tips or videos through emails?
- Does your training need to be embedded inside your software or service portal, or do you need to utilise a separate website or LMS?
7. Create an Ongoing Promotion Plan
If you’re planning to sell your courses online to external audiences, it’s vital to have a secure promotion plan in place. Some strategies to consider include:
- Brand loyalty: Offer discounts or offers to repeat customers or members.
- Focus on SEO: Improve your search engine ranking to bring more traffic to your website displaying your learning services.
- Trial course: Include a free trial of your program to give users a taste of what they can expect and entice more course sales.
- Blogs: Creating written content won’t just boost your SEO but it will also educate prospective users about why they should be investing their time and money into your educational tools.
8. Evaluate & Pivot
Allowing time and space for regular updates and reviews of your training program is what’s going to elevate it to another level. Successful development programs require consistent care and attention to react to ongoing learner needs and changes in development requirements. Let your learning evolve and adapt from the continuous feedback you receive.
Highly effective training program management takes time and care, but being able to stand out against the competition and bring value to your training will be worth the effort.
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