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How do you justify training?


Its a core problem for many of us so I thought that it would be good to share what's worked. Please let us know how you managed to get approval for spending on training.

One Response

  1. I find helping the manager/customer create a credible justificat
    There’s an implicit assumption in Malcolm’s question – that it is the responsibility of the trainer/consultant to justify the investment in the training or similar intervention.

    I’ve noticed since I came to this profession over 15 years ago how often this kind of question comes up, and how many people have struggled to find a credible, useful answer.

    Indeed, for many years I too struggled.

    Eventually I came to the conclusion that there is a different perspective that can be more useful in getting the right results.

    As a trainer/consultant it is not my responsibility to justify the investment.

    That responsibility lies with the person paying the bill, ultimately.

    My responsibility in this matter is to help the person paying the bill to get clarity about what is the required outcome, how this will be achieved and at what cost, so that they have the information they need to make the decision.

    Yes – even if this means the right solution lies either in a competitor of mine or doesn’t require training or consulting services.

    Often a manager/client will assert that some things simply cannot be measured in meaningful terms (e.g. leadership, other soft skills etc), or that the impact of training cannot be isolated. This is a widely held myth, in my view. You just have to be a little bit ‘cute’ sometimes, and sometimes it doesn’t make sense either to isolate the impact of training, even though you can.

    As to the how – well, I have a short overview of it that I’d be happy to share – it just won’t fit here in the space allowed. Clarity of minimum acceptable outcome (defined in terms of specific measurables & observable behaviours) and a good root cause analysis feature prominently, as does an impact analysis (see the Success Case Method by of Robert Brinkerhoff for more).

    I can post it somewhere here on TrainingZone or you can drop me an email at [email protected]

    And in the mean time, take a look at Paul Kerns’ 3 Box Model, and at Gary Platt’s many useful postings, all here on TrainingZone.

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