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Seb Anthony

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training development. Do you have any metrics?


Does anyone have any metrics for instructor led training or e-learning development that they are willing to share? We're developing ours and are wondering if there is a benchmark. What I am looking for is a work-hour measurement per hour of training developed. For example: ? development hours per seat-hour ILT or ? development hours per seat-
Gary Jarvis

2 Responses

  1. Design time ratios and metrics
    This is not the first time this has come up on this site or others. Take a look at for one set of views.
    It is interesting that you don’t hear restauranteurs asking for metrics about how long it takes a chef to prepare a meal. It is obvious that there can be no standard as it depends on what is involved with each dish.
    Over the years I have heard some ridiculous figures, with some courses taking weeks or even months to develop. These days clients rightly want the training fast, and want a quality product. The best way to do this is to use experienced designers. New starters in the profession can do a good job, particularly if they have good recent experience in the topic. But they work best, and learn best, alongside seasoned professionals. Teams of junior, unqualified developers are rarely cost effective – and that is when people start to ask for metrics.
    As to e-learning, you can create quick ‘use and dispose’ modules with software like Lectora far quicker than ever before. But if you want top class stuff then that can take ten times longer.
    As a general rule, if I couldn’t trust someone to develop good training fast then I wouldn’t employ them. This also means that you can concentrate your efforts on measuring results rather than inputs.

  2. Not quite so simple…
    Hi Gary

    Metrics is not as simple a subject as might first seem.

    The examples you give for metrics are all about activity, which may help manage some day to day aspect of the training function at a ‘micro’ level, but does very little if anything for helping the training function ensure it is adding value to its customers/parent organisation.

    Value-add, and even activity metrics, need to reflect the reality of your own processes, strategic direction and customer experience, which is reason enough to focus on building your own metrics and not to import metrics from other organisations. You may give metrics the same title or name as other organisations, but their operational definitions must tell the story of your business, not somebody else’s.

    So if you are going to have a metric about work-hour, ask yourself how it helps you to add measurable value to your clients, and how it helps you make the most of your constrained resources. The base your definition of a work-hour metric on your answers to these questions.

    And it is almost certainly the case that to answer the first part above, about how it adds value to your customers, the only credible thing you can do is ask them!

    I was working with a senior team recently, within a global media group, helping them to improve performance in a call center environment. It became clear very early on that part of their problem was with metrics – they were using ‘industry standard’ metrics that were actually helping drive performance the wrong way! Needless to say they were keen to reverse this and are now identifying improvements worth 7 figures. They have to stick with the old metrics for certain reporting requirements but are now using other, more appropriate metrics to manage things – metrics that tell their story, not some ‘industry standard’!

    Happy to kick this around more!

    Best wishes,



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