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Seb Anthony

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Training Planner


For the last two years I have struggled with a training planner which I inherited and would love some suggestions of either a system I could investigate or suggestions of how others manage their resources.

Currently we use a rather cumbersome Excel spreadsheet which details 26 rooms (x2 as they can be booked for days or evenings) and 36 trainers. The rooms/trainers are rows (ie listed down the left) and days are columns (ie listed across the top) but because of limitations on how wide the worksheet can be, the planner is also split into quartes with each quarter being on its own workbook.

As you can imagine, checking for room or trainer availability - or for trainers to check what they are doing and where - involves a lot of scrolling up/down/left/right.

Any suggestions would be very welcome!

Many thanks,

Colin Watson

3 Responses

  1. Training Planner
    Hi Colin,

    I can relate to this problem. I used to run a similar sized training operation and it was a nightmare on a spreadsheet. We switched to a wall based system using A4 lego tiles & standard coloured lego blocks. We had weeks across the top (we managed to easily fit in 12 months worth but it depends on the size of the wall you mount it on). Down the side were the trainers names and then using the 3-d nature of lego, we could show on any given date the type of course allocated to a trainer with coloured bricks – green for public and orange for onsite, on top of that was a smaller brick with the course name and next to that another smaller brick another with the course location. We could also show holidays, sickness and trainer training on the board using bricks of other colours. It became a real hub of activity for the trainers and visually very impactful. To backup the board, we took off the A4 tiles once a week and copied them on a colour copier. Sounds low-tech but it was a simple and really effective solution to a classical problem.

    Good luck with it.

    Gary Homes
    [email protected]

  2. technology solution
    There are several ways of doing this – if you have a LMS system they can all be added as assets and managed that way.

    alternatively ask your IT department to set each room up as an outlook ‘user’ with you having admin rights – then you can search for trainer and room availability by date, time etc – i.e. as though you send an invite – this can be a very neat solution.

    an alternative would be to have someone write a database for you – but in my book your trainers will already have outlook diaries so why duplicate entries??

  3. Thanks!
    Thank you both.

    Outlook is a possibility as we (the company, not the training team) already use this method to book meeting rooms.

    The Lego solution sounds really interesting – giving a good visual representation of rooms and trainers and also being a bit of a talking point in our office.

    I feel a visit to a toy shop coming on!


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