Training Triage

One of the things The Training Doctor specializes in is Training Triage -that is- why doesn’t training work?

Throughout our 20+ years in business, we’ve discovered the answers to this question.

This month, we share with you one of the reasons: SME designed training.

SMEs (subject matter experts) are a fount of information. We couldn’t do our job  without them. Which, if you rephrase that, would be better stated: We should do our job with them (and not have them do our job).

Too often we are called by an organization which has training in place but it is  not achieving the results they wanted and they cannot figure out why. Here are some recent examples:

* Project management training

* New hire insurance sales training

* Field service representative (computers) training

* Medical imaging technician training

The list goes on and on.  Inevitably, upon reviewing the current training materials and process, we say to our client / prospect:

The content is good. It’s all in there. It’s just not designed in a way that anybody could learn from it.

Information does not equal knowledge. It most certainly does not equal skill or ability. Yet, most subject matter expert designed training is a fire-hose of knowledge, delivered (more often than not) via lecture.  One client DID also provide a very helpful 70 page, single spaced, typed “learner guide,” as well. The learners not only didn’t get it in class, they couldn’t find it after class either.

Interestingly, as we were deciding upon what topic to feature this month in Training Triage, we came upon this blog posting by Clark Quinn ;  in it he laments about a project he is working on which is based on a “design” from an SME.  He labels it, “too-rote, too-knowledge dump.” Two of Quinn’s comments are both humorous and insightful:

* SME’s don’t know how they do what they do

* Learning design isn’t for the wimpy.