A resource for safe and effective troubleshooting from the leaders in simulation training.

G’day, Troubleshooters! Thanks for joining us here on Troubleshooting Thursdays as we continue our series on what to look for in training implementation and training solutions. As a quick recap, last week in Part 1 we presented a list of the top 11 things you absolutely should expect from a training solution. (This is basically a checklist of critical things to consider when you’re evaluating potential training programs.)  We also looked at the first two items in that list – value/ROI, and opportunities for professional development.

In today’s post, we’re going to look at the third thing you need to consider: ease of training implementation and access.

Ease of training implementation of a training solution

No matter who you partner with, implementing a training solution will initially require a certain amount of time on the part of the training program administrator. However, some solutions are less hassle than others.

Questions you should ask of your potential partners are, how long will it take to get the system up and rolling? How much work is involved for the administrator? Do you offer the option for administrative support? How much time is needed per trainee to set up? How difficult or costly is the solution to roll out at multiple locations?

Of course, a lot depends on the format of the program – will you be using one-on-one, apprentice-style teaching, or a classroom setting with videos or webinars and training manuals? Or, if you’re going the simulation route, will you need an actual physical simulator and lab space, or will you use computer-based simulations?  (See more on computer-based simulation training vs physical simulations.)

If you’re using a classroom-based training program that features videos and training manuals, you’ll need to set up the classroom and audio-visual equipment, and provide the manuals. If you want a physical simulator, say a piece of production-line equipment for trainees to practice on, that has to be obtained or decommissioned, set up somewhere and programmed with faults to repair.

If you want to use computer-based simulations, they can be a much more cost-effective option, but you will need to consider whether you will create custom content in-house (or hire someone to do it for you) or purchase an existing program.

Training programs using pre-existing computer-based simulations can make the process a lot simpler—load the software on the computers, and off you go. (With our electrical troubleshooting solution, for example, all six modules can be downloaded and installed with a single click, and product updates happen automatically without the administrator or user having to do anything.)

Generally speaking, anything that saves the administrator time also saves the company money.

Ease of access

Once the training program is set up, how easy is it for both administrators and trainees to access it?

Do trainees have to come to a designated physical location (this can mean a lot of travel time and expense for large national or multinational enterprises). In the case of training with large and costly physical simulators, that may be necessary.

Simple classrooms are usually easy to set up in multiple locations, and the administrator can travel from location to location. Hard copy manuals may have to be shipped. Labs with specialized equipment may be more difficult or expensive to maintain in multiple locations.

Computer-simulation-based programs generally only require a simple classroom with computers for each trainee, and don’t necessarily even need that if the solution is web-based. Web-based training can be done from the trainee’s own home computer. So, they offer that flexibility.

The other aspect of access is the ongoing access that administrators require for tracking trainee progress. A web-based system gives administrators the option of monitoring progress, administering tests, etc., any time, and from anywhere, thereby making the best use of their time and cutting down on travel costs.

The ease of training implementation and access of a training program must be factored into the overall costs of that program. Administrator and trainee time, as well as travel and accommodation costs may all be affected by ease of access.
Okay, Troubleshooters! That’s all for today. Be sure to tune in again next when we look at whether a solution is proven. And don’t forget to check out Part 1 of this series if you haven’t already.

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