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There is a men’s clothing company that used to run television ads with the byline “our best customer is an educated customer”. That philosophy speaks to me. It means to me that a customer who knows the value of good clothing knows what to look for and what to avoid makes it easier for the clothier to serve that customer. The clothier doesn’t have to spend a lot of time building from ground zero because the customer is beyond that.

That is my organizational philosophy. If I were to co-opt the clothier’s byline it would be “the best organization is the best-trained organization”.

I’m grateful that my IT group is tightly integrated into the organization. Training plays an important role in the success of the IT organization. Communication plays an important symbiotic role too. If I were to describe my IT organization as a spectrum, I would place training and communication next to each other. When we implement systems, the communication and training regiment plays an important part in the successful execution of that implementation. Same things go for changes. Consider the calculus. In the IT shop, you have helpdesk, desktop support, subject matter experts. These groups are involved in interacting with your userbase interacting with your userbase, solving problems and being contacted with support issues. The level and quality of training of that userbase reduces unnecessary waste. You gain productivity efficiency for the organization as well because the userbase is busy producing output instead of struggling with their technology.

An effective training program will make your IT shop better. It will make your organization better. It will make your initiatives more successful. For some fun, I like to muse about a formula that models the success factor for good training. How about this for a model? The O = org size, T = training effort, S = cost savings for a particular initiative,

S = O * T That was too easy.

For this article associated video, I interview Melanie McNutt. Melanie is a trainer extraordinaire. She has the uncanny ability to sense what level of detail, what type of communication and even what training strategy in general to conduct to be most effective.

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