Organisations could gain 60 percent more benefit from their training budgets by implementing a proper ‘governance framework’ to protect against ‘flawed commissioning’, claims KnowledgePool, the managed learning company.

Kevin Lovell, Learning Strategy Director at KnowledgePool, says that up to 60 percent of all training fails to deliver the promised organisational benefits because the process of commissioning it is flawed.

The typical commissioning process starts when a manager decides that training is the answer to a problem in his/her business area (by sanctioning training, the manager shows that he or she supports the team and is working to solve the problem). The L&D department then sources a suitable solution, either internally or externally (this enables them to serve the business). Finally, the training delivery team delivers the solution to the business area (for internal trainers, delivering training provides job security; for external training companies, it provides revenue).

“The problem with this process is that the manager, the L&D department and the training delivery team all have a vested interest in encouraging the delivery of training,” said Kevin Lovell. “The manager wants a solution and the L&D department and the delivery team are happy to provide it. No one asks ‘how will this training improve the situation?’ The underlying commercial realities make it easier for them to just accept the assumption that training is the answer. This leads to squandered resources but there is no appetite to challenge the status quo.”

According to KnowledgePool, organisations should implement a new ‘governance framework’ to protect against this flaw.

“The best way to guard against wasted training is to change the way it gets commissioned,” said Kevin Lovell. “Training requests should always be assessed according to a defined set of guidelines that are aligned to the strategic needs of the business. L&D teams should measure the effectiveness of the learning to better understand where training does – and doesn’t – impact performance. The real challenge is to isolate the underlying business need because training may or may not be the best way to resolve it.”