New training measures needed

We coach to generate results. And if what we’re doing doesn’t have a significant, positive, measurable impact on results then basically what we’re doing is wasting everybody’s time and money.”
Alan Fine
, in his book, “You Already Know How to Be Great.

In an earlier post, “The Puppy Analogy,” we spoke of the example where a customer is unable to unleash the full potential from their OSS. There are simply too many OSS projects where the customer is under-prepared to take over operations of their OSS. In the puppy example, the vendor was partially exonerated from blame, with the customer asked to take a closer look at themselves.

However, there’s one area where the vendor usually can’t be exonerated – training. As Alan Fine states above, if your coaching isn’t generating significant, positive, measurable results then you’re wasting everybody’s time and money (vendor’s and customer’s).

If vendors were to take a more scientific, analytic view of their knowledge transfer methods, most would quickly find that they are nowhere near effective enough at preparing their customers for day one operations.

Customer staff may pass basic product training courses, but this is clearly the wrong KPI to measure. It doesn’t reach far enough into operational readiness. A possible alternative is to measure operator proficiency at handling key tasks. Key tasks must be contextually relevant for the customer, so they could be in the form of the use case requirement gathering process described here in the Use Case Requirement Gathering model.

Most vendors need to take a more innovative approach to get their customers to a much higher proficiency level than they do now – for the betterment of the whole OSS industry – not to mention the customer advocacy measures that are vital for picking up future customers.

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