4 Useful Tips for IT Education Planning in 2015

iStock_000037785500_SmallHave you been looking at your 2015 training budget ?

With only a few weeks left in 2014, many are starting to look at education budgets and attempting to maximize their allotment for training in 2015. In the past, many enterprise organizations have used a somewhat reactive approach to education.  This approach allows developers and IT engineers to identify the courses they want and opt for tuition reimbursement or pull from a budget. While this strategy might be serving you well now, it's easy to exhaust budgets before the end of the year. Why not consider a more strategic approach to budgeting your IT education planning?

Here are tips for getting started and suggestions that might help you form your budget for 2015:

It's important to have a full understanding of your team's skills and deficiencies in order to make the best decision on what training is needed. Take time to survey your team members and managers to understand their current skill levels and areas for improvement. This is an effective way to assess their abilities and obtain feedback in a non-threatening manner about areas that they feel need improvement.

If your team is currently using an outdated framework or language, or your software programs require significant overhaul, you'll want to look a few years ahead and see what your technology and development strategy will be. Plan your courses accordingly to help your development team prepare for any new projects or tools that you'll be introducing in the coming months or years.

It's one thing to think about all of these things, it's another to document and form a strategy. We require IT departments to document processes, changes and most other work they complete. Why not document the details you're gathering in order to see where your organization is and where you want to go ? Once gathered, you will have a clearer picture of how to bridge the gap between current skills and long term goals.

While it is your responsibility to plan, implement and deliver training programs, you shouldn't have to do it alone. Don't be afraid to ask for help. Working with an IT training partner can help you with a consultative approach to your custom education plan. In fact, some companies even use your plan to decide which courses they'll be offering for the upcoming year.

In 2015, you want your technology team to be as successful as possible. Take the time to understand where the skill gaps and inefficiencies are in your organization. Then fill in those gaps by cross training and implementing programs. Developing a comprehensive strategy will help you to make the most of your budget allocation and give your CFO and executive team hard evidence behind that budget.

Published October 23, 2014