5 Ways to Avoid Common IT Training Mistakes

iStock_000042936934_Small"Failing to plan is planning to fail." - Alan Lakein

Have you ever blindly gone into a situation without a plan in place? Even if you happened to have a positive outcome, it was probably a stressful situation.  Having an IT training plan for the upcoming year is a proactive way to prepare your team to meet their goals in 2015. To position your team for success, make sure that your approach is timely and that your training plans align well with your developer/company goals. This helps prevent the mistake of making a plan without all the required details and input on the business side.

Here are a few suggestions for avoiding common IT training mistakes:

If your company has made it a goal to develop a new application for their users in 2015, it's important to know that your team has the right tools, talent and expertise necessary to turn these goals into a reality. If you're only addressing existing skills, platforms or tools, then you aren't looking closely enough at the big picture. When your training program aligns with company goals, you're better situated to stay within budget and have an efficient, productive, happy team that delivers on time.

It can be difficult to motivate developers who are already bogged down with a large workload. Make sure that you provide classes as early as possible to remind your developers that education is an option. Waiting too long could mean that your team becomes distracted with other priorities or you don't allocate your budget efficiently.

eLearning can be a fantastic way for developers to self-educate on their own time. Resources like stackoverflow.com and other online learning portals are available to fill the gaps and educate developers. Relying exclusively on these options can be a mistake, because it limits a student's ability to ask questions and get the one-on-one learning time that they might get with a virtual classroom or in-person course. Be sure to vary the training options that you have available to accommodate for every type of personality and maximize their access to learning.

As detrimental as relying exclusively on self education, exclusively offering classroom training can also be a mistake when it comes to IT Training. Different people learn in different ways. If you aren't encouraging your developers to go online and self-educate, they might be missing out on opportunities to maximize their productivity and earn promotions within your organization or work in other areas that interest them.

An in-house instructor can be the perfect supplement to any training program. However, using one person to train all of your staff in different subject areas can be detrimental to your organization. When you offer only one training resource you limit yourself to one perspective and leave little room for interpretation. By working with an outside organization you have access to a number of different instructors with various experiences, expertise and specializations. These instructors train hundreds, sometimes thousands of teams across the nation. Open up your team to a variety of types of experiences in the industry. Here are some great qualities to look for in an IT training instructor.

Ensuring that an entire organization is trained to remain as efficient as possible can be difficult. Take the time to carefully craft your IT training plan for 2015. Be sure to avoid these common mistakes and cater to the long-term goals of both the IT department and the company. When everyone is on the same page and there is a plan in place, the odds of success are much greater.

Published January 1, 2015