Like any good business manager, an effective training manager needs to establish goals to ensure success. These goals should be specific, measurable and attainable. Additionally, a training manager's goals should be realistic and time-constrained. With these attributes, you can develop training materials and programs that meet employee expectations, help employees learn new skills, enable knowledge transfer and retention and make an impact on the business. Without goals, you might not actually be accomplishing anything with your training curricula.
Defining educational goals and objectives helps to focus a training manager’s work. These objectives specify what training employees will be able to do upon completion of the program, event or curriculum. Ideally, the training solution addresses a measurable performance gap. Training manager goals should address both the initial condition and the desired condition. This could reflect fixing a current problem or capitalizing on an opportunity. It can also reflect your own personal development as a training professional. You can document your training manager goals using a standard template or develop an original format that meets your business needs. The purpose of establishing training manager goals is to articulate clearly what problem you’re trying to solve, how you will solve it and how you will prove you’ve made a difference with your training program.
Effective training managers define their goals after careful analysis. This might involve observing employees completing tasks to identify best practices, conducting a needs analysis to find out what employees want to learn about or speculating on future business needs. Training manager goals clearly identify characteristics of the audience being trained, as well. This eliminates any confusion about who should take the training after it is developed.
Training manager goals need to specify milestones for development activities. That way, you can stick to a schedule and complete tasks. Training development projects typically include definition, design and development phases. At the start of a training project, the training manager usually discusses the requirements of sponsors who supply funding and of stakeholders who will be affected by the training outcome. Defining the scope and schedule at the beginning constrains the project to make it more manageable.
Money limits training projects. Before you start planning a complex simulation, training game or event, determine your budget. Use a spreadsheet to list the activities required to complete your training program in the first column and then list the costs in the second column. Typical costs involve salaries, facilities, tools and production expenses. A training manager’s goals should include meeting objectives at the lowest possible cost.
Tara Duggan is a Project Management Professional (PMP) specializing in knowledge management and instructional design. For over 25 years she has developed quality training materials for a variety of products and services supporting such companies as Digital Equipment Corporation, Compaq and HP. Her freelance work is published on various websites.