Building a Library
Time and money. These are probably two of the biggest resources that effect the creation of training materials.
While you are not going to find any additional of either in this blog post, you will find out how you can capitalize on time and money that was previously spent.
How much does it cost to create your training programs?
Take a moment to think about all the time and money that has been invested into the training programs, materials and resources that you or your company have created. If I had to guess, I’d say it’s a lot. And that is just an estimate.
How much of this material still is viable in one way or another?
Most of it is probably not easily reusable in a new program. It is probably some combination of:
buried somewhere within whatever systems you currently use
formatted in such a way that it isn’t easily re-purposed
primarily stored in the head of the one or two individuals who teach it.
But remember how much time and effort went into creating it? And it’s good stuff, right?
Implementing a systematic approach.
By implementing a systematic approach to how your name and store your programs and materials you will:
Increase the value of your original investment, and
Transform it into something that will continue to pay dividends for years to come.
Over my next few blog posts I will be digging into some tips and tricks to help you capitalize on this potential gold mine.
The place to begin is in the card catalog of your training programs and materials.
If you don’t know what a card catalog is, think of it as a file folder or database of your training programs, the materials used to teach the program, the resources used to create it, etc.
If there is not a log of all your programs and associated materials, then that is where this journey begins.
The goal is to know exactly what is on hand, what was it for and where is it currently located.
During the curation of all the previous work, there is information you will want to capture to add to your log, such as:
Name of the Program
Description of Program
Target audience (New Hire, Manager, Executive. Etc.)
Competencies /Key Performance Metrics
Terminal and Enabling Objectives
Author of Program
Participant & Facilitator Guides and Handouts
Length of Program
Pre & Post Assignments
Reference Material Location
These are a great starting point, feel free to add additional ones that are important to you. It is better to capture too much data and later need to reduce, than to not get enough and then need to go back a second or third time.
Remember the goal of this assignment is to know what we have, where it is located and what was it for.
Use a Spreadsheet
It is probably best to capture all this information in a spreadsheet to start as there is sorting that can happen even in basic spreadsheets. Later in the process, we will be addressing creating a system to maintain this information along with the future program and materials that will be created. For now, just capture the data.
This is an investment of time and money. It will pay dividends.
I recommend keeping a notebook nearby to jot down ideas that come to you as you are cataloging. Moments of inspiration can quickly disappear if you don’t write them down.
Remember the goal. Know what we have, what it is for and where is it located.