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Friday, 31 July 2009

Delivering More For Less

If leaner is supposed to be meaner, then how can more L&D be delivered for less without compromising quality?

Tightening the L&D belt

It is a truism, budgets are being tightened during these financially challenging times. I also keep on reading about how we need to get more for less out of L&D provision. Indeed, I’ve just written an article for Croner’s Training & Development Briefing on this very topic as it seems to be of such current interest.

The current situation is affecting both suppliers and buyers/users of L&D. The conundrum is how to achieve more for less without affecting the quality of what is provided to the end user, i.e. the learner. On the face of it this may appear to be an unanswerable poser but judging from all the advice given the answer is blindingly obvious!

If I were to be given £1 for every time I have read that L&D provision must meet the needs of the organisation, the needs of learners, and use the most appropriate delivery media, I would by now be very well-off! However, it would appear that such practices are far from common place and I’m really finding it hard to believe this. Surely after all this time of preaching the ‘cost-effectiveness’ mantra everyone would know what is required but, alas, it seems not. Perhaps the current financial situation will be the very thing which forces them to realise it? For the life of me I hope so.

Talking about cost-effective delivery media, there’s also an increasing emphasis being placed on using ‘technology enabled learning solutions’ wherever feasible. Laura Overton of Towards Maturity fame has been busy giving some very useful advice on how learning technologies should be used to achieve a positive impact on staff and on business results. Laura cites 6 ‘strands’ or behaviours which successful organisations adopt, like defining the need and improving the relevance of L&D provision and considering the needs of learners, none of which are ‘rocket science’, just simply accepted (by some) as best practice.

So, achieving more for less in the present climate is not the conundrum that it might at first seem – you never know but it might even turn out to be a good use of L&D budgets and give people value for their money!

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