Tuesday, March 06, 2007

Overshadowed by marketing

I work closely with the training department of a large company in the communications sector. A highly competitive industry, new products and services are like sand - constantly shifting and rearranging. The best training can hope to achieve is take a nice snap shot and package up that for release to the people out there selling and supporting the offerings.

The constant shifting and changing presents training with a huge problem when it comes to their elearning. In order to get it as accurately aligned as they can to the final release they have to leave it late - something that is easily achieved as the project team often give the training fairly low priority. If they try to get an early start on anything the effort stands a good chance of being wasted as the content moves.

In the event that the project team do not co-operate on developing the material the chance of training successfully lobbying to get a project rollout held back until the training is ready is slim.

You can bet the house, however, that if the guys in marketing haven't got their glossy brochures together to sell this to the punters, there would be no problem holding product off.

In this I am reminded of a recent post on Passionate Users. It's not that I wish to suggest that these guys are the kind of company to figuratively "flick the bird" at its customers - actually, I know that they don't being a fairly satisfied customer of theirs - but I do think it is a sad and probably all too often repeated scenario where training is the poor cousin to the big boys (and gals) in marketing, and in the push to market the needs of the signed up customer are secondary to those of the new, as yet untapped, opportunity.

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