Targets for training

Training is needed to help people in the company understand how to carry out their jobs as effectively as possible in the CAD/CAM/CAE environment. Training is of particular interest to the CAD/CAM/CAE Manager because the results of using the system (and consequently the future of the CAD/CAM/CAE Manager) are closely related to the quality and quantity of training. It is the responsibility of the CAD/CAM/CAE Manager to define how much training people need and to ensure that such training is available and given.

Without adequate training the benefits envisaged from the implementation of the system may never be fully realized and only very localized benefits will accrue. All CAD/CAM/CAE installations look for improved productivity and efficiency far beyond that achieved with conventional manual methods. Without proper training these benefits will be unobtainable.

In any proposal for a project involving capital expenditure on computer-based equipment, the first item to be reduced in value or totally removed is often the training budget. This is particularly true with CAD/CAM/CAE projects because management usually feels that a lot of risk is already being taken by spending a considerable amount of money on complex and powerful hardware and software and that there is little point in increasing the risk by spending even more money, particularly on something as intangible as training. However, this reasoning is erroneous because the investment in training reduces the risk associated with the total investment.

To reduce the possibility of the training budget being cut, the CAD/CAM/CAE Manager should both educate management to understand why training is so necessary and do everything possible to fix the training item in the overall CAD/CAM/CAE project budget. When the budget is first being discussed, the CAD/CAM/CAE Manager should inform everyone involved that if training is not included, it would be better to abandon the project.

Before starting the project it must be understood and agreed that training is expensive, necessary and continues long after initial system installation. The CAD/CAM/CAE Manager should produce a detailed plan showing the type and amount of training needed for each person. This plan, and its cost, needs to be fully and openly discussed and agreed to. Once management is publicly committed to this plan, the risk of the training item completely disappearing from the budget is reduced.

High technology almost inevitably carries with it a need for high levels of training. Some companies have realized this. Many of the leading high-technology companies throughout the world spend more than 5 percent of revenues on training. The great majority of companies, though, are very backward in their attitude and commitment to training. Their expenditures for training barely rise to a few tenths of 1 percent. It is hardly surprising that such companies find it hard to compete and - despite high levels of capital expenditure and an impressive panoply of high technology - show few signs of achieving the potential benefits.

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Page last modified on February 11, 2000
Copyright 1999, 2000 by John Stark