Fixing the training schedule

The CAD/CAM/CAE Manager will eventually convince people of the need for training but will generally find that the dates proposed for training are not suitable. In fact, it will soon become apparent that it is never the right time for training. Users are always far too busy working on projects, and managers already have far too many things to do.

Although people agree that training is necessary, they cannot find the time for it. In some cases, of course, the inability to find the time will result from hostility toward CAD/CAM/CAE or a lack of interest in it. Whatever the reason, though, the CAD/CAM/CAE Manager should be aware that this problem will arise and should plan well in advance to overcome it.

At the very earliest stages of the company's involvement with CAD/CAM/CAE, before a CAD/CAM/CAE system or even a CAD/CAM/CAE Manager has been selected, training is required. At this time, the company knows little about CAD/CAM/CAE and needs to learn a lot before making decisions that are of strategic importance. The sooner the education process begins, the sooner the company can make productive use of CAD/CAM/CAE. The first people to train are those who need training most urgently and those who, as a result of the training, will be able to show successful results quickly. Throughout the CAD/CAM/CAE implementation process it will be found that visible success is the best inducement to further progress.

In the same way that those who are to be involved in developing the CAD/CAM/CAE strategy and selecting a CAD/CAM/CAE solution should be trained before the investment starts, potential users of the system should be trained before the system is installed. This will mean that once the system arrives it can be used immediately for at least some project work, with consequent positive psychological results.

By the time that the training course has been completed, follow-up actions and procedures should be in place, otherwise people will be frustrated and demotivated by the impossibility of actually putting their new skills into practice.

The easiest way to get around the difficulty of finding the right time for training is to establish a direct link between training and increased productivity. This will help overcome management's reluctance and will also be good for trainees' morale.

An alternative is to carry out training during periods when the workload is low, although this clearly has disadvantages since it may not be possible to match these periods, if any, to training requirements. Another alternative is to carry out training outside normal working hours, for example, in the evening. This should be acceptable for management training, although it may not appeal to all users. Instead of carrying out all the training outside company hours, it may be more suitable to carry out a part during company hours and a part outside of company hours.

Home | Top of page | Front of MANAGING CAD/CAM/CAE section

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