Creating an Efficient Training Cycle

In an industry such as information technology that is ever changing, a detailed and thorough training strategy is a must if trainees are to learn and adapt quickly.

“From an IT point of view, this is a complex environment that we’re in,” said Scott Ambler, who has been doing IT training and mentoring for more than 15 years and is the practice leader of agile development at IBM Corp. “So you need to make it as easy as possible for people to learn new skills and to improve their existing skills.”

For Ambler, the most successful training includes the following components: assessment, introductory training, hands-on experience, advanced training and educational opportunities. To set off on the right path and make the best use of training time, a pre-assessment is vital to understanding where each trainee stands in terms of skills.

Real-world experience must then follow the introductory course because, without application, skills can be easily forgotten.

“The introductory training is critical to give people the basics,” Ambler said. “Then you need to follow up quickly with hands-on, real-world experience. If you don’t give [trainees] an opportunity to actually apply their skills in a real setting, [you] lose them.”

The best training strategy is holistic and encompasses all learning styles.

“Some people are more visual thinkers and they need to see diagrams, whereas others are nonvisual thinkers,” Ambler said. “Other people just want to dive right in to the details, whereas some people need to…


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