6 minute read

How Agile Training Teams Can Thrive In A Crisis

Caleb Shull

Former Copywriter

businesswoman finding a solution to a crisis.

This blog is part five of a five-part Training Budget Defense series. In this blog, we’ll discuss the importance of being agile and resilient. These qualities can ensure your team is well-positioned to deliver and scale.
For specific, data-driven recommendations tailored to your team’s needs, we encourage you to take our Scalability Index Assessment. It’ll give you a deeper view of how your team compares to a baseline of hundreds of other Training teams.

What is Business Agility?

Disruption and crisis are probably more normal in business than normalcy. If change in the business world is a constant, then business agility is the art of handling constant change gracefully, and leveraging that grace into a competitive advantage. Plenty of businesses have reams of scenario planning and contingencies, but few are well-equipped to use agility to get an edge over competitors.

Planning and preparation for specific scenarios are, of course, important steps. But the real hallmark of agile teams is the ability to respond quickly and decisively to the completely unexpected. The goal should be to minimize disruption and capitalize on opportunities. And since competitors will typically face the same disruptions that your business does, being able to minimize losses and maximize opportunity can be the

For the Training team, being able to deliver a rapid, data-driven, effective response to change reaps benefits across the board. Most importantly, you can gain a valuable reputation as a problem-solver, and avoid costly last-minute procurements.

Training Can Lead Organizational Agility

Business agility is often discussed without much thought being given to Training teams. Business leaders view Training as being responsible for implementing policy, not creating it. Very rarely is much attention paid to making training operations more agile.

But an agile Training team can be a major asset. Training data is often an under-valued resource, and a Training team that can utilize that data flexibly can inform decision making throughout the organization.

Training data could be useful for resolving a turnover crisis, estimating time-to-value on a batch of new hires or any number of other workforce-related issues. Sharing data, and working quickly to resolve other departments’ crises with training data, positions Training as a valuable problem-solver. When the budget season rolls around, that’s a strong position to be in when asking for additional investment.

Of course, providing training data quickly and reliably requires software that’s up to the task. Administrate’s comprehensive, no-code reporting engine can generate a report on 100% of the data in your system, in minutes. Ask yourself – if you needed to put a full report on your training operations onto someone’s desk by the end of the day, could you do it? If the answer isn’t yes, your software is probably not in a position to support a highly agile, data-driven response.

How Agility Reduces Emergency Costs

Imagine that an instructor, certified and booked to teach several important safety courses, is forced to take an unplanned leave. These courses are required for workers to renew their own safety certifications. If the training isn’t delivered on-time, some workers may be legally unable to do their jobs.

The complex, interlocking schedules of courses, instructors, training resources, and learners, represent an interdependent and easily-disrupted system. A single missing element could have serious downstream consequences for the entire organization, such as in this example.

Of course, it’s unlikely that the training wouldn’t be delivered at all. More likely is that some last-minute arrangement is made to hire a consultant or external vendor to teach the course. That kind of one-off procurement might be the only option a team has if they aren’t prepared to respond flexibly to a crisis. Unfortunately, that may leave a gaping hole in the budget.

An agile team with the right training management software at their disposal, however, will have more flexibility. For example, using Administrate’s training scheduling software, Scheduler, they could specify a new limitation on their schedule and automatically generate new schedules.

Using Scheduler’s easy visualization of their schedule and resource constraints, they could tweak and adjust schedules as needed. They could easily move other qualified instructors into the safety courses, and reschedule those instructors’ less-critical courses. That way, they can minimize the disruption to operations while still delivering critical training.

There may be places that course cancellations or rescheduling can’t be avoid. In those cases, Administrate’s Learning Paths feature would allow them to easily add, remove, or re-arrange modules within each learner’s experience. That ensures training operations can easily continue in a modified state.

If you don’t have full visibility and powerful resource management tools, you might not have a choice but to procure external resources in a crisis. But often, with tools like Administrate’s training management system, it’s possible to redeploy resources internally to meet your needs. That minimizes costs and disruption while maintaining operations – the definition of an agile response.

The Bottom Line

Training teams aren’t usually thought of as an area where agility is important. But at Administrate, we believe that Training really isn’t so different from any other department. An agile Marketing or Production team provides value to the business by responding efficiently to change. An agile Training team can do exactly the same thing.

From reducing emergency costs, to creating a reputation for problem-solving, agility is a critical component of a modern Training team’s ability to scale and deliver. But it isn’t the only component. For a more personalized and detailed dive into the factors that enable – or block – scaleable training operations, please consider taking our Scalability Index Assessment. In just a few minutes, it can provide you with a detailed overview of where your team stands compared to hundreds of others.

More Below

Scalability Index Assessment

Get data-driven insights on your team’s ability to scale and improve training operations.

To learn more about the specific factors assessed in the report, and how they impact your budget, check out the other blog posts in this series:

Caleb Shull was a Former Copywriter at Administrate.


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