Optimizing Training Costs in Core Banking Transformation
Training budgets can be managed in a variety of ways. One way of doing it is to align training with the transformation program and deliver it just in time and in the right dose. Often, training is delivered in a large package at the start of the program. While the core team does need such training, others need not be trained upfront. In fact, business users need to be trained "just in time", clubbed with other activities and delivered in small doses. For example, at the time of product parameterization, much of the training needs to focus on imparting sufficient knowledge of the product or solution to ensure they are parameterized correctly. The detailed end user training can come just before UAT (User Acceptance Testing) or even clubbed with it because this is when the user will actually use that knowledge to maximum advantage.
Also, all training need not necessarily be purely instructor led or imparted through e-learning. A right mix will deliver maximum bang for the buck. There are complicated parts of the solution, which are best taught in person and straightforward parts where an instructor will not add too much value.
Outsource user training to the extent possible where the option is available. Also remember that training from a vendor may not always be the cheapest. Explore if the vendor's partners or even third parties can do it. Ensuring control over such outsourced training partners is key. Please see if you can license quality training material from the vendors, or the instructors from your partners or third parties who are doing the training. Where there is a large user base, take the help of the vendor or make them responsible for managing the third party / partner training program and quality both. Most vendors can also consult on user training for rollouts and where they have an extensive partner eco-system in place, deliver training at different price points.
All e-learning need not be custom made. A mix of standard e-learning modules from the vendor along with customized content specific to your organization may be a quicker and cheaper option. Of course, a large user base can make the cost of customized e-learning a non-issue, but in all other cases mixing and matching will yield better returns.
Have the right expectations, because everything need not - and even cannot - be learnt during formal training. Job cards, online simulations, demos and other aids can deliver just in time training for the end user who has learnt enough to do most things. The rest can always be learnt on the job.
Modify the duration of training based on the experience with the initial batches. Training can be optimized and made most effective through intelligent use of feedback.
And you can now crowdsource training. The earlier batch of trainers should be encouraged to train others, make videos, deliver webinars, write training material and share it on the intranet. Today there are systems that make crowdsourced content look "almost" professional, without actually using professional studio equipment. While qualitatively, this content may not always be "first class", it would still be good enough to achieve the purpose of training the internal user, and can be improved substantially through a process of iterative changes over time. Leverage "in-house social media" for training. Reward contributors with a small part of the training costs saved.
Remember, the most important purpose of training is to deliver business results. Be unconventional. Innovate. Training can make the difference between success and failure of the transformation project. Don't cut down on training, when you have so many options to cut down its cost!