Most category management programs have a core element of training to ensure a level of understanding of the process used, and to give insights into the approaches needed to make the process work.
However, the very nature of training programs means that many people receive training delivered at a point in time where the point of use is some ways distant from the point of the training itself.
As much of the training delivery has been live, there is a notable overhead associated with making the training happen. Now, with the increased focus on virtual training rooms, it is possible to run discrete short programs without the cost associated with getting a group of people into one physical location.
In essence, this means that the delivery of knowledge can be more closely tied to the point of use, allowing the relevance of the training activity to increase, an approach which is transformative in the effectiveness of the training delivered.
We can also look at the other activities which will impact training effectiveness. Two specific elements stand out to provide a positive effect. One is to integrate coaching into the overall training period, and the second is to maximise the linkage to the day to day job.
The second aspect, linkage to the job, is tied into the established learning and development view which suggests that, when learning, 10% of the learning is from the formal Training, 20% from coaching and 70% from work-based projects. By making sure that the examples and subject areas covered are directly relevant to job roles and outcomes, the training is more likely to be effective.
Closing the loop is the use of coaching, linked to the use of tools to deliver a work-based outcome. As on-line Coaching is well established and relates to the on-line Training, this is a natural step to take.
Therefore, we can start to see a structured approach linking training delivery, coaching and work-based experience. The icing on the cake comes from making sure that the required outcome is a genuine need in the organisation meaning that there are objectives in place for the delivery, linked to the Training. By completing the Training and Coaching activity, the overall outcome is the desired improvement in a specific area.
Return on investment is not an intangible
This linkage provides both the most effective way of making new skills and thought processes stick, and delivers the business outcomes which are desired, within the same wrapper. The return on investment is not an intangible: it is seen within the value delivery achieved in the work-based projects which develop, and hence are eminently demonstrable.
Our overall belief is that this rounded approach to skills development, where the Training and Coaching are there to deliver an actual organisational objective, provides by far the best outcome for both the organisation and the participants.
We’d be more than happy to talk to you more about this approach, and how we can deliver to your procurement teams.
About Mark Hubbard
30+ years experience in procurement and supplier management, in line and consulting roles
Previous employment: Positive Purchasing Ltd, SITA,
QP Group, BMW, SWWS, Rover
Education: BSc in Engineering Metallurgy, MBA University of Plymouth
CIPS: Current Member
SRM and category management skills – How do you convert training into performance?
Building high-performance category management
A new category group planning process and refreshed category management approach for an international hotel group