IT Training and Justification

As IT professionals we need to be continually up to speed on new technology and continually striving to become masters of existing technology.  It doesn’t matter if you are a developer, systems analyst, business analyst, IT architect, whatever – to be at the top of our game we need to continually challenge ourselves in new ways and continually add to our skill set.  IT professionals learn things every day – we learn by doing, reading articles, writing blog posts, talking to peers, attending community events, classroom training, online training, etc.  Sometimes there is a huge benefit to attend a professional training class that could be anywhere from a day long to five days long.

It’s easy for IT professionals to “know” that we require training in a certain area – sometimes it takes some time to think about how we can actually justify the training.  If you or your company are paying for the training you might want to make sure that the training will be beneficial and valuable and, if someone else is paying for it, communicate the potential value or ROI of the training.  This will take some thinking, but it’s a good exercise none the less.   Think that training costs are easily between $2,000 to $5,000 (or more in some cases) a week for the training + travel and accommodations if required.

I came up with a quick template that could be used to justify training – weather you plan on justifying it verbally or on paper to whoever is approving the training this kind of template may help.  Of course, if you only need to justify it to yourself then you wouldn’t need this – or if the person signing the checks is ‘easy’ then you may not need this either ;)  Of course, I would never expect someone to just copy this template and fill in the blanks (unless you are a mindless drone) – it’s not meant to be a formal letter either, but just meant to give an idea of the type of ammo to bring with you if you are trying to justify training for yourself or your team.

The {length of training} {course name} training program being held at {location/building} focuses on creating the proper architecture of software solutions and familiarizes us with creating architectures for newer technology.  Continuous training in the area of Software Architecture will allow us to be able to better architect and develop our solutions for {Company Name}.  Solutions with a great and solid architecture have fewer bugs and allow features and improvements to be added with ease and with less time.  The advantages of this have been seen with {explain how value has been added to an existing project due to past training or knowledge in the specific area you are seeking training – try to include real numbers and hard values if possible}.  This ease of integration freed our time to focus on the core functionality of {Reference same project as above} rather than building all of the pieces from scratch.

As new technologies emerge we need to be able to take advantage of them in order to continually create better systems with a minimal learning curve.  This training will allow us to make better decisions on the use of technology in our solutions and gives us a better understanding of the best way to implement the technology to meet both current and long term objectives.  Better decisions up front when building a solution means less time and money required to initially develop the solution, add features, and expand functionality.

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About dandouglas
Dan Douglas is based in Toronto, Ontario, Canada and is a professional independent Software Consultant and an experienced and proven subject matter expert, decision maker, and leader in the area of Software Development and Architecture. His professional experience represents over 15 years of architecting and developing highly successful large scale solutions. Dan also believes that properly empowering teams with trust and responsibility yields the greatest results. | For inquiries about Dan's software consulting practice, please see the contact page.  Dan has also built up a network of highly successful and professional Software Developers and Architects who are highly respected and can be called upon and used in conjunction with his own consulting practice to handle the largest of consulting projects.

5 Responses to IT Training and Justification

  1. I think flat out admitting how not having the knowledge the training would provide has negatively impacted the business is an approach that would work too. It takes a certain type of person to admit the impact of their past practices but it certainly brings clarity to the person providing the training.

    Excellent post as always.

  2. Pingback: Link Roundup: March 1, 2010 « SATURN Network Blog

  3. maryvantyne says:

    Just to let you know – this post has been included in a link roundup on the SATURN Network Blog at http://saturnnetwork.wordpress.com/2010/03/01/link-roundup-march-1-2010/.

  4. Thanks for posting this justification template! I’ve recently been put in charge of a new team, one of whom needs training, and I needed something to get me started on a letter to justify the department paying for her to attend. This was perfect!

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