By Jason O'Neill, Head of Global Training Services, Kepner-Tregoe
Training can be an expensive investment, including course costs, travel and lost productivity while learners are away from their day-jobs. Articulating the ROI of training to key stakeholders can sometimes be difficult, but when it comes to Problem Solving training, the value is clear. Here are 6 things about Problem Solving training that your boss needs to know:
1. Problem Solving can lead to real, measurable, results for the organization
Many "soft-skills" trainings come with "soft-metrics" on the value they will provide back to the organization. Problem solving skills development can yield tangible results in the core business metrics many organizations already use: reduced time to resolve incidents and process variation, improved product quality, and increased system and equipment availability.
2. Problem Solving is not just an individual skill, it’s about the team
While Problem Solving training can be very beneficial to individuals, approaching it as a team activity can be tremendously valuable. Overall process efficiency improves when each team member knows their role and what they need to do to contribute to overall success. With complex problems, even the best problem solvers need assitance from others to gather the correct data and understand what's gone wrong. It really helps when everyone is using a common language for finding cause.
3. Problem Solving training can help the team be more agile
Agility is all about being able to change course faster and more frequently. Problem Solving training will help the team develop a culture of continuous improvement - remaining aware of signals in their environment and learning how to effectively analyze and respond to them. It also provides a structure for evaluating and addressing feedback (both technical and from users) and to identify when a change in course is needed.
4. Problem Solving can lower costs
As systems and processes age and become more complex, the costs of operating and repairing them increases. Problem Solving training provides a set of tools to help the team avoid recurring issues by ensuring that root cause is identified and preventative measures are implemented to avoid it from coming back again.
5. Problem Solving can boost team morale
Employees are happier when they feel like they have some control over their environment and an opportunity to make things better. By implementing a consistent Problem Solving method, team members will have a clear understanding of what to do when they see something that can be improved and they're empowered to tackle it themselves. This consistency reduces firefighting which lowers stress and can significantly boost team morale.
6. Problem Solving is a skill that can help managers, not just individual contributors
From diagnosing performance variation across teams, to designing and optimizing business processes, to addressing quality issues in production, managers spend most of their day solving problems of one type or another. Problem Solving training can provide managers a structured approach for capturing, diagnosing, and addressing the problems they face in any business environment.
Kepner-Tregoe has a powerful toolkit for root cause analysis and preventing future problems that has been utilized by organizations worldwide for over 50 years.