Is is the Time for an Increased Investment in End User Training?

  • from

Image of page with the words 'Training' and 'Knowledge' with the latter highlighted, depicting the need for end-user training.

When times are tough, and budgets are tight, it gets harder and harder to justify training expenditures. Unfortunately, it's during the tough times that training can have the greatest impact, as you look for optimum performance and productivity in every process and system. This article lays out a (3) part roadmap to help you convince others that "training" is a good and worthwhile investment.

Become a Training Advocate

Training has two sides - it has a cost, but it offers many benefits. To justify the costs you must be able to demonstrate and quantify the benefits. Training benefits can exist at many levels, including increased productivity and lowered internal support costs.  Whatever the specifics may be, these costs and benefits must be directly tied to specific business needs and results. i.e. What are you looking to achieve and will training provide it?  At the end of the day, it takes a complete and comprehensive analysis of needs, costs and benefits to make the appropriate arguments and justify training initiatives.  The (3) part roadmap below gives you a series of questions you can use to complete this "analysis" and create your "training advocate" plans and strategies.    (Also Read: Setting IT Budget Priorities)

Step 1: Evaluating the Training Need

Can you make the case for more training? One thing is sure - before any case can be made, you need to be certain that you are standing on solid ground with regard to needs and benefits.

The Key Question:  What problem do you need to solve?

  • Are you receiving a large number of complaints from end-users regarding the timeliness and quality of technical support?
  • Are you receiving a large number of repetitive, remedial support requests?
  • Are these support requests keeping you from completing essential projects?
  • Are you being asked to improve the quality and/or quantity of IT services while cutting staff and service budgets?

Use the answers to these questions to determine whether current circumstances warrant the consideration of additional training (i.e. is there a need?)

Step 2:  Evaluating the Training Value

  • Can end-user training reduce the number of repetitive, remedial support requests?
  • If these support requests are reduced, will the quality of IT support improve?
  • If these support requests are reduced, will you be better able to meet project deadlines and other needs?
  • If these support requests are reduced, will you be able to better meet IT service demands considering current budget and staff limitations?
  • How will training make end-users more productive, and how will that increased productivity translate into cost savings and improved business results?

Use the answers to these questions to determine whether additional training will fill the identified need.

Hint: Look to the Likely Training Benefits

  1. End-users will spend less time spent seeking support and more time on required tasks and deliverables.
  2. There will be a measureable reduction in redundant, remedial technical support requests, lowering IT support costs.
  3. End-users will make fewer errors and mistakes leading to faster, more reliable results.
  4. End-users will feel better about their skills leading to improved morale and better results.
  5. A more detailed knowledge of systems functionality will lead to improved workflows and internal procedures.

Learn to Fast Track

When it comes to managing, you need more than one approach to be consistently successful. The way you manage when surrounding conditions are good, is not the way you manage when time is running short, resources are stretched thin and people aren't working together. That's what fast tracking is for - and we can teach you how it's done. Learn More

Step 3:  Planning Training Initiatives

Having determined that there is a "need" that training can fulfill, the steps and questions listed below will help you to plan the specific components and quantify the associated costs of that training initiative. With all this information in hand, you will be prepare to "make the case".

A. Identify all of the known training related needs and requirements.

  • What are your training objectives (new skills or improved skills)?
  • Who will be trained?
  • How long can training last (is there a specific completion deadline)?
  • Is the training customized or generic? (i.e. internally developed software vs. off-the-shelf)

B. Identify all of the available training related alternatives.

  • What training tools and methods can apply (in-house classroom, external classroom, webinars, or self-study books and reference materials)?
  • Can you rely on one method or a combination of methods?

C. Prepare an estimate of probable training costs considering:

  • Number of end-users to be trained
  • Volume discounts available
  • Fees per student (for outsourced training classes)
  • Development costs (internal or external)
  • Staffing costs (internal or external)
  • Facilities costs
  • Materials costs
  • Travel costs
  • Lost time (staff time out of the office)

Note:  Costs must then be compared to expected benefits to determine the training return on investment.

D. Make your training determinations and recommendations.

This is the time to ask the essential question - of all the training alternatives considered (in-house classroom, external classroom, webinars, or self-study books and reference materials), which ones will best meet training needs and objectives in terms of results, costs, time and resources? 

This is the point at which specific recommendations can be made with regard to the type of training required, and the related costs and timing.  The cost justification must focus on the identified needs and expected benefits to ensure an appropriate "return on investment".  The key to a winning argument for more end-user training is to understand specific needs, anticipate objections and present training options from a "big picture" point view, where short term initiatives are weighed against long term benefits.


If you're looking for a fast, easy way to achieve IT service success, you'll find it inside the IT Service Strategy Toolkit. This unique, informative online course gives you everything you need to become an IT management leader and service planning expert. Here's what you'll learn:

  • The I.T. Service Strategy Toolkit is an easy, engaging online course, containing over 50+ education components, teaching you how to use the multi-stage 'Service Strategy Process' to organize the I.T. service function and deliver value-added I.T. services.

  • Topics covered include developing the IT mission, organizing the IT service department, planning IT management policies, managing the IT/end-user service relationship, performing the IT service review, and more.

  • Techniques covered include 'Define, Align and Approve', the 'Manage by Process Framework', the IT/End User Partnership, Proactive Problem Management and more.

  • Download the tools and templates to produce the I.T. Vision Statement and multiple Service Review deliverables.

  • Build and improve strategic planning skills, as you learn time-saving techniques to become a more productive IT manager or service professional.

  • Course enrollment provides lifetime access to all components, with all future updates and additions included.

Source: Unless noted otherwise, all content is created by and/or for

About Us

Right Track Logo staff writers have experience working for some of the largest corporations, in various positions including marketing, systems engineering, help desk support, web and application development, and IT management. is part of Right Track Associates, proprietors and publishers of multiple web sites including, Fast Track Manage, HOA Board List and more. We started in 2001 and have continued to grow our web site portfolio, Toolkit products, and related data services. To learn more, visit us at Right Track Associates.

ITtoolkit News

Get the Latest ITtoolkit Updates. No Inbox Overload.

we do not sell our list

Subscribe Now
I.T. Service Planning The Service Strategy Toolkit Start For Free

If you'd like to learn how to quickly plan I.T. service strategies designed to meet every goal for technology service alignment, service quality and end-user service satisfaction, the I.T. Service Strategy Toolkit is the right course for you. Brought to you by the publishers of, this self-paced course is easy, engaging and actionable, giving you both how-to lessons and take-action tools. Start for free now!.

Committee Management The Project Committee Toolkit Start For Free

If you'd like to learn how to form and operate successful committees, destined to be more productive and less prone to conflict, the Project Committee Toolkit is the right training course for you. Brought to you by the publishers of, this easy course gives you both the lessons and the tools you need to be a better committee leader and organizer. Start for free now!.

Project Management The Fast Track Project Toolkit Start For Free

If you'd like to learn how to how to streamline project management activities to get work done in less time, using the resources you have, then the Fast Track Toolkit online course is what you need. Brought to you by the publishers of, you'll learn how to 'fast track' every stage of the project management process, from pre-project planning to the post-project review. Start for free now!.