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13 Organizational Programs for Employee Career Development," and labor occupations associated with road and track build- which was made available through the Society of Human ing and maintenance. Both types of professions continue to Resources Information Center, change rapidly and require employees to be current with the changing work processes, materials, environmental con- A comprehensive career development program will contain the cerns, and similar issues. following: Succession planning is essential to organization success. · An employee orientation program that offers detailed infor- mation about the career development program and the organi- Relatively few organizations at the state, local, or federal zation, its mission, and its values; level have yet grappled with this issue successfully. No study · A training program in which managers learn how to coach has been done to ascertain exactly how many organizations employees; do have a functioning succession planning program. How- · A career development center or library where employees have access to job search and labor market information; ever, based on a recent review of 24 federal agencies and the · Access to a career counselor for individual sessions; questionnaire responses from state DOTs, a safe estimate · A performance appraisal system where employees receive would be that less than 20% currently have a well-defined, ongoing feedback; · Career development workshops on topics such as resume and operating succession program in place. letter writing, networking, interviewing, interest/value/skill exploration and identification, managing career burnout, and goal setting; TRAINING ORGANIZATION · A job posting system where employees have access to position announcements; Organization Placement · Access to organizational job descriptions so employees are aware of necessary competencies and requirements for other positions; There are three common rules of thumb on organizational · A career patching system so employees know what careers are placement for the training function in both public and private available to someone with their skills and training; organizations. The placement is a function on training con- · An EEO [Equal Employment Opportunity]/Affirmative Action program to ensure fairness and diversity in the workplace; tent and sometimes the size of the training program. The · Internal training programs where employees can build upon placement of training is also affected by the view of the orga- their skills and learn new ones to prepare them for promotions nization's leaders on the importance of training. The most and to learn about the organization; typical placement is as a component of the human resources · A formal mentoring program where employees learn from oth- ers who are already in positions to which they may aspire; or human capital management function. The training func- · A succession planning program that identifies competencies tion may also exist as a separate organization under the gen- for higher positions and identifies and develops potential eral umbrella of the administrative support infrastructure. employees who would fit those positions; The general lines of demarcation are based on the quantity · A tuition reimbursement program that allows employees to enroll in college or professional development courses; and type of training. If the training program is predominately · A course on how to apply to college and select a program of personal competence skills, which include leadership train- study; ing, writing and communications skills, financial manage- · A program for job rotation or internal internships where ment, human resources management, organization policies employees can have on-the-job experiences working in a new setting to develop and use new skills; and procedures, and similar subjects, it tends to reside within · A supervisory/management development program that trains the Office of Human Resources or Human Capital Manage- supervisors and develops potential supervisors; and ment. If the training is focused predominately on technical · Exit interviews to ascertain why employees leave the organi- skills or professional skills, the training tends to be under the zation. direction of those in the organization who have the technical or professional competency. For example, NASA's leader- In the report, Career Development in the 21st Century, ship development programs are under the direction of the Craig and Gilpin define career development by saying, "The agency's Chief Human Capital Officer. Its engineering and individual-level aspect is often referred to as career planning, technical project management training programs are under while the organization-level aspect is called career manage- the direction of the Chief Engineer. In their responses to the ment." This definition is well suited for today's worker. He synthesis questionnaire, a number of state DOTs cited simi- or she is in all likelihood a "knowledge worker," who knows lar divisions of responsibility. The more general training and that his or her current and future career is dependent on con- development was the responsibility of the Training Division tinuing to learn and keeping current on the developing state or the training unit within the Human Capital Office. Tech- of information in the chosen career field. Career development nical training was the responsibility of the Chief Engineer or is no longer a patriarchal responsibility of the organization; a similar position. it is a shared responsibility between employee and organiza- tion. Both stand to lose if the partnership is not forged and both stand to gain significantly if it is. Centralized Versus Decentralized State DOTs employ the "traditional" knowledge worker, Another question that frequently arises when organization such as engineers and IT professionals, as well as the trades structure is considered is: Should the training function be
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14 decentralized or centralized (Rodriguez 2005)? The benefits Components of a CU might include. . . courses such as: Business of a centralized function include: Education . . . , Professional Education . . . , Personal Develop- ment . . . Technical Instruction . . . · A single focus of responsibility and accountability that A CU must only not only link to the business needs, but it must also meet the needs of individual employees to be effective. "assumes accountability" for managing learning and Learning has become a life-long commitment for many people development throughout the organization. The function in today's workforce. Many organizations recognize this and are usually reports to a Chief Learning Officer (CLO) or using employee development initiatives as an important part of similar position. their recruiting and retention programs. · There are less likely to be "variances and redundancies." · Measurement of results can be more focused and more The Society for Human Resources Management paper disciplined. goes on to say that "properly conceptualized and executed, · A single organization can "leverage purchasing dollars" (CU) can be the strongest forum in the organization for help- both for equipment and training programs. ing to shape and give direction to not only significant organi- · Centralization allows a single individual to "oversee zational change but also to the business itself." It can also help and direct the company's investment" and makes easier improve recruitment, increase revenues, reduce turnover, and the comparison of the value of a training investment make available a wider talent pool. Private-sector firms with versus some other use of funds. effective CUs include: Land Rover, Motorola, Sears, and the · It also "facilitates the sharing of best practices as it Tennessee Valley Authority (Prochaska 2001). Some public- creates economies of scale and makes it easier to track sector organizations, particularly at the federal level of gov- initiatives." ernment, are experimenting with the CU concept. Examples include the U.S. Department of the Interior, U.S. Department There are equally valid arguments for decentralization. of Energy, and a number of U.S. Department of Defense orga- They include: nizational components. Public organizations should think very carefully about whether a "corporate university" is an · Helps ensure a more direct link between the program appropriate mechanism for a training and development pro- goals and the training and development programs and gram delivery. They are expensive to establish and maintain, activities. and the costbenefit of the tailored training in the CU versus · Allows for a better alignment with business strategy and that which can be acquired at colleges and universities, or pro- a greater possibility that trainers will become familiar vided by private- and public-sector vendors must be carefully with the business and programs for which they are pro- analyzed. viding training. · Is consistent with the entrepreneurial values and culture According to a research report by Bersin and Associates, of some organizations. the "massive shift" to e-learning has raised the issue of what · Allows for a more consistent focus on leadership or tech- is the most effective and efficient training organization. Its nical or other business and program-specific training. June 2005 study ("What Works" 2005) is based on interviews with "approximately 350 North American and global training Either organizational model--centralized or decentral- organizations. Our goal was to understand what drives the ized--will work. The option chosen must be consistent with effectiveness and efficiency of corporate training." The study the organization's mission, its values, its strategic goals and defined measurement elements effectiveness and efficiency objectives, the work to be done, and the type of training and as follows: development needed by the organization's employees. Other factors to consider include whether the organization is geo- Effectiveness--The ability of the learning organization to graphically dispersed or geographically concentrated and the meet the needs of the line of business managers. Includes degree to which it has and uses electronic means to deliver developing, delivering, and measuring training that is timely, training and development programs. relevant, and results-oriented. The learning organization is aligned with corporate, HR, and business goals. Another organization structure is the corporate university (CU). The CU, according to a Society of Human Resources Efficiency--Developing and delivering training at an white paper, is different from a more traditional training affordable cost. Includes sharing of best practices, vendors, department in the following ways: and other resources, as well as the supporting technologies. Key conclusions of this study were: Typically, the human resource development function reacts to training needs determined through employee surveys, individual or group requests, or new technology. These programs are most · Centralization of training, while a trend, does not necessarily likely direct instruction on specific skills. A CU, on the other improve effectiveness. More than half of the organizations stud- hand, can impart more than a new skill set for employees. It can ied use [of] what we call a "federated" model. Similarly to the actually be used as a holistic conduit to instill corporate values, organization of government in this country, the federated model culture, philosophy, history, leadership skills, and more. . . . has some centralized functions and others that are distributed.
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15 The biggest driver toward centralization is technology-- The ingredients for an effective and successful training investments in a centralized Learning Management System program include: (LMS) require a centralized budget, support infrastructure, and often a content management and development team. · The role of the CLO directly improves the impact of an orga- · A program reflective of the organization's strategic nization. Companies with strong CLOs have much higher plan or business plan, effectiveness and efficiency measures than those without such · A well-thought-out philosophy and set of values, a leader. The CLO has a dramatic impact on employee satis- faction in training as well. CLOs also create and enforce the · Multiple delivery systems and mechanisms, use of meaningful measurements. . . · An evaluation strategy and plan to continually refine · Organizations with centralized LMSs perform at higher levels. training and development offerings, The discipline and focus to implement and support a central- · A strategy and plan to ensure the transfer of learning, and ized LMS forces a learning organization to set in place other structures that improve performance and efficiency. · A communications strategy and plan to ensure that · Alignment with [Human Resources] HR has positive and neg- employees know what training and development activ- ative impacts. Training organizations that align too heavily ities are available and how these are related to improved with HR tend to suffer. Over-alignment reduces the effective- performance. ness of a learning organization and pulls it away from the line of business constituencies. However, certain programs, such as leadership, new hire, and compliance training, can be aligned First and foremost, the training and development program effectively with HR. must flow from the organization's strategic plan and its objec- · Sound resource allocation is both a cause and effect of an effec- tives and outcomes. This is the anchor that helps ensure that tive organization. One of the biggest drivers of high impact is the program is "value added" and that it directly addresses the the establishment of an independent, outwardly focused per- formance consulting organization. . . . organization's important issues, programs, and outcomes. · Use of shared services is critical to success. A well-defined, outwardly focused shared service model is mandatory, no Second, every successful training program must develop matter how the learning organization itself is organized. and articulate a philosophy; a set of values and goals that are Organizations with such models can efficiently respond to business needs, create standards, and centralize budget consistent with the agency's strategic goals and outcomes. decisions. There should also be a career map for each occupation that · Our research verifies that organization and management have identifies the competencies required at each level (e.g., entry, a significant impact on a learning organization. Excellent tech- intermediate, and senior), the positions, work assignments, and nology, content, and instructional design are not enough. internal or external training that can assist the employees in Training cannot succeed without strong business leadership, alignment, performance consulting, measurement, standards, acquiring the needed competencies. This, too, must be consis- and program management (emphasis added). tent with the agency strategic goals and outcomes. This infor- mation must be transparent and available to all in a variety of The following are insights from thought leaders--Six traditional (e.g., written policies, hard copy newsletters, and Components That Make a Critical Difference. discussed at conferences) and electronic formats (e-mail, web- sites, and electronic newsletters) so that employees can partic- As part of the research for this synthesis, three thought lead- ipate in the decisions about their professional development. ers, J. Paul Longanbach, Dr. Susan Krup Grunin, and Dr. James E. Trinka, were contacted about what were the essential ingre- Third, there must be multiple delivery systems, because dients of an effective training program. adults have very different learning styles. The best training and development programs recognize this; therefore, the growth in Longanbach is a training and organizational development alternative delivery systems--traditional classroom, web- expert with national and international experience in both the based, computer-based, coaches, mentors, and other methods public and private sectors. Named to the Smithsonian's to ensure learning transfer. Examples of those who do this suc- endowed Lunder Educational Chair for education, he devel- cessfully are the U.S. Department of Defense; U.S. Office of oped a comprehensive, educationally sound nationwide pro- Personnel of Management through its GOLearn program, gram for providing visual arts-linked educational resources which is used by federal, state, and local governments across that improve teaching and learning in U.S. classrooms. the country; and National Guard Bureau. FHWA programs Grunin is currently a Senior Training Consultant with Wat- and those of the Minnesota DOT are also examples of organi- sonWyatt. Before joining WatsonWyatt, she directed the zations with advanced multiple delivery systems. administrative and human capital training program for the federal judiciary. Trinka is the Associate Director for Train- Fourth, the best programs have an evaluation methodol- ing and Development for the Federal Bureau of Investigation ogy and cycle to help recalibrate learning programs based on (FBI). He directs the FBI Academy at Quantico, Virginia. feedback from the training programs from supervisors about These individuals were selected because they have a variety the performance of employees who take the courses. Train- of public- and private-sector experience in establishing and ing is not an end unto itself, but an instrument to improve managing successful training and development programs and individual and organizational performance. Therefore, per- reputations for thinking creatively about training and devel- formance assessment is an essential ingredient in training opment issues. Their collective views are discussed here. program evaluation.
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16 Fifth, the evaluation must also be calibrated to consider need in the future. This shifted focus from training to work- environmental changes, the degree to which learning transfer place learning and performance is one that is discussed in much of the literature, and is certainly consistent with the IBM study occurs, and the cost of the program in relation to the tangible on the four trends that are changing government. The study benefits derived for both the individual and the organization. To reflects the input of more than 2,000 ASTD members and other assess these elements, qualitative and quantitative measures of practitioners. success are identified and a baseline measurement is estab- lished to provide a point of comparison to judge whether the According to ASTD, there are eight trends that are shap- programs and activities are achieving the desired outcomes. ing the profession: Sixth, all must be cemented with a communications · Uncertainty--economic and fiscal uncertainties have strategy and plan that is designed to address the various left their mark on all and training is no exception. audiences within and outside the organization. Most orga- · Blurring of lines between work and life--new organiza- nizations have at least six internal audiences--executives, tion structures are blurring the lines between work and managers, supervisors, subject matter experts in the partic- other parts of life. ular program area, employees, and employees with special · Global impacts--instantaneous, worldwide communi- needs such as the hearing or sight impaired. If the organi- cations change the way people relate and connect. There zation has unions, those present a seventh audience. An is increasing interdependency between peoples, compa- organization's external audiences may include political and nies, and governments. career individuals in other executive branch organizations, · Diversity--workplace is increasingly diverse. legislative members and their staffs, trade associations, and · Impact of change--change is ever with us. similar groups. The communications plan must ensure that · Security concerns--security includes the physical secu- communications goes at least two ways--up and down-- rity of employees and facilities, as well as security of and that the multiple communications delivery mechanisms intellectual property. are in place to meet the various hearing and learning styles · Impact of technology--technology is pervasive. of different individuals. · Ethical issues--need for ethical conduct of public and private business; the unfortunate and very public failure All three thought leaders spoke of the importance of of leaders to meet these standards is a constant in today's involving these various audiences in the program planning world. and decision processes, through needs assessment surveys, evaluation of course content, and through one or several What then are the implications of these trends? The ASTD advisory committees. They each commented on the power study conclusions are totally consistent with other research of properly constituted and run advisory committees to gar- included in this synthesis. ner lasting support for learning and training programs. In their definition, "properly constituted" means that the peo- · Being an expert in training and development is not suf- ple included are those who have both a stake in successful ficient; professionals must understand the program- training programs and whose organizations will benefit from matic and substantive work of the organization. this success. · There must be demonstrated value in training courses and activities, and these must be directly linked to the organization's strategic goals and outcomes. Competencies · The training professional has a special obligation to For the last two decades, ASTD has identified and published help both the organization and individuals "develop a information on the competencies required for training profes- culture of integrity by honoring its commitment to the sionals. The latest version, published in 2004, updates the 1999 value of people in the workplace." study and provides insight into the trends that are shaping the · Technology is a key learning tool. The training profes- profession, as well as an update on competencies required for sional must know what is available and be able to artic- successful performance. The study is entitled Mapping the ulate its relevance to the agency's learning program. Future: ASTD 2004 Competency Study, New Workplace Learn- · The power of the Internet should be used to communi- ing and Performance Competencies (Bernthal et al. 2004) cate globally with customers for training products and and can be accessed on the ASTD website at www.astd.org/ offerings. astd/Research/competency_study/competency_study.html. · The importance of one's role as a developer of talent for the organization must be understood. As the executive summary explains: ASTD adheres to a traditional definition of competency-- Each ASTD competency model marks a milestone in the "Competencies encompass the clusters of skills, knowledges, expansion of the field from a singular focus on training to human and organization development to workplace learning abilities, and behaviors required for success across all WLP and performance. . . [The study] provides a framework for the (workplace learning and performance) jobs." These compe- competencies that learning professionals need today and will tencies are:
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17 · Analyzing needs and proposal solutions, reduction, quality levels, and customer service." Indicators · Applying business acumen, include cost, time, volume, and human reaction. In thinking · Building trust, about these as programmatic components, it is important to · Communicating effectively, know what type of data is available to add in assessment (e.g., · Demonstrating adaptability, quality, ease of access, and cost to accumulate). The next step · Driving results, is to decide "what needs attention and what you are excelling · Influencing stakeholders, at." The actual development of metrics and "measuring change · Leveraging diversity, over time" are the final steps in the process (Fitz-enz and · Modeling personal development, Phillips 1998). · Planning and implementing assignments, and · Thinking strategically. When establishing an assessment process that is both qual- itatively and quantitatively focused, an important decision is These competencies are grouped into clusters (Business/ how many and what dimensions to measure. The tendency is Management, Interpersonal, and Personal) to facilitate under- to identify process rather than substance as the dimensions to standing. A detailed discussion and definitions of these com- measure, and to identify more measures than are really petencies are found in Appendix D. needed. The consequence of these typical mistakes is that pro- gram evaluation becomes a very cumbersome and difficult The study also identified four roles: Learning Strategist, process, and the results of the evaluation do not justify the Business Partner, Project Manager, and Professional Spe- cost of gathering and assessing the data. Successful evalua- cialist. This study is one of the most complete and relevant tion programs identify three to seven measures that are truly to the needs of state DOTs. It is firmly anchored in well done the "levers of power" in predicting performance. research and provides insights into current needs, and most importantly it clearly indicated where the profession is Several other factors are essential for successful evalua- headed so that individual professionals and training program tion efforts. The evaluation program must: executives can get a glimpse of the future. This allows each DOT to compare the current with the anticipated and plan for · Have the time and attention of the function's and the the changes that may be needed. organization's leadership; · Be part of both the organization's and the individual's performance assessment requirements; Evaluation · Communicate results to appropriate internal and exter- nal stakeholders; and This section discusses evaluation methodologies to be used in · Use the results to revise and improve the program ser- assessing training programs. The basic evaluation framework vice, quality, and productivity. This is a circular and established by Fitz-enz and Phillips in their 1998 publication, continuous process. A New Vision for Human Resources, is a classic in the litera- ture. The new vision of human capital management enunciated Measurement is both an art and a science, with a good by the authors has as its basic assumption a "value imperative." amount of common sense mixed in. However, there must be The products that organizations produce, whether public or some valid, quantitative component to assessment for it to private, must add value and must contribute to achieving the be a credible assessment methodology. In How to Measure organization's programmatic strategic goals and objectives. Human Resources Management, Fitz-enz and Davison Between 1991 and 1998 when this book was published, (2002) provided some additional approaches for program private-sector "HR budgets declined by 40% and staffing levels assessment. shrunk by nearly 25%." The public sector experienced a simi- lar decline. (Ironically, this reduction of budget and staffing The accumulation and availability of information has spawned only increases the need for the Human Resources profes- an obsessive drive for change and improvement. It is human sional's flexibility and an even greater diversity of skills.) Any nature that when something becomes easy to obtain, people want function that cannot articulate its value to the organization can more and more of it. . . . As often happens, a need finds a solu- tion. [Computers and the World Wide Web came along] . . . and expect to experience a similar decline. In light of this demand gave everyone the ability to access educational material from to justify existence, Fitz-enz and Phillips defined a model of anywhere at anytime. . . . The training and education programs components that must be developed to evaluate human capital produced and delivered by organizations for the benefit of their programs. They apply as well to training and development pro- employees and customers take many forms and use many media. The argument over classroom versus self-directed versus on-the- grams. To assess value, an organization must assess its service, job experience is pointless. Each topic has a medium through the quality of its products, and its productivity. From this flows which it is best encountered. However, it is a truism that distance the concept of return on investment. "In competitive compa- consumes value. . . . The further away the learning experience is from its application, the less it is relevant and retained. [T]he nies, every function is a value-added operation. . . . [E]ach job learning medium should be as close as possible to the skill being must demonstrate an acceptable return on investment . . . [and] taught. . . [W]e are not going to focus on the learning process but contribute in some way to continuous gains in product cost on the results of that process:
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18 · How well did someone learn? · Student reaction--"What they thought and felt about · How effectively did he or she apply the learning . . .? the training." · What difference did it make to the business imperatives? · Learning--"The resulting increase in knowledge or . . . . The three general measures of training are cost, change, and capability." impact. Cost is defined as expense per unit of training delivered. · Behavior--"The extent of behavior and capability Change is defined as gain in skill or knowledge or positive improvement and implementation and/or application." change in attitude by the trainee, and impact is defined as results or outcomes from the trainee's use of new skills, knowledge, or · Results--"The effect on the business or environment attitudes that are measurable in monetary terms in the organiza- resulting from the trainee's performance." tion's productivity, quality, or service results. Kirkpatrick recommends use of "All of these measures . . . For those interested in a more technical discussion and in for full and meaningful evaluation of learning in organiza- measurement formulas, please see Chapter 12 of the Fitz-enz tions, although their application broadly increases in com- and Davison book. plexity, and usually cost, through the levels from level 1 to level 4" (see http://businessballs.com/kirkpatricklearning A final comment should be stated on measurement: pro- evaluationmodel.htm). grams can be measured in isolation, but the results have more meaning if they are measured as a component of the larger There are a variety of other models that can be selected to whole. For example, although each administrative infra- assess training programs, with each having strengths and structure function, such as human capital, facilities manage- weaknesses. However, successful evaluation programs share ment, and IT, have activities where the measurement is the following characteristics: unique to the function, there are cross-cutting measures that can be used to compare how one function is doing in com- · The evaluation objectives are known and supported by parison with another. If the organization is interested in look- all who are involved in the evaluation process; for ing at functions both individually and collectively, it may example, the organization's executives, other leaders want to consider identifying common measures across simi- and managers, training staff, and employees who take lar programs. the programs and classes offered. · Data sources are known, understood, accurate, and The Human Resources Program-Evaluation Handbook is maintained. also an excellent reference on the methods and approaches · The evaluation team collects and analyzes the mini- for training evaluation. In "Conducting Training Evalua- mum amount of data required to properly evaluate the tion," from the Handbook, Quinones and Tonidondel (2003) program. noted that in 1998 companies were spending more than $55 · The programs being evaluated have clearly stated goals billion on training, but that this represented only the direct, and objectives and agreed on qualitative and quantita- out-of-pocket expense. It does not include on-the-job and tive measures against which results are assessed. similar training, and it does not take into account the more · The evaluation process is cyclical. recent investments made in technology-based learning sys- · Recommendations for change are acted on with needed tems and software. A related estimate for training expendi- program changes being integrated as appropriate. ture was 1.8% of payroll or, in 1998 dollars, approximately $649 per employee. The authors also noted the changing E-Learning workplace, the impact of technology, the multigenerational workforce, and the demand for greater organizational effi- According to recent research completed by Bersin and Asso- ciency as trends affecting the demand for training. The five- ciates, a learning research organization, step model proposed by the authors includes: over the last five years, the training industry has been deluged · Identifying training objectives, with technology--learning management systems, development · Developing evaluation criteria, tools, blended learning, simulations, and much more. Our esti- mates show that as much as 20% to 30% of all training, by stu- · Selecting an evaluation design, dent hour, is delivered by e-learning in many organizations, a · Assessing change as a result of training, and massive shift in delivery approaches in only the last few years. · Performing a utility analysis (the utility analysis expresses the value of training in economic terms). Learning Circuits, an on-line magazine, published its first ever learning survey "to gauge the impact that technology devel- The most widely known and used of all training evalua- opments, supplier consolidations, and the economy were having tion models is the Kirkpatrick Four Level Model. Kirk- on e-learning efforts inside (the) organization." Learning Cir- patrick's book, Evaluating Training Programs, further cuits is ASTD's source for e-learning. This complete survey, developed his ideas that were originally published in 1959. earlier surveys, and other studies on e-learning issues can be The four levels of Kirkpatrick's model measure are: found at http://www.learningcircuits.org/2003/nov/trends.htm.
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19 As might be expected, Learning Circuits found that pub- Distribution method (6): Cost analysis and return on lic and private organizations are continuing to explore and to investment of distribution methods, limitations and benefits educate themselves on e-learning issues. More than 40% of of the distribution method, effect of distribution method on the respondents had used e-learning "for some time," which learner, integration of distribution methods, remote site coor- is defined as 5 or more years. Approximately 15% were dination, and technology evaluation. beginning implementation of some facet of e-learning. The remaining 45% were in some stage of exploration or just Presentation method (4): Cost analysis and return on beginning to look at options to actually designing and pilot- investment of presentation methods, limitations and benefits ing programs. E-learning budgets were relatively stable over of the presentation method, effect of presentation method on the last few years. learners, integration of presentation methods. The e-learning tools and services portion of the survey Although these are not typical competencies, they do rep- revealed that nearly 60% of those responding use self-paced resent a useful summary of the type of information and under- courseware, whereas just over 30% used "virtual classrooms standing that training professionals must have if they are to to supplement traditional classroom-based training." Elec- operate successfully in the world of e-learning technology, tronic course registration was the most frequent e-learning course content and delivery, and program evaluation. support service used by survey respondents. The single great- est use of e-learning was for IT training and "general business In August 2004, Christopher Moore wrote "Using Models skills, which included everything from leadership training to to Manage Strategic Learning Investments," in which he argues . . . diversity training." E-learning is still at the stage of devel- that organizations should consider using maturity models to opment where most e-learning is initiated by the training help inform the technology decision-making process. organization rather than by the program offices of an organi- zation. Of those responding to the survey, more than 70% A maturity model is a framework that classifies the evolution reported that their training staffs "had received development of a system from a less ordered, less effective state to a highly on how to produce and support e-learning initiatives." ordered, highly effective state. Maturity models have five levels or stages, typically beginning at stage one, ad hoc (some- times called the `chaotic' state), and ending at stage five, opti- As is usually the case with the introduction of technology as mized (often referred to as `nirvana'). Throughout each stage, a tool to support a program, we are still several years away from a maturity model tracks the evolutionary changes of key orga- e-learning tools and programs being well-developed, totally nizational characteristics based on the system being modeled. integrated components of training and development programs. . . . Using the model as a frame of reference, organizations can For most organizations, it takes 3 to 5 or more years to analyze set their sights on a particular state, assess where they currently are in relation to the model, create a strategy or plan to reach the need; decide on and purchase the hardware and software; their destination, and measure their progress along the way train subject matter experts, managers, leaders, and employees; (Moore 2004). develop, pilot, and revise the first programs; and then finally have the use of e-learning as an accepted component of the The complete discussion of maturity models and their ap- training and development program. plicability to learning technology decisions can be found at www.clomedia.com/content/templaates/clo_feature.asp? The question then arises as to what competencies are articleid=579@zoneid=31. required for those individuals and organizations that have made or are considering making an investment in e-learning Finally, the question of the effectiveness of e-learning programs and technology. According to Sanders (2001), the versus classroom learning should be raised. Because e-learning following 31 e-learning competencies apply to the career is relatively new as a subsidiary field within training, there is field. still debate about its effectiveness in relationship to the more traditional classroom training. The Department of Defense's General (18): Adult learning, instructional design, per- Advanced Distribution Learning Initiative and the University formance gap analysis, change management, leadership, industry awareness, buy-in/advocacy, interpersonal rela- of Tulsa undertook a study to find the answer to this question. tionship building and collaboration, consulting, business knowledge, systems thinking, contracting, project manage- Writing in the August 2005 issue of Training and Devel- ment, awareness of e-learning industry, communications, opment, Traci Stizmann reported that program evaluation, design and development of content, and implementation and support. The answer appears to be yes according to researchers at the Department of Defense's Advanced Distribution Learning Management (3): Management of learning technology (ADL) initiative and the University of Tulsa. In their work, Traci Stizmann, Robert Wisher, Kurt Kraiger, and David Stewart con- selection, management of learning technology design and ducted a meta-analysis of 96 previously conducted studies that development, and management of learning technology compared the effects of web-based and classroom instruction. implementation. . . . E-learning and classroom learning were found to be equally