Wednesday, July 24, 2013

It is a Training Problem

I frequently get involved in conversations that start with someone wishing Revit would help resolve "x" problem. The essence of "x" is that somebody on the team keeps doing something that the team wishes they wouldn't. So we want Revit to fix a user, or make it impossible for a certain user to do something.

Usually it is just growing pains and those WILL subside after enough time is invested and experience is gained. That's the purpose of training, we can shorten the time required with training. Yes, I do work as a trainer but I'm not just saying that because I'm a trainer (the carpenter thinking every problem needs a hammer). The whole point of hiring a training consultant or going to classes (for anything) is to reduce the time it takes to become productive or knowledgeable.

    We SPEND money to SAVE time and invest in our skills.

Too many firms don't invest in their staff (or if they do, they don't do it effectively). They expect or assume that their staff will just manage to get by on their own. Give them a book, they're smart, they'll figure it out. They probably are smart and they will figure it out...eventually. How long can you wait for that to happen? They might pay for training but then after three days in a class they've been trained and therefore are experts! At least that's the perceived expectation or assumption. After all, that's why architecture is such a easy degree to get and getting licensed is a snap, right?

Getting training is a piece of the puzzle. Putting that training to work is how experience is gained. The training makes it possible to shorten the learning curve toward experience. No matter which way you approach the learning don't underestimate the importance of the experience of doing the job, the project. You'll just enjoy the job or project more if you get some good training and spend less time getting frustrated.

If a firm really keeps track of how much time is lost to inefficient task completion and inexperience leading to rework. They'd find out eventually that hiring that consultant or training facility would have been a bargain. If we don't treat "time lost" as "money spent" we don't realize how much it really cost. So many firms behave this way, they don't pay attention to the money going out the door the slow and "invisible" way. It goes out so slowly they convince themselves it isn't happening. If you are serious about seeing a return on investment (ROI) you need to know what it costs to do everything now (the established or "old way") and then later after becoming proficient with Revit. As they say, you can't manage what you don't measure. Keep in mind that lots of data doesn't necessarily mean it is useful.

A senior architect mentoring an intern architect is the same thing, your experience helps the future senior architect become one. You can be a mentor in your office for Revit and bring people up to speed sooner too! So it's not just about hiring a great trainer, it's also about striving for better continuously.

    We sprung for training and people are still making mistakes and they've been warned repeatedly!

Mistakes are one thing, we all make them. If people know better but keep doing the same thing over and over again you now know what they really think of you and the firm. They don't care! They don't care enough to "play along", be a "team player" (OMG, holy catch phrase Batman). Sorry but AEC is a team sport.

    Messing up other people's work IS a training issue, until it ISN'T anymore.

If people are trained and continue to be RUDE and refuse to work well with others it is no longer a training issue. It's a HR (Human Resources) problem, yeah I mean "possibly cost them their job". A firm (and it's staff) shouldn't have to tolerate people refusing to work together well. That's easy to write, not as easy to work through, I know that. Someone once said to me, "Yeah we have a few people who should work for our competition". So I say, "why aren't they?" (big grin)

Ignoring the problem, yeah how's that working?

Plaaaaay BALL!


Anonymous said...

I wish a decent text editor in Revit.
I wish to format the text inside of tags.
I wish to scale families without obscure methods.
I need to access many data inside of objects in Revit in a friendly and logic manner in a 6 thousand dollars software, I'm not young, so I don't have time to learn C#.
I think, the problem is not training to do some tasks, the problem is arrogance from a company advertising Revit like panacea and the legion of apologists looking for workarounds.

Steve said...

News flash, Revit isn't perfect! Anybody really using it knows that.

The perfect software solution hasn't been made yet... I'm not holding my breath waiting for it either.

This post wasn't inspired by anything to do with workarounds, just people deleting things inappropriately and people expecting the software to fix it, prevent it. And yes the people involved did not get any training, just here's the new software, go for it! Go team!

Paul F. Aubin said...

Is there an echo in here? I often give the SAME speech. That line about HR is almost word for word... :-)

Steve said...

Still wearing the brown sport jacket? cool, don't look for the bug... ;)