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pixel.gif (807 bytes) Maintaining the balance
COST-EFFECTIVENESS is such a dry term that few training managers would voluntarily place it at the centre of their priorities. Unfortunately the 'cost' word dominates, so that, for many people, cost-effectiveness is synonymous with cost saving. But taking the phrase as it was originally intended, cost-effectiveness is a central concern to any service department - providing effective solutions to identified needs at a cost that provides good value for money.

'Cost' and 'effectiveness' do not in themselves paint the whole picture. There is a third important dimension - volume. It would be relatively easy to reduce costs or improve effectiveness if you did less training - but that would not be meeting the identified needs of the organisation. Cost, effectiveness and volume all need to be balanced if you are to deliver a complete service.

A training manager looking to increase cost-effectiveness actually has three options:

  1. Reduce the level of cost whilst maintaining effectiveness and volume ('cheaper learning').
  2. Improving effectiveness whilst holding costs and volume ('better learning').
  3. Increasing volume whilst maintaining effectiveness and holding costs ('more learning').

Each of these allows you to have your cake and eat it - improving one of the measures without sacrificing the others.

Cut can it be done? Well, here's some suggestions for actions you could take that might just achieve the impossible.

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