PeopleSoft out to trim training fat

SYDNEY (10/28/2003) - In a significant departure from the growing trend to consolidate and standardize enterprise applications, PeopleSoft Inc. has revealed it will market its enterprise learning management (ELM) system as a stand-alone product.

Launched in Australia last week, ELM aims to let users manage, track, deploy and monitor "any type of learning in the enterprise (including) e-learning, instructor-led or classroom learning, on-the-job training, mentor programs, and supplemental learning", according to PeopleSoft's ELM senior product marketing manager Heidi Spirgi.

ELM creates a data trail and series of metrics based on employee activity or performance allowing managers to deploy training resources accordingly.

"(It) provides integration across the broader organizational development process. Organizations are really struggling with this. They may do performance reviews; they have many different systems where they manage training and learning, they may not track competencies and skills that result from that. There's really no cohesion or strategy around this area," Spirgi said.

Spirgi claims that training-related waste is so bad within enterprises that only 20 percent of training funds yield dividends.

"There's a huge amount of fat in training. A recent study by (U.S. research house) Elliot Masey found up to 80 percent waste that can be saved (just on travel and related expenses) by using alternative channels rather than instructor-led training," Spirgi said, adding that call center and CRM systems are one area in sore need of attention.

"(If) you have a goal to deploy a new CRM system...and people don't know how to use can map the learnings and, through workflow monitoring and notifications, you can check to see your employees are on track.

"You define a metric where a call center employee needs to have their call close time as five minutes, and it starts to slip up...the system is designed to receive a trigger from an external source system. (It can then publish a new learning objective of a remedial call center management course. The employee logs in the next morning (to) see they have this new objective on their learning plan. They click a button that says 'prescribe learning' and they see all the classes that would help them improve their clock load time," Spirgi said.

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