Why Not Make Training More Like Camp?

Susan Hall

During summers, working parents tend to shell out big bucks for all sorts of camps and activities to keep kids occupied. Why do they get to go to camp when we don't? Some resorts have caught on to the idea that parents would love to go to camp, too, and found an enthusiastic new group of customers.


I was thinking about that when I read Todd R. Weiss's piece at CIO.com about the ERP boot camp offered by Panorama Consulting Group. You can say this about ERP: It's big, it's complex and lord knows, people need training on it. He quotes Eric Kimberling, Panorama's founder and president, saying:

It's very hard to get this kind of training, especially if you are going to embark on a new implementation. You need to know how to start it, how to keep it on budget, how ERP can deliver benefits and how to manage the project. It's a more strategic and operational view, rather than hands-on and technical training on the software itself. When we started the boot camps, there wasn't a training course out there that focused on these topics.

As Weiss said:

So if it's so important, how much time do you spend making sure that your staff gets the latest training and information to be sure that your ERP systems are the best that they can be? Probably not much, I'd bet.


Well, maybe it's time to look for some new ideas and approaches to make it happen. And maybe summer is the opportune time, as business tends to be less hectic.

Panorama's three-day ERP boot camp costs $2,450 for clients or $3,250 for non-clients, not including travel and accommodations.


For companies that have multiple students for any type of training, a more reasonable option might be setting up "camp" closer to home and bringing in instructors. Who says it has to be "training" (classrooms, fluorescent lighting) rather than "camp" (outdoors)? I'm thinking "new ideas and approaches" here. I'm also thinking about those open-sided pavilions at church camp where we held many, many sessions, many summers ago. It might be at a state park, with some sessions in a meeting room, while others are held outdoors (by campfire?).


Lest any of the suits in your organization think such an idea too frivolous, here's a big, serious study by IT and project management training vendor ESI International on how to ensure training sticks as workers return to the "real world," their jobs. It can help keep everything on track.


Just a late Friday afternoon idea. The weekend's calling.

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