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How Role Assignments Make or Break Training

At the beginning of most training sessions I am always reminded of the children’s story of “Goldilocks and the Three Bears”. The reason deals mainly with the assignment of students to a class and the relationship of Goldilocks’ attempt to sleep in each of the bear’s beds. 

The Daddy Bear Syndrome – I Can’t Do This

When Goldilocks tried to sleep in the Daddy Bear’s bed she found that it was too hard.  The “too hard” reminds me of the students who come to class without being assigned the right transactions they need to do their jobs.  They don’t have the required access to follow along with classroom exercises and become quickly frustrated. The instructor has no way to grant them the access they need.  The actual process will require modification of their profile which isn’t something done on the spot. For these students not only is attending training “too hard”, it’s impossible.

The Momma Bear Syndrome – I Don’t Do This

When Goldilocks tried the Momma Bear’s bed she found it was too soft.  The “too soft” reminds me of the students who come to class assigned almost every transaction.   They can do everything!  However, because they can do everything they probably have been placed in training classes that have nothing to do with their jobs.  They can stay and attend training. But, does the training provide them what they need to their job? Unfortunately, once the student is told what the class involves, the plaintive cry of, “I don’t do this!” is heard.

The Baby Bear Syndrome – I Can Do What I Need To Do

The best fit is when Goldilocks tries the Baby Bear’s bed that fits just right.  The “just right” students been given the correct transactions needed. They have been assigned only to training that fits their job requirements.  As a result they will learn more efficiently and will embrace the course material. They won’t become frustrated because the course is tailored to their needs. The course fits the needs of the student. It fits just right.

Analyze and Assign

How do you get to “It fits just right”?  By analyzing the jobs the end users actually perform.  Just because Harry and Sue are both listed as clerks, that doesn’t mean they do the same thing.  You have to look closely at what they do. And this analysis takes time and is not always easy.  Unfortunately, some security personnel take the easy way out, and we end up with a lot of Momma Bear type students. The more assignment time taken, the more precise the transaction assignments.

A classroom full of students who have been assigned the correct transactions is great for the company, the instructor and most importantly the student. It is the most efficient use of training resources and the students’ time.

I was recently involved in a project that took 9 months to prepare the systems, processes, and the organization for role mapping (transactions to job requirements). Then an additional three months to actually assign roles to people. In that same three months people were enrolled in training courses based on their assigned roles.

Time required for role mapping will vary based on the size and scope of the implementation.  The total time of 12 months for the project above was needed to map eleven thousand end users with one hundred thousand roles.

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