I had a number of absolutely brilliant professors in college. Some knew their topics so well it was awe-inspiring. But it also happened that in a couple of those courses, I sat there most of the time with this expression on my face:
That's because the professor didn't know the first thing about imparting what he knew to the rest of us.
This is a common phenomenon among companies who don't put much money or authority behind their end-user training. What you get is an IT pro who is very knowledgeable about the technology behind an app or tool but really can't bridge the gap to explaining its usage to the people who will be using it.
The results are presentations that lean too heavily on PowerPoint and don't use any kind of practical exercises aimed to ensure retention. But, as I said, this is less the fault of the IT pro as much as it is in company leadership. Leaders have to be willing to put some money behind training programs and be willing to do follow-up research to see what worked and what didn't.
I'd like to do an informal poll of you guys to get an idea of what kind of training situation you currently have in your companies. Once you take the poll, come back and tell us whether you think your company's method of training "does the job."
Toni Bowers is Managing Editor of TechRepublic and is the award-winning blogger of the Career Management blog. She has edited newsletters, books, and web sites pertaining to software, IT career, and IT management issues.