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Part III: Test Plans > Using the Lab for Hands-On Technology Training: Data Cen...

Chapter 18. Using the Lab for Hands-On Technology Training: Data Center 3.0 Configuration Lab Guide

Business travel and formal classroom training are two activities often eliminated by IT organizations working with reduced operating budgets. In an age where IT is relied upon almost as a utility, web collaboration and videoconferencing are making the argument for mandatory travel much more difficult, as they have proven to be a highly effective means of managing customer interactions. Completely eliminating formal classroom training, on the other hand, is a questionable decision in an industry where “knowledge is power” because a lack of learning opportunities affects employee morale and consequently their efficiency as they fall behind in their technical expertise. An analogy of drinking from a fire hose can be used to describe how technical members feel as they attempt to rapidly absorb the sheer volume of ever-changing technical concepts while fulfilling their everyday job responsibilities.

In most IT organizations, on-the-job training (OJT) has become the default training method, as a hectic workload and increased responsibilities do not permit the luxury of formal classroom training. Although OJT is undeniably cheap and flexible, its effectiveness can be questioned because it is normally taken on as an unstructured activity, with new or junior members shadowing senior team members designated as mentors by the management team. The reality is that many of these mentors are simply technical staff members who have been in the job the longest, and not always be the best-qualified people to teach or convey information to new team members. Because it does not produce consistent results, traditional OJT is unreliable and often inefficient.


  

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