Peer training: not the best idea for upfront CAE

I’m not a big fan of peer training. Peer training is the act of sending only 1 engineer off to official training and then, upon his return, having him teach the rest of the team what he learned.

Most managers who do this are simply looking to save pennies. More philosophical managers may be thinking “the best way to learn something is to teach someone else.”

Fact: A professional trainer from your software vendor gets paid to efficiently and effectively teach. The trainer has loads of experience and knows how to motivate slow, medium, and fast learners.

It doesn’t really matter how much you spent on your shiny new upfront CAE software: if you don’t properly and thoroughly train the whole team, it won’t get used. A guy just returning from a 2-day training class hasn’t yet mastered the software himself. He certainly won’t do a good job of teaching others. Actually, peer training usually results in the creation of a “non-specialist specialist” at best. Rarely does it promote widespread usage and the true upfront CAE ROI.

So, maybe you saved $6k from this quarter’s training budget… but you may have just cost $100k in productivity enhancements.