BigPicture training options – live, online or pre-recorded?

BigPicture training options – live, online or pre-recorded? 1280 760 Tom Pabich

Here is a question I’m often asked: what kind of training option would be best for me? I do my best to answer this one in a video below. I also rank the available options from my favorite to least favorite, providing pros and cons. Check it out!

If you prefer to read, here is an extract of what I’m talking about.

What options do you have?

Every time I’m challenged with this I consider 3 options:

  1. Live training at customer’s site, face to face dialog.
  2. Online training via Zoom, Webex, GoToMeetings or any other platfor.
  3. Pre-recorded training available through an online training center at anytime, anywhere, on any device.

Live Training is best option for short-term value

Hands down, the first option, Live Training, always brings best results in terms of delivered value at the time of the training. I’m being specific here, because there is one thing to consider when talking about value – there is no trace after the live training. The trainer leaves and you are left with what you’ve managed to learn during the time he was there. You’re missing the benefits of having training videos available to you for later use, when for example you want to re-watch a module that you forgot or just didn’t consider that important during the training.

Another thing to consider is the cost. The shortest live training (2 days) actually means that the trainer has to spend 4 days to deliver it. 2 days traveling (being less or non-productive), 2 days hosting the training sessions. This is why you have to pay extra for this option, and you still need to top it with Travel and Living costs.

Having said that, there is nothing better for me, as a Trainer, than having my audience in front of me, being able to read their faces, body language, engaging in conversations, answering questions, socializing during training breaks. This is what makes live training as good as it is.

Online Training with its problems

Some customers who want to cut costs are going for live training but with an online option. No T&L costs, no additional cost for traveling days, simply a cheaper option. You can also attend this kind of training from home, so there is no need to gather everyone in the same place. BUT! in my opinion there are some serious drawbacks for this option.

Technical issues – sometimes the internet connection just fails. It happened to me recently when the internet provider had a serious problem and the LAN internet was down for 2 hours, while I was in a middle of a training session. Had to switch to mobile internet, quality dropped on both sides, we were struggling. But these things happen sometimes even without such serious internet crashes and the worst thing is that you can’t even pinpoint the source of a problem, because there are many options to consider. In addition to this there are sometimes problems with microphones, some people have problem connecting properly, some have just crappy equipment and we can hear each other as talking through a windy football pitch. That sucks. How can I deliver great quality training when I can’t even understand the question I’m being asked? It’s really frustrating for both sides.

People tend to stay quiet. I’m getting a lot of interesting questions during live training than the online training. I think that people just don’t want to make it more messy and difficult and keep not that important questions to themselves. This is bad, because every detail is important. Usually questions are the best part of the training, because this is when we get to be specific about the customer’s case.

Also some of the knowledge, just like with live training, is going to be forgotten. Most of the times I allow the customers to keep the recording of those sessions, but let’s face it – who is going to remember in 5 months time which video to watch and when am I talking about this specific thing that is of interest? Are you going to scroll through 8-hour-long video to search for the thing you want to know? Nah, I don’t think so. This video will also get outdated and then what?

Pre-recorded Training is the cheapest and gives you the most freedom

If you’re not going with the live training and you’re searching for a cheaper option, this is the one I’d recommend. I think it beats the online training in everything except one thing.

You do not have technical problems. The videos are good quality as long as you have decent internet connection. You are free to watch them whenever and wherever you want. The sound is great, the picture quality allows you to see everything and also zooming in that is added to training videos in post-production allows you to focus on the thing currently in scope.

You get to keep your videos which are smartly divided into many different modules, so finding the part of the training you’re mostly interested in is easy. You can even go through just part of the available content, and leave the remaining videos for later, when you get more accustomed to the software. You get to re-watch the videos when you need it, and on top of that the content gets updated, so you don’t have to worry that you will not know how to use new options, features or modules that come in the future.

The only thing that you’ll miss is asking questions. But because the price for the pre-recorded training is significantly cheaper, you can still gather all the questions and have a 1-day consultancy session with the trainer, still costing you less than other options! That is why I think that this is the most flexible solution out of all three.

Let’s sum it up

Take live training when you can afford it are you’re looking for the best interactive experience. For additional benefits you can supplement it with pre-recorded training to have access to videos, being able to re-watch them or get updated with new features.

Buy the pre-recorded training to have the most flexibility and save some cash. Supplement it with additional consultancy for maximum effect, clearing all obstacles and receiving specific advice for your Jira and BigPicture instance. Best of all, even with 1-full-day consultancy it’s still the cheapest option!

Take live, online training when… well… when you want to do the training together with the whole team and you’re spread out through the world, making it hard to gather at one location. Other than that – look into first two options.

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