Basic administrators might need one or two weeks of training, according to The Learning Tree's Glenn, while Active Directory architects will require up to six weeks in class. Most Learning Tree classes run an average of $800 to $1,400 per week, Glenn says, and the company offers several discount packages when companies sign up for multiple courses. Some companies will also need to add in the cost of travel, per diem, and hotels.
|IT Managers Were Asked:|
Giga Information asked its clients:
When Do You Plan to Deploy Windows 2000 Server?
Source: Giga Information Group, June 2000
Time Is of the Essence
For many companies, money isn't the main obstacle to extensive trainingit's time. So many companies aren't even fully staffed and they're overburdened as it is, according to DiDio. So how do you spring a guy to go out for a week or more to take a class?
Jay Lane, superintendent of Communication and Information Management for the U.S. Army at Eglin Air Force Base in Fla., has a small staff of three network administrators. They also provide technical support for 100 users. He has had to struggle to get everyone trained for the conversion to Win2K.
Lane and his staff took a one-week off-site training class provided by Learning Tree International, but they could only afford to send one person at a time. We're short-staffed as it is, so while someone's out getting trained we have to put off special projects and just limit our work to putting out fires, he says.
Many of the education centers that hold classes also have facilities to help students stay connected with the office, according to Learning Tree's Glenn, making it easier for staff members to handle crises, even while they're offsite.
Sprint's Toomey found that the online classes helped him stay fully staffed while getting trained. The courses his team took ran from 3 to 6 p.m., which are typically slower hours for the staff. He rotates the staff so only a portion of the team is being trained at any one time.
KnowledgeNet provides all students with police tape, candy, and popcorn to help them focus on the class and ignore their work while class is in session. It's worked out surprisingly well, says Toomey. I told everyone to turn off their pagers and concentrate on the class.
The online training has been well received by the staff, according to Toomey. The team is so hungry for training, they're motivated to work at it, he says.
Once an IT manager gets the green light to train the staff, the first step is to assess the staff's skills and talents to determine who should get trained, when they should start training, and what kind of training is necessary for each individual.
The second a company decides on Windows 2000, it's time to start training, says Mark Rukavina, chief operating officer of at KnowledgeNet. He suggests that companies start by analyzing their top IT people and assess their skills and knowledge. A good rule of thumb is to start out by providing the mission-critical personnel with the most extensive training, then train the more remote users either in an online class or a review level instructor-led class.
One solution is for companies to start by training key people and have them come back to train their colleagues. This way the trained staffers have a better understanding of W2K and can better assess which people need to be trained in which applications. The IT staff will still need formal training, but the training can be more efficient this way, says Giga's DiDio
You can also have the more experienced people set up a formal session to debrief the executives and give them a reality check, DiDio says. They can tell you how tough the training was and help assess the plans for the rest of the staff.