!DOCTYPE html PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD XHTML 1.0 Strict//EN" "http://www.w3.org/TR/xhtml1/DTD/xhtml1-strict.dtd"> Streamline Training & Documentation: The Case for Case Studies

Saturday, October 14, 2006

The Case for Case Studies

I have never liked highly complex case studies as a component of a business training program. On the other hand, I am very much in favor of using carefully designed cases of manageable length to illustrate the principles a training program is teaching.

In a recent proposal to a client, I had to summarize the benefits of using case studies of the latter sort. In a nutshell, one uses a customized case study in an organization's training in order to:
  • integrate the concepts participants are learning within the specific context of the organization's strategies and processes

  • provide several points in the program during which participants reflect in practical terms on how they should apply what they are learning

  • facilitate improved communication and working relations among participants

  • further hone analytical and decision-making skills

  • help ensure active involvement in learning, which is essential for maximum retention
Realism is essential, so a case must be based on input gathered from knowledgeable people at the organization and, if at all possible, from representative customers. The writing should be engaging (not artificially jovial), and the discussion questions should be closely tied to the content of the training.


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