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Last week I got buy-in from my manager and our training manager to pay for this traingng. Higher management pushed back with 'this seems expensive and far away, there must be a cheaper alternative locally.' Can anyone help with the $ side of this argument. I'm near Dallas, Texas. I know there are some other effective manager seminars. Where do I look?

Thanks,
Jeff

jeffh's picture

I found a bunch of similar seminars at amanet.org (American Management Association). Mark referred to these seminars in the podcast on the MT conference.

Jeff

Danimal's picture

I'm in a similar situation. My sr. management believes training is great - as long as it's free.

I think that this conference will prove to be well worth the personal investment. Unfortunately my personal budget won’t cooperate – I’m already funding my business degree part-time. (manager by day, student by night).

Any guidance on how to pitch the ROI would be greatly appreciated.

M&M – Thank you for providing such a useful service. As a rookie manager, your advice has given me the confidence to excel. You have also defined for me what it means to excel – getting results through feedback, delegation, coaching and [i]no soup at lunch[/i]... Thank you.

pmoriarty's picture

Let's assume for the moment that the AMA seminar " Improving Your Managerial Effectiveness" is equivalent (I know, I know... it's very different, there'll be a ton more attendees and it won't cover nearly as much..), but for the sake of discussion let's assume it's equivalent.

The cost is $1795 for members and $1995 for non-members.

Let's further assume you don't have to travel to go to the AMA seminar and you won't need a hotel.

The MT conference is $700-900 cheaper if you register soon and $400-$600 if you wait.

My airfare from SFO to IAD to attend is $565 (and you can get there cheaper than that if you're willing to fly a budget airline). Three nights in the hotel is $600. So, 1400 + 565 + 600 = $2565 versus $2000 for the AMA seminar. Now, I'm not privvy to your organization's budgetary machine, but for me, the delta would be easy to justify. If you'd have to travel to attend the AMA training (the nearest one to Dallas looks like Las Vegas), it's a no-brainer.

Good luck and hope to see you there!

- Paul -

bflynn's picture

[quote="pmoriarty"]My airfare from SFO to IAD to attend is $565 (and you can get there cheaper than that if you're willing to fly a budget airline). Three nights in the hotel is $600. So, 1400 + 565 + 600 = $2565 versus $2000 for the AMA seminar. Now, I'm not privvy to your organization's budgetary machine, but for me, the delta would be easy to justify. If you'd have to travel to attend the AMA training (the nearest one to Dallas looks like Las Vegas), it's a no-brainer.[/quote]

And, coming from Dallas, its even less. Presuming you arrive late on the 17th, leave late on the 19th, airfare is about $200. Register in the next few days and the course fee is $1100. Two nights in the hotel is $400. This is a mere $1700, less than the cost of the AMA seminar. Ok, add some tax onto it, but thats it. Remember that food is included, so there isn't much more than this.

I'm disappointed that I probably can't make it; I just started a new job and my focus for the next six months is on blowing the doors off this place. I have recommended it to many others, so maybe I'll get the chance to live vicariously through them.

Brian

jeffh's picture

Hey, thanks for the ideas. I'm meeting with one of the upper managers tomorrow to discuss this. I'm hoping for the best, but preparing for the worst. If they say no, I will offer to split the bill, or I may just pay it myself.

Jeff

mauzenne's picture

Thank you all for pitching in and helping Jeff with the business case ... I couldn't have done it better. It means more coming from you than it ever could from Mark or I.

And despite our efforts to make the conference affordable, we know that for many cost *is* an issue. There are many organizations that can't afford our consulting fees either. And hence the free podcasts.

On the podcasts, we certainly can't create the management behavior changes that we can in person ... but we're committed to getting better and better with the podcasts and closing the gap as best we can. Promise!

Having said that, Jeff; we hope you *can* make it!

best regards,
Mike

jeffh's picture

Thanks Mike,

I plan to make it one way or another. It really isn't all that much $ (I'll be flying econobox :) ), but we've just had a tough year financially so timing is bad. (Can I buy now and pay in March????) It is also a bad time for my company, we're in major cost-cutting mode and have been for about 9 months. A year ago or a year from now it would probably go through without much of a blink.

I just got back from a meeting with the manager 2 levels above me. I showed him cost for similar AMA seminars here in Dallas. Here is the summary of his response: Times are tough right now, it is hard to justify that much money for training one person. Is there a way we could get them here to do the training for 20 or 30 people? That seems like a great deal to me! Yet I still want to go in April. We also have a "Leading Technical Teams" course that is offered in-house, but none are scheduled now.

So he is going to talk with the next manager up the chain to see if this will fly. I should know tomorrow if they will cover it or if I'll be looking for another way to creatively come up with the money from our budget.

Jeff

trandell's picture

[quote="jeffh"]We also have a "Leading Technical Teams" course that is offered in-house, but none are scheduled now.[/quote]

Not relevant to this topic, but a word of advice and caution. If your firm offers internal training and there is no resistance to taking it, take every single class you can. The caution is set your expectations of the quality and usefulness you will get. I work for a big multi-national. Just about every management, leadership and project management course I have attended has been at best 10% useful, 90% straight out of Drucker or any other good management book.

I hope you can convince the bosses and be there. I have successfully argued for myself and one colleague and I am working on getting two more in. The best points of argument are the cost comparison and the content comparison. Comparing MT to AMA is a pretty easy win on cost alone.

sholden's picture

Another training course that you could use in an analysis is something I got in the mail recently from Santa Clara University offering their Information Technology Leadership Program via their Executive Development Center (http://business.scu.edu/edc).

Cost is $2475 and they are being offered in 2007: April 17-19 and Oct 16-18. The agenda seems very focused on general mgmt skills needed by IT to be in mgmt, and not specific IT skills.

Steve

jeffh's picture

I still need help with justifying this conference to get reimbursement from my company. They will not pay for it, but I have not given up hope. I’ve already registered and paid for the conference myself. And I still think the right emotional/financial argument can sway a PO in my favor.

The final word (for now) from management is,

[quote]I regret to inform you that I can’t support your request for management training. While this conference is of high importance to you individually, I can’t justify this expense as a critical business need at this time. I also can’t assess the value / benefit of the specific conference making it that much more difficult to equate expenditure to benefit.[/quote]

It turns out that I couldn’t even go to one of the local AMA conferences. The politics behind this is that we simply do not have a budget for outside training. Any requests go through the normal funding process and involve cost justification including some form of payback analysis. The people involved with the decision want to know that they will get $X benefit from $Y investment.

SO, if I had evidence that spending $2k today will save $2k in managerial mistakes (amortized over 2-3 years), then this could be approved.

Thanks,
Jeff

jeffh's picture

These are my last thoughts BEFORE the conference regarding justifying the cost.

[b]Quick update:[/b] I continued to press management and finally got approval for the conference. It took several memos to my managers, a detailed justification to the manager three levels up, and a brief meeting with that higher-level manager. They decided to pay for the registration cost as if it were a local conference. I have to cover travel and lodging.

[b]What made the difference:[/b] I believe that my willingness to pay on my own convinced management that I was serious about this opportunity. However, I was reprimanded for paying for something that should be covered by the company. I fully agree, yet I was in a catch-22. If I had not paid, I believe that my company would have sponsored me.

[b]What I expect from this conference:[/b] In the past months, I have been using feedback, coaching, O3s, and several other techniques. They are not habits yet, so they are difficult. I expect to practice these techniques to improve my own skill. I expect to interact with other people who are currently using these tools to see how they put them to good use. I expect to have several [i]AHA[/i] moments where I come to understand some subtle detail which really makes the tool effective. Finally, I expect to meet over 100 interesting and talented people.

See you soon.
Jeff

pmoriarty's picture

Jeff,

Glad you can make it and mgmt decided to at least pay for the conference itself. You'll want to consult your tax guy, but your flight, lodging and incidentals should be deductible on next year's taxes. Still not the same as getting reimbursed, but it beats a poke with a sharp stick. :)