Developing a budget to forecast expenditures required to define, design, deliver and evaluate training courses for your organization ensures you set realistic expectations about the type of training experiences you can provide, given financial constraints. Once you identify the needs of the target audience, meet with subject matter experts to get input about course content and other training requirements. To get approval from stakeholders and sponsors, you then need to create the project plan that includes the training budget, broken down by types of expenditures. Using the metrics calculators provided by the Society for Human Resource Management, calculate your training costs as a percentage of total expenses.
Identify the types of training costs you expect. For example, list mandatory training required. This type of training usually provides your employees with licenses and certification needed by your company to operate. Categorize rest of your training catalog into professional or technical development. Further refine your list by indicating the training format, such as lecture, workshop, distance learning or web-based self study offerings.
Estimate the cost of developing and running classes. For example, obtain quotes for training providers or use data provided by in-house developers and instructors. Include wages of instructional designers, instructors, programmers and other personnel required to create the training. Identify any additional costs, such as marketing materials, travel, meals or hardware and software.
Determine the number of training sessions required to meet the needs of your organization. For example, to deploy a mandatory training program for an organization of 400 people, with 20 people in each face-to-face class, you need to schedule 20 sessions. If the training needs to be completed within a single year, you need to schedule two sessions per month.
Prepare your budget, the detailed listing of money required to complete the training development and delivery. Use a spreadsheet template provided by a website such as Microsoft Office Templates or develop your own format. Using an established template allows you to take advantage of built-in formulas that automatically calculate financial data and replicate it in an easily readable format. For example, use Microsoft Excel to record quarterly costs, calculate yearly costs and ensure it does not exceed the annual allocation for training. Enter line items, descriptions, quantities and unit rates to generate a budget to include in your project plan to get approval for your organization’s training and development programs. Maintain the file to track actual expenses and use the data for planning subsequent training programs.
Tara Duggan is a Project Management Professional (PMP) specializing in knowledge management and instructional design. For over 25 years she has developed quality training materials for a variety of products and services supporting such companies as Digital Equipment Corporation, Compaq and HP. Her freelance work is published on various websites.