The Training System is Broken

Since we’ve announced the EE CivilAccess program, I’ve had the opportunity to discuss with many of you the problems in typical training and why we think the whole setup is broken. Since there seemed to be some common tales of misery, I wanted to share the thread of woes, and how EE thinks we have them beat. It’s a bit of a long one, but I’m willing to bet most of you will nod your head at some point. If not in regards to your firm, then to one you know. We’ve unblocked this one, no registration to read how the whole system is a house of cards, and we want to knock it down with you.

So, let’s see which scenario applies to you and your firm:

You have a couple of cad experts, and a bunch of decent users, but don’t like to spend a lot on training. So you send those experts to get training, figure it all out, and then teach everyone else.

The Problem:
Your cad experts aren’t Civil 3D experts and probably won’t be this year. They’re probably not teaching experts either, and fall into the typical trap of “MOVE!” like the old IT guy on SNL. Finally, by the time the knowledge has passed from Civil 3D expert to office expert to user some months later, do you think it’s still as good? Ever play the game telephone as a kid?

The Solution:
Train them all. Low cost training from EE lets your users get the knowledge from the experts, when they need it. There’s no distracting the cad expert, making that person stop billable work to try and remember a procedure seen one time in a class four months ago when the procedure can be reviewed by the end-user, on demand.

You decide to pony up and have a trainer come in house. You get all the PMs to let people go for three days, and get eight or 12 down to the main conference room for training. Then two weeks later, you hire someone new.

The Problem:
Out of those students, how many are going to step right into Civil 3D usage? Training people three months before they get an opportunity to use the product is worse than not training them at all: When it comes time to actually use that knowledge, most of it will be gone, and the hurtful question will be, “What happened? We spent all that money to send you went to three days of training!” I wont’ even begin to guess when the new guy will get trained….

The Solution:
Just in time training from the EE team means you train when YOU are ready, when your staff is ready. With every class running at least once a month live, and all the time in recorded format, you can bring people up to speed when it’s time to put that skill to work.

You get enough people together and hire a consultant or go to the local class. Three days later, you have a short spiral bound notebook, some scribbled notes, and a hope you can put all of this to use when you get back to the office.

The Problem:
Two problems here really, and neither one is pretty.
Option A, you get an instructor that knows the clicks and picks and the book they hand you at the door like the back of their hand. Problem is, this person’s never done your job, never been in production, never signed their name to a set of plans and knew what was on the line. Good luck getting them to deviate from the path of the book.
Option B, you get a bang up instructor who scoffs at the idea of using materials written by anyone. They pull out a data set to use, or even offer to use your own. This is actually a very cool class, and you’ll learn some really great techniques, with some hip tricks thrown in to make you feel like you really got something. Problem is, what do you walk out with? That same book your instructor scoffed at, and some vague memories of the techniques or special methods used as you winged your way through Civil 3D for three days.

The Solution:
It’s simple in our view: Training by professionals for professionals. Every single member of the EE team was pulled from a production background in industry. Every single member has pulled all-nighters like you, sweated the review like you, and banged on the software like you.  To put it simply, we can design with the computer off.

EE wrote the book on Civil 3D. We wrote three of them in fact. Based on decades of real world experience by a team of real designers, engineers and surveyors that  have been in the field, driven the hubs, and pulled the all-nighters, Mastering Civil 3D 2008 is the top rated book on the software and has been in the top five of all CAD books on since its release. Beyond Mastering, every class taught by EE includes custom written guides and datasets to make it easier to learn and to remember the techniques, tricks and cool stuff later. Each of these guides is over 150 pages of clear, step-by-step instructions so you can always go back and review what you did in class.

You get the date on the calendar, schedule it out three months so that everyone can clear their schedules, get submittals in, and put the billable time on the next quarter.

The Problem:
There’s going to be something. There always is. It’s a client fire-drill, it’s a sick kid, it’s a garage door that won’t open (ask me sometime,) it’s always something. Oh, and then there’s the fact that you waited three months to get to the day and then someone won’t make it. Flexible is something most firms pride themselves on, but their training is rigid as steel.

The Solution
Training all the time. You can train with a LIVE EE class, almost every working day. There’s a live class every single weekday except Monday. And if that’s not flexible enough, you can always watch the recorded version any time at all. Missed part of a class to go see your dentist? Watch just that part. Want to review with someone how you handle cul-de-sac design? Watch just that part. Train all the time, any time with EE and our unlimited training system

So, where are you? It’s not a problem with your firm, or your staff, or even the software, it’s a problem with the system. The system of three day classes filled to capacity or training when they get enough students to make a profit and to spin you back around again, that’s the problem. If you’re tired of overpaying for knowledge that you don’t need, not yet, or paying for by the book training that fails to match your needs, it’s time you broke away from the system. It’s time you called Engineered Efficiency, Inc.


  1. Joshua Reese says:

    “Sits nodding head”.

    Our firm had the opportunity to preview a live class in June and we were quite surprised at the offering. Granted we were just viewing and not fully working through the content but we feel that this is definitely a more beneficial training experience than the 7 day “Civil3D Essentials” and other webcasts & training shorts that we have experienced in the past. Seeing not only how the actions are performed by the instructor; but then turning around and working through everything again ourselves is very helpful and the benefit of having all the material to look back on just tops it off. And this is just one portion of the training options in the package!

  2. Tim Reeves says:

    I’m laughing! What you have stated here is EXACTLY what we have been going through since Civil3D’s beginning. You may want to explain your options for nationwide coverage. If people know you can get trainers to major cities for a reasonable price, that may help. Engineered Efficiency is the only quality help I have received since starting down this path in 2005.