06.14.2016 Jeff Thomas

    Going Back To Basics By Moving Your Training Matrix To The Cloud

    Where do you turn when you are having trouble with your training matrix? If you are relying on spreadsheets for training solutions, the demands of your clients and the risk of audits by regulators might overwhelm your system and prevent you from winning sales that you otherwise deserve.Back-to-basics.jpg

    Small companies often start out with improvised solutions based on spreadsheets to manage training and compliance, but as the headcount and the number of training and control documents grow, complexity and risk increase exponentially.

    More Training And More Regulation

    Organizations either adapt their methods or face regulatory intervention. The most efficient solution is automation and software-as-a-service delivered from the cloud. To reach maturity in regulated markets, you need to have smarter solutions than a simple Excel spreadsheet.

    Companies using paper and Excel face a double bind because they have to compete under burdensome regulations, but business interests compel them to continue the status quo because they do not realize that affordable, compliant training systems are available to them.

    Training your employees is particularly challenging because as you grow, the number of standard operating procedures that regulations define also increase. Spreadsheets are not very forgiving if you fall behind in updating them or make a small error that goes unnoticed and puts you at risk.

    Training and compliance are problematic for any business that comes under the broad oversight of the Food and Drug Administration. So let’s clear the deck and go back to the basics of why you would want to use a training matrix in the first place. It should support the goal of delivering the knowledge to the team members who need training, keeping the company compliant and keeping the consumer safe.

    Putting It Together In A Training Matrix

    Your matrix solution is essentially a database that expresses the most information possible in the simplest form available. This two-dimensional matrix seems suited to using Excel to create a spreadsheet with names down the left side and tasks across the top. In a lightly regulated industry, this is an easy solution for a small company.

    The benefits of training matrices are that they are thorough and adaptable; they are straightforward and visual. The drawback is that complexity arises from the number of standard operating procedures times the number of employees in the matrix that put your system at risk. If you have even a handful of employees that perform tasks that fall under regulation, a spreadsheet is a time-consuming and cumbersome method of managing your training.

    As regulations become more complex and demanding in their compliance requirements, you can still adapt and come out ahead as a business. There are opportunities for companies that can navigate through regulated markets, as long as you can handle the compliance issues in a cost-effective and safe manner.

    Solutions In The Cloud Now And Big Data Later

    The answers to handling regulations are digital and automated, but they still need to have an interface with the human resources of your company, it is a case study in applying Big Data and knowledge management.

    When you transfer the burden of information to the cloud, you open it to dynamic solutions based on analytics and visualization that find patterns in the structure, regardless of the source. While you might have more levels of data to deal with you have better tools and accountability. Solutions for cloud-based training management provide data interfaces that have spreadsheet functionality but give additional features like electronic signatures, validation, the ability to search, and document attachments.

    Zen QMS is a provider of training, documentation, issues and CAPA solutions. Contact us to discuss the right QMS for your team.


    Published by Jeff Thomas June 14, 2016
    Jeff Thomas