Return Appearance – Brent Stromwall of Polytron

Sometimes a topic has such importance that a deep dive into some detail makes sense.  The 70%+ failure rate of major IT-related projects is one of those issues.

Polytron, out of Duluth, GA has broken at least part of the code with laser-beam focus on “People Readiness.”  Brent Stromwall, their Vice President of Business Development, believes that 3-5% of the total budget for major capital expenditure project should be allocated to the people issues.

He points out several things in this interview that need to be addressed.  For example, a subject matter expert might know all there is to know about technology X, but might not be a very good instructor.  He or she might know even less about instructional design or advanced teaching/learning technologies.

Teaching skills? Instructional design?  Not commonly addressed issues perhaps, but downright critical when it comes to getting folks ready to assume and sustain responsibility for a major new system.  And what about those who will assume that responsibility in the future?  Who will deliver that 2nd, 3rd, 4th generation training and how?

Heavy stuff!  Heavy stuff with a big time financial impact!

We also talked about change management, including how often it’s really a fundamental “cultural” challenge, the modern industrial sales rep as consultant and the real tangible value of certification by the Control System Integrators Association.

Listen up!  There’s a lot of valuable insight in this one.


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