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ExpertONE accelerated training: The problem with we’re all “above” average


Yes, I work in a major corporation and I intentionally chose the word, “problem” for my title.  It’s not a “challenge” or an “opportunity.” It’s a problem. A problem, by definition (, is a situation, issue, or individual that is difficult to deal with, overcome or solve.

The HP Certification and Learning Product Management team, which I lead, recently released new “accelerated” training for several of our ExpertONE ASE and MASE-level networking courses and we’re working on more.  While I am excited that we are providing these accelerated offers for people with the skills and knowledge required to be successful in them, I see a potential problem as well. 


So what’s the problem?

map.jpgThe problem is quite simple really: most of us assume we are above average.  It’s an innate part of the human psyche (if there is such a thing) that we feel we can easily handle more than we should.  We have two hands and one brain, but many of us still try to do five things at once. We tend to weigh advantages and disadvantages with time as the arbiter. In some ways, we’re conditioned to do this.  Do more, better, faster is something that gets programmed into us from an early age. Even the most popular online map sites have “fastest time” or “shortest route” as the default options when choosing driving directions. If the time required to complete a task is shorter following one path, the majority of us will choose that path regardless of potential risks or hazards.


Why does it matter for network training?

My point is, although there are always other options—more “scenic” routes if you will—most of us don’t choose them. We think we don’t have to. We think we’re capable enough to overcome any challenges, roadblocks, or hazards. We ignore things like prerequisites and required knowledge and we jump in feet first. The problem with this approach is that when we do this, we do both ourselves and others a disservice. If we’re not really up to speed we’ll slow the whole group down—think of the tractor trailer entering a high-speed highway at 31 mph/50 kph and you’ll be able to visualize the impact this has on a class. Accelerated training courses, by their very nature, rely on people who already have significant knowledge in a particular area.  In the case of the HP Networking ExpertONE accelerated training courses, they were specifically created for people who already hold advanced certifications in networking either from HP or from another industry-certification program. They weren’t designed for someone who is simply looking for the shortest “out-of-office” time requirement.


How do we fix it?

curve.jpgThe single easiest way to fix this problem is for people to be honest with themselves. Complete the required prerequisites, compare the course descriptions for the standard classes and the accelerated classes (coming soon on the ExpertONE Networking Page ) and remove time as your “gating” factor. Enroll in the accelerated classes only when you feel you have been brutally honest with yourself about your own knowledge and capabilities. Remember, they call it a bell curve for a reason—and most of us, like it or not, fall somewhere in the middle.


>> Experience HP's entire portfolio of enterprise business products, solutions and services by attending HP Discover Las Vegas June 6-10 

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About the Author


Rebekah leads the Global Product Development team for the HP ExpertOne program and has an extensive background in training and human performance improvement. In addition to her work experience, Rebekah earned her Ph.D. in Education with a specialization in Training and Performance Improvement in 2006.

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