Prove it. That’s what Laura Paramoure was told (okay, maybe not verbatim) over and over as the Director of Training and Development for healthtech company Parata Systems from 2002-2007. Frustrated that she couldn’t prove that what she was doing in the training department was actually making a measurable difference in the business, Paramoure set out to change the entire narrative surrounding training in the corporate world by founding the company that evolved into startup eParamus.
Raleigh-based eParamus, which has been completely bootstrapped to this point, will be a part of CED’s GRO Demo Day on June 30. The eParamus IMPACT platform provides training departments with tools to design measurable learning courses as well as tools to then evaluate those courses. The name, although coincidentally similar to Paramoure’s name, means “to prepare and measure” and comes from a combination of the Latin phrases “para” (to prepare) and a shortened version of “est” (measure).
The company was originally founded in 2008 as Strategic Training, a consulting business for training departments. From this work, Paramoure created a model for developing measurable training programs and measuring their impact on business outcomes, sharing her findings in a book published in 2014 entitled “ROI by Design.”
Also in 2014, the company rebranded to eParamus and switched from consulting to providing a complete software solution for businesses to actually implement the ROI by Design methodology and Measurable Instructable Design as described in her book.
Switching to providing a complete software solution also better equipped Paramoure to achieve her overall mission: to elevate the learning and development (L&D) department of a business alongside other departments like sales or research and development (R&D), which routinely bring forth empirical and evidence-based data to justify their contribution to a business.
“One of the biggest challenges for learning and development is showing how we contribute to business success,” Paramoure said. “Often, business leaders have difficulty understanding our contribution.”
Using eParamus, learning professionals can go into a budget meeting able to prove a direct relationship between the capability gained in training programs with metric changes in the organization. In other words: how much “bang for your buck” every cent spent on training yields.
The IMPACT platform automatically integrates the current industry best practices into each course. Once users input specific objectives, each course is rated on a scale from 0-10 by a Quality Index. On the Development Dashboard, trainers can empirically track course activities, cost and overall program quality. So at budget time, they have information on hand ready to justify their budget requests for future training needs.
The company has a little over 20 customers right now, including Fortune 50 company Align Technology. While they have some customers in industries like oil and gas, recruiting and traveling, most of their customers are concentrated in the healthcare industry, where training is quite literally life-or-death, Paramoure said. The problem is, training is done by subject-matter experts who are too focused on the content itself to spend time designing a learning program that moves the needle in a business sense, which often results in a simple “show-and-tell” style lecture.
With eParamus, experts can focus on the content without worrying about design.
“I created the model by going through all the best practices of design and researching the science of design to identify the pieces you need to put inside a course for somebody to learn,” Paramoure said.
At the end of the day, corporate training is both necessary and inevitable: $83 billion was spent on corporate training in the U.S. in 2020, and that’s likely not going anywhere. So eParamus is there to help businesses know if their money is well spent.
“Our purpose is two-fold,” Paramoure said. “One is for the learning and development profession to have a means to have quality control, to be able to know what the hell they’re doing. And the other is for the senior leadership teams who are administering us the budget to be able to understand what comes out of all that money they’re spending.”