At Professional Analysis Inc. (PAI), in Oak Ridge, Tenn., managers dreamed of converting the in-house training course into software and installing it on the network. Employees could then train on their own, walking themselves through text material and quizzes to make sure they were absorbing the information. Because there was no budget for the project, programmer Ahmad Elhaddad was working on developing the idea whenever he wasn't busy with his official assignments.

Elhaddad started with a relatively simple task: He transferred PAI's 40-page employee benefits handbook to disk. The electronic version not only keeps employees up to date on personnel matters, it also eliminates the need for annual benefits meetings. The disk holds text, pictures, and extensive question-and-answer sections.

The next step is to develop electronic versions of the company's four-part quality-control and OSHA training classes. PAI plans to make this program interactive. For example, when an employee answers a question incorrectly in one of the trial tests, the program will offer the option of jumping back to the appropriate explanation. Human resources manager Jeff Ginsburg is pleased that employees are learning on their own. "It is a much better method of training," he says.