Planning for Outcomes

Good judgement requires both art and science.

Getting sign-off on a project plan from line management, and top performers who have a stake in organizational success, is a key means of avoiding the bad assumption that what was right for someone else must be right for you.



How to plan for training project success
The following eight steps for planning effective sales and service development were evolved from 26 years of designing custom training.  Here they are:


1. Set performance objectives

  • Identify positive outcomes you are targeting in order to meet or exceed your business plan.
  • Identify factors that will increase the probability of success.
  • Define quantitatively wherever possible.
  • Define qualitatively to ensure completeness and depth.
  • Defer concern about obstacles.
  • Derive realistic estimation of what is achievable.


2. Set behavioral objectives

  • Define "best practices."
  • Visualize model of excellence operating in all significant performance-related aspects of the job.
  • Sort out critical few factors that must be present for success.
  • Identify how those factors would be observed (behavioral anchors).
  • Establish a range from excellent to good to mediocre.

3. Create an instructional design

  • Determine types of applications and simulations that reflect all attributes and competencies you hope to develop.
  • Determine current level of proficiency.
  • Estimate number of iterations and learning sequences needed to move from pre-test level to desired post-test level proficiency
  • Introduce varied media and methodologies to respondto different learning styles
  • Build iterations and opportunities for individual feedback to ensure mastery.

4. Develop custom materials

  • Enumerate numbers of documents, cases, role plays, simulations, to be developed.
  • Supply and/or design prototypes.
  • Interview subject matter experts.
  • Assign development tasks to knowledgeable network professionals who will develop materials.
  • Obtain thorough contextual review.
  • Obtain individual item-by-item sign-off

5. Deliver custom services and facilitate learning

  • Place premium on user-friendly materials.
  • Pilot and allow time for revisions.
  • Schedule deliveries to avoid excuses for avoiding completion or immersion.
  • Offer only expert instructors with engaging personal qualifications.

6. Evaluate results

  • Plan measurement from the outset of project with management sign-off.
  • Supply tools for measuring perceived relevance and effectiveness.
  • Supply tools for measuring cognitive/concept learning.
  • Supply tools for measuring skill application.
  • Supply tools for measuring transfer of skills to job.
  • Supply tools for measuring change in meaningful performance, linked to strategy.


7. Provide reinforcement and follow-up

  • Build-in reinforcement from the outset.
  • Create schedule for formal review.
  • Educate management so that results are sustained by reward system and administered day to day by line management.
  • Upgrade coaching and counseling.
  • Link to appraisal, performance management, and career development.
  • Introduce new programs that recapitulate/build on prior skill sets.

8. Manage next steps (from any point in the process: before, during, after)

  • Identify initiating sponsor and request his or her visible involvement.
  • Identify sustaining sponsors spread throughout target audience, and involve them in steering committee, customization, and/or pilot functions.
  • Cascade downward.
  • Manage visible change outcomes through a system for frequent observation and recognition for applying learning effectively and consistently.