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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.

 

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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.

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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.
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