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Driving Performance Through Training
Inventory Your Learning Assets
Now the fun starts. Inventory your training programs and performance support interventions. Create a big list. Include all the courses from your course catalog. Include the little classes taught within individual departments. Include the key cheat sheets and job aids in use out on the floor. Include the orientation manuals and other references you have that serve as training. The remainder of this article will lump training programs and other performance interventions into one big pot called “learning assets.”
Along with each learning asset, document as much of the following information as you can:
- Type (instructor-led training class, Web-based class, job aid, reference manual, etc.).
- Last update.
- Owner (individual or department).
Be sure that you don’t limit yourself by only thinking inside the training-department box. Reach out to other departments that may hold assets you can leverage. Likely candidates are human resources, customer service or customer care, engineering and sales, to name a few. You may think of others that are specific to your organization.
Finders, Keepers, Losers, Sleepers
At this point you have two very valuable items: a list of key business goals and an inventory of your learning assets. Separately, these documents are useful, but when you combine them they become very powerful indeed. Go through the learning assets one by one and sort them into the following categories based on the business goals, not on your emotional attachment to a particular asset:
- Finders include learning assets that your company needs but does not have. As you perform your assessment, you may find you have ideas about new learning assets that could be used to support a business goal. Make a list of these, the problem they address and the business metric that would be used to measure success. Notice that they’re called “finders,” not “build these ourselves.” Training departments (and internal divisions and departments) often waste time and resources building learning assets that could easily be acquired off-the-shelf and tweaked for use in the company.
- Keepers include learning assets that clearly support business goals and meet all the requirements for a well-founded training program or performance support intervention. If most of your learning assets fall into this category, you are ahead of the curve.
- Losers include learning assets that do not directly support any business goal identified by your company. The maintenance of these assets cannot be justified, and you should consider cutting them. Keeping these assets will only perpetuate the notion that training is a waste of time.
- Sleepers include learning assets that could be of value, but need re-tooling, better metrics or perhaps a new format to be full-fledged keepers. Your goal should be to turn the sleepers into keepers. Perhaps you offer a half-day training class in a particular topic, when in fact a well-constructed quick reference card will fill the bill. Dump the class and circulate the quick reference card if that’s what it takes to support the business goals.
Leveraging the Latest in Brain Science to Deliver the Next Generation of E-Learning
May 29th 1:00pm - 2:00pm CT
2013 CLO Breakfast Club, Boston
September 12th - 12th, 2013The Westin Copley Place
Fall 2013 CLO Symposium
September 30th - October 2nd, 2013Rancho Las Palmas Resort & Spa
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