The learning profession is running on a streak of optimism. In the annual survey of the Chief Learning Officer Business Intelligence Board, 57% of executives surveyed say that their spending plans for the next 12 to 18 months will increase, while another 28% say spending plans will stay the same. An article about the survey results notes that since 2015, most learning leaders have reported positive feelings about their spending plans. That’s always good to see. I hope your L&D operation is among those feeling optimistic, especially as you consider your L&D budget planning for the new year. [Read more…]
It surprises me daily how much confusion still surrounds how to measure learning ROI. It will never stop astounding me and will never stop motivating me. [Read more…]
It never fails to surprise me how many of my colleagues hold on to the nonsense belief that measuring ROI is just too difficult. Far too many in our profession hold onto that notion that we simply cannot accurately determine the value of the product we provide.
So let me say again: Measuring ROI is a straightforward task. It’s not only clear, it’s an essential skill that you need to master. You need to know it for the sake of your profession and for the overall health of the organization that you support. [Read more…]
My previous post explained how using surveys as the main measurement method for so long harmed our profession. With surveys, our goal became keeping learners happy rather than changing their behaviors. “Effective practice” devolved into anything that would improve survey scores. This reliance eroded the professionalism of our field. [Read more…]
I’ve written often about the value of the learning profession. I’ve described how measurement is essential to show our value. But recently I read an article that said measuring ROI was detrimental to the learning profession. I was immediately skeptical, but soon I understood the author’s point. His argument was that the real goal of learning was not to show a financial result. Instead, he said, the goal was to show a “return on expectations.” In other words, we need to show how learning created an expected change in behavior. I can agree with that conclusion because the point of organizational learning is always to improve performance (behavior). Behavior change results directly from our work as learning pros. [Read more…]
Recently a colleague told me about a training conference she attended. She said there was a session on training ROI that was well attended. I asked her how the session went. She said it seemed like everyone wanted to understand learning measurement but there was no one in the group who could provide them clarity on what measurement is all about. She said the session moderator tried to facilitate some basic conclusions from the group but the conversation left people without an answer. [Read more…]
Play office politics. Use (other people’s) data. Stroke egos. Cater to pet projects.
This was the advice that I read recently in an article aimed at learning professionals trying to secure their annual budget. There were a couple helpful nuggets in the article, but it mostly focused on the political side of the budget process.
Yes, I know in corporations, sometimes office politics overrides good sense. Even so, there are much better ways to secure your L&D budget. Most include using solid data (from your own programs) and linking your programs directly to business objectives.
So why does this topic about securing budgets come up every year? One reason: learning professionals still don’t know how to measure their programs or quantify their value. [Read more…]
Businesses spend billions on training every year. According to a 2016 training report, total U.S. training expenditures reached $70.65 billion. Despite all this money spent, learning professionals—and the companies that employ them—remain mystified about how to show measurable training results from these programs. [Read more…]
Learning and business outcomes. One should always lead to the other.
As I said in my last post (Why Is Behavior Change the Key to Learning Measurement?), there is a deep connection between the work we do and business outcomes.
Our goal is to make the business more capable through learning programs. We exist to help a business define and then meet its performance goals.
We connect learning and outcomes through measurement.
Why Is Measurement Often the “Missing” Link
Unfortunately, learning professionals remain unschooled on the means of effective measurement. This lack of skill often results in a missing link. Many in our profession seem unable to connect learning and clear, verifiable outcomes. [Read more…]
It can be difficult to be the first in anything. The first person to push back on common practice often gets hit with a mountain of ridicule from those who have done the same thing forever. When you are the first, others tell you all the reasons why what you are doing is wrong. You hear things like We have never done it that way; It will never work; or my personal favorite, If your way was the right way, everyone would be doing it.
Years ago, we at eParamus experienced the challenge of being the first in our approach to evaluating learning. We heard all of the reasons why learning could not be measured. We heard things like Learning is just too touchy feely to measure; Technical skills are one thing, but you could never measure a soft skill; Learning is not about the numbers, which means you can never get a real ROI on learning programs; and Learning departments are not like other business units, so you cannot expect them to quantify their outcomes.
Yes, being first is rough.
Still, armed by our convictions, we continued. [Read more…]