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.
As you look to the coming year, here are a few things I think you should keep in mind during your L&D budget planning process.
Plan for Instructional Design Training
In our previous blog post, I noted how most of us didn’t follow a traditional path to the L&D role. Most of us came to this profession outside of the domain of education. Many entered L&D because of our expertise surrounding a particular subject. As I said in that post, own your subject matter expert (SME) status, but don’t rest on your laurels. To excel in this profession, you need to bolster your subject knowledge with instructional design skills.
If you and your team have not embraced the best practices of learning design then you will be unable to produce training that clearly addresses job behaviors. If you and your team have not created a standardized design process, you will consistently be unable to measure your learning outcomes. There are skillful instructional design practices that empower trainers to target business needs and ensure learning. Nothing is more important in the budget than providing you and your team with the skills necessary to create capability in your organization through learning.
During L&D Budget Planning, Look Beyond the LMS
In the modern organization, technology affects every department of every business. L&D is no different. Be sure to include technology investments as part of your L&D budget planning process. When you think about learning technology, many learning professionals limit their thinking to learning management systems (LMS). I have to admit that I’m not a fan of the LMS. Most of these measure activity, not efficacy. Instead, I think L&D budget planning should include technology to support measurement such as a learning impact systems (LIS) (for example, Impact 2.0). With an LIS, you actually measure how training impacts an organization. That’s far more meaningful to business stakeholders than knowing how many people attended a learning program or how many times a year that program was held.
Measure for Measure
You can’t manage what you don’t measure. That’s something we’ve preached on this platform again and again. L&D professionals must focus on measuring the changes in capability of employees as well as the metrics that demonstrate ROI proof. Some training professionals want to make measuring L&D ROI sound like an unachievable holy grail. But that’s far from the truth. You can easily demonstrate learning program ROI once you learn the correct instructional design process. As you hammer out your L&D budget planning for 2019, include learning the correct way to measure learning programs. I cover some of the myths that drive confusion about measuring learning ROI here.
L&D budget planning should always include investments in the development of your own department. Invest in the training of the L&D pros on your team. Invest in the tools that give you the ability to prove the impact of your department on the business. And finally, invest in the ability to measure the learning programs that you deliver so you will have the data to improve your practice.
If you want to learn more about anything I mentioned above, then please contact us here at eParamus. We can teach you more about these valuable tools that will help you design and measure effective learning programs.
Photo copyright: racorn / 123RF Stock Photo
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