No one ever raises their hand volunteering for their critical programs to fail.Raise your hands: For how many of you is failure an option? Exactly. No one ever volunteered to fail. As a learning professional, failure can’t happen on your watch. Your critical programs are too important for that scenario to occur.

Learning Professionals Facing Greater Scrutiny

Like most learning professionals, you probably feel the pressure to perform. Businesses are demanding to see the value of learning programs. They want data to back up that value. The burden of proving that value falls on you. This can feel like a high hurdle to clear. Most learning development (LD) teams create programs without planning for measurement. In fact, many LD teams falsely believe that measurement is impossible. It’s this mindset that drives me daily. I love teaching people how to create measurable learning programs, especially those who believed it was too hard or simply not possible.When LD professionals finally realize that there is a simple, repeatable method to create measurable learning, it’s a joy to see.

Overcoming the Pressure of Critical Programs

Have you ever faced some of these scenarios?
  • “We’re implementing a company-wide sales training program. Before we roll it out to the entire company, we need to complete a pilot and show improvements to get buy-in from the C-suite.”
  • “We just purchased a critical software program. The business is pinning their profitability to its success. Everyone is paying attention, so delivery must go well. We have good learning objectives but we need to map out the intended application of the training and set clear performance expectations.”
  • “We’re growing so fast that we can barely keep up. We need an onboarding program — yesterday! How can we show the effectiveness of our learning inside and outside the classroom. How can we prove evidence of impact on the business?”
These are high-pressure situations. They key to success is to align your learning programs with your business goals. From there you must measure performance at key stages in the process. From that data, you can adapt quickly if challenges arise. With measurable learning, you will see clear results first in the classroom. If designed properly, the classroom learning will then transfer to the job. From there, you’ll see measurable impact on  business goals as they occur.

Design From Performance Backward To Succeed Every Time

To  make your critical learning programs succeed every time, you need to design from performance backward. What does that mean? As learning leaders, designers, and developers, we must define the desired outcome first. That becomes your learning goal and objective. With that knowledge, you design backward from there. Strip away anything extraneous until you know the kernel of what you need to accomplish. What must a learner know to achieve the desired outcome?Armed with that knowledge, the objectives of your program become clear. This clarity ensures your training makes a direct and positive impact on both the learner and the business. If we’re not changing outcomes, improving performance, or improving workflow, then we’re not serving our function as training professionals. Do you  have a critical programs that must succeed? Do you need help learning to design from performance backward? Contact us at eParamus. We’d love to help. Please follow eParamus on LinkedIn and feel free to connect with me, Laura Paramoure, PhD. I’d love to know more about your training challenges.
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