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Thursday, September 23, 2010

Aligning Training Efforts with Strategic Organizational Goals

 In order to align training efforts with the strategic goals of an enterprise and create effective instruction, organizations need to link strategic goals with training delivery goals and methods. 

One way to accomplish this is to conduct an analysis or audit of the existing training program to highlight possible mis-alignments and to identify opportunities for improvement. If done properly, audit and recommendation process provides a methodology for moving from“learning as an event focus” to a “learning as a process” focus which will increase employee learning and retention.

Step One: Define Strategic Knowledge Objectives.
What do the learners need to know to support the goals of the organization? These are often pre-defined objectives but sometimes these strategic knowledge objectives must be defined within the audit process. If they need to be defined, usually a Senior Learning Council, consisting of key people within the organization, is formed to examine organizational learning priorities.

Step Two: Identify Courses and Material that Support Strategic Knowledge Objectives
The next step is to determine how much current curriculum and materials exist to support each Strategic Knowledge Objective and what learning gaps need to be filled. This will be done through a Knowledge Audit.

The Knowledge Audit is a comprehensive review process in which and organization will review the existing curriculum and determine the areas of the existing curriculum that map to the Strategic Knowledge Objectives. The audit is be centered on Strategic Knowledge Objectives.

This can be an in-depth analysis and process or an abbreviated version can be conducted by an expert in the field of instructional design.

Step Three: Evaluation of Current Delivery Structure (Technology Infrastructure and Learning Outcomes)
This area of the audit determines how courses are being delivered and identifies opportunities for alternative delivery methods such as e-learning or video-based instruction. The goal of this step is to match the learning objectives with the best method for delivering content.

This step also includes interviews with current learners and with current trainees as well as supervisors of the employees to determine perceived effectiveness of the instruction and opportunities to strengthen the delivery and content of the instruction. This can also be done qualitatively if the data exists to measure the impact of the training being delivered within the organization.

Step Four: Recommendations and Strategy Development
This step involves a written document describing recommended steps and providing input on the steps that need to be taken to proper align curriculum.

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