I sat down this week with some folks in a growing training department, and discussed a strategic approach to planning new training programs. As is usually the case in these types of meetings, I mostly asked questions and listened. Then we sketched out, at a high-level, what would be the building blocks for successful training development over the coming 12-24 months.
I find that there are certain questions that I ask on a regular basis. In fact, writing them up, there are fifteen! These 15 Questions spell the difference between a well-planned strategy for training program development, and haphazard reactive-mode development that has a much smaller chance of success. They are the iFAQ‘s – the (all too often) inFrequently Asked Questions!
The 15 Questions are arranged under 4 headings:
– Big-picture considerations
– Training/performance considerations
– Development considerations
The first, always, is this Purpose question: What’s the Point?
When I make expert recommendations, it is on the basis of helping my client arrive at the answers to these questions, which will shape a well-thought-out training blueprint. Whether for a single training event or an entire curriculum, the questions are the same, and the answers allow you to make much better decisions about vendors, deliverables, and how each piece “fits” within the whole.
Each question moves from broader to narrower, like a funnel – so that decisions are made based on well-grounded strategic thinking. For instance, a vendor may immediately start talking to you about what they do in the first few minutes. However, there are 10 important questions to consider before vendor considerations should even begin!
So, when you talk to me about recommendations for your training needs, I’ll do my best to give you great answers. But don’t be surprised if I ask a few questions…!
(Funnel Image credit)