1) understand and list the goals of the buisness (specifically yearly goals).
2) Understand the parameters of performance analysis......(KPI's ,SLA's, Customer sats , error rates etc)
3) Identify Gaps in the performance ...if there are any....... how further the buisness units are from reaching buisness goals.
4) analyze these goals or gaps and see what are the learning interventions that could be used to help buisness units reach goals or fill the gaps.
5) then design and develop these training interventions( training programs both CBT and ILT, coaching opportunities, awareness programs etc)
These are the first things that any learning consultant should complete.
Never build a training program that dont have a ROI. And when I say ROI it should not be how many people were trained and what their training scores were.
True ROI is when you can let people know how the training has brought about marked change in performance . So goes back to linking it to KPI'S and SLA's.
1. Learning design - including needs analysis, designing learning in line with adult learning principles, structuring learning events for different delivery channels.
2. Learning delivery - including facilitation / presentation of learning events, engaging learners, making best use of different media.
3. Management of Learning - which includes programme / project management, learning evaluation, stakeholder management, supplier management.
The one element that is least likely to be outsourced is the management of learning. But I think most of the joy comes from the design and delivery, so the more an in-house L&D consultant can master and retain these elements, the more rewarding I think they'll find the job.
1) Identify the problem that learning is meant to solve. Talk to stakeholders and SMEs, gather and assemble data and report back the findings. Develop a high-level scope.
2) Develop a plan for solving the problem, based on company culture, existing materials, resources, budget, stakeholder and SME involvement, vendor solutions and a host of other variables. Obtain stakeholder signoff for the plan, making revisions as necessary, ensure you have shared agreement to what constitutes a successful engagement, and that everyone agrees on how success will be measured. Lock down and establish the scope, resources, timeframe, deliverables and success metrics, as well as a plan for maintaining the program (if needed) after the project concludes.
Note that any impediments to learning success that are beyond the scope of a training project should be flagged and identified during this part of the engagement. Also, stakeholder agreement and buy-in is critical to success.
3) Implement the plan. This is where instructional design, course development and training activities come into play. This also might include buying and implementing an off-the-shelf solution, setting up coaching activities or something as simple as creating a job aid. During this time period, the methods for assessing the learning activities should be developed and put into place.
4) Evaluate the plan. Collect evaluations, assessments, conduct interviews or complete any other activities designed around measuring program success. Gather and compile this information for reporting purposes. If the project scope permits, make any changes to the process and materials based on this feedback.
5) Project close-out. Provide any agreed-upon reporting, conduct a "lessons learned" as requested, transition the program into maintenance mode, and close out the project.
Those are the high-level steps - specific skills one might need depends on the project and business needs. Hope this helps!
Jane's point on Management of Learning, I have learned from experience, is crucial. Managing stakeholders is a key to success. I have learned that it is important to set the right expectations. Sometimes, this perception managment becomes the success factor. As consultants, we have to keep the client's business interest at the center and ensure that they understand this. This calls for appropriate communication, an understanding of business, as well as the solution being offered.
Lynne pointed out: "Note that any impediments to learning success that are beyond the scope of a training project should be flagged and identified during this part of the engagement. Also, stakeholder agreement and buy-in is critical to success."
This, I have discovered, is another very important criterion for the success of a training project.
Well, the operative word here is ' consultant' , someone who is not an employee of the organisation. What is the value that s/he, and s/he alone, can bring to the table in the domain of learning?
I have realized that consultants are uniquely positioned to give an unbiased, objective opinion. All employees have an axe to grind, even the most honest ones. So, their opinion will always be biased or at least influenced by the existing environment. The consultant too has an axe to grind in that he wants a longer engagement with the client. But that can be controlled reasonably with smart engagement terms.
Use a consultant to tell the king that he is naked. This is a useful contribution in any field but invaluable in the field of learning.
There is one more exclusive characteristic of a consultant. Since he has been dealing with only that subject for a long time, he is more of an expert. Use him as an SME and supplement it with the contextual knowledge of the insider employee.
(By the way, a consultant can be an employee, an internal consultant of the organization. I even seem to remember a survey about 5 years ago that indicated that the Fortune 1000 uses more internal consultants than external consultants. I don't know if that's true for mid-sized companies.)
I have found it to be very useful information and also something which can be practiced in your own organization.
The discussion here has been immensely helful in not only providing me with different perspectives but also in clarifying the different roles and responsibilities of a learning consultant.
@Alok Asthana: The following comment captures the role of a consultant and added clarity to my thoughts. Well, the operative word here is ' consultant' , someone who is not an employee of the organisation. What is the value that s/he, and s/he alone, can bring to the table in the domain of learning?
I have started a new discussion to understand the following:
Are there any specific tool kits or templates that Learning Consultants should have? What are some of the specific, tangible outputs expected from a learning consultant by a business organization?