The key to any successful project is the upfront planning. At Allen, one of the first conversations we have with prospective clients centers on how they define success, how we will measure it together to ensure accountability within our process, and create positive training ROI (return on investment).
Allen’s experience with training consulting and conducting assessments over the past 30 years has allowed us to hone best practices and processes, regardless of whether you’re looking for a complex, long-term, in-depth engagement, or a quick and simple consultative review of gaps and potential.
Following are actual examples of training consulting assessments Allen has conducted for some of our clients.
Usability Testing – Global Financial Services Corporation
Allen performed an extensive needs assessment for this financial client involving interviews with key stakeholders, new and experienced tellers, and teller trainers; learner observations; and online surveys. The client needed to redesign its onboarding process for tellers—including training on software systems, soft skills, and the company’s organization and culture. The analysis provided key findings about learner needs, best practices of experienced tellers, training roles, and learner difficulties caused by the structure of the existing training. The financial client partnered with Allen to redesign its onboarding process based on the needs assessment, which included a redesign of the multimedia systems training component. The course has saved the client over a million dollars due to better job fit and retention of new hires. This course won a Bersin award.
ILT to Web Conversion – Major Financial Services Provider
Allen partnered with this financial services client to help them make the transition from a strategy consisting solely of classroom-based instruction to a blended curriculum that included technology-based training delivered via CD and the Web. Allen’s role was to develop a road map for implementing the technology-based training with the ILT. After conducting a high-level analysis and creating a strategic plan, Allen identified possibilities available through online learning to help shift attitudes about courses taught online. These topics included new hire orientation, applications training on proprietary client systems, customer service, and technical lessons on retirement plans, mutual funds, company stock, etc.
Curriculum Design and Redesign – Northrop Grumman Newport News (NGNN)
This shipbuilding client wanted to help new students in its Apprentice School to build leadership skills. NGNN hoped to define a set of leadership behaviors and an approach that would engage this audience. Allen completed a needs assessment that involved learner interviews, stakeholder interviews, and interviews with expert performers and natural leaders, resulting in a number of key discoveries. One discovery was that learners were highly motivated and engaged by stories of corporate leaders from NGNN’s 120-year history, particularly leaders who began their careers at the Apprentice School. Therefore, Allen created an online course that taught each leadership behavior using stories of leaders who started at the Apprentice School, real-world simulations, and action plans for each behavior. The course is currently used by apprentices and won an ASTD award.
Job Analysis – Union Pacific
In the early 1990s, Union Pacific was facing two major challenges—the need to improve on-time performance and the need to increase profits. The goal was to motivate employees and provide dramatic increases in their skill levels. In the interviews Allen performed for a needs assessment, learners expressed specific negative attitudes that would affect their ability and motivation to focus on skill training. As a result, Allen integrated elements into the training to build employee loyalty and enthusiasm for the company’s goals, including an original country song. In the end, Allen created a unified training program with approximately 100 hours of individualized training for over 16,000 people, including simulations, interactive team-building exercises, and technical and people skills. Union Pacific reported a 30% improvement in on-time performance, 50% reduction in training time, and significantly improved attitudes.
Performance Gap Analysis – Network Marketing Leader
This Consumer Goods company wanted to provide better information and training for its sales representatives—an audience of over 600,000 learners. They wanted a fuller understanding of the skill gaps that should be addressed, the content that should be covered, and learner characteristics. Allen completed a comprehensive needs assessment that included online surveys, focus groups, interviews with expert representatives and new representatives, a review of all training content, and interviews with key stakeholders. The client used the findings from the needs assessment to begin an online curriculum that included courses from Allen and another vendor. The first courses were received enthusiastically by corporate sponsors and representatives—so much so that over one million representatives have taken the courses.
Train the Trainer – Aerospace Manufacturer
Allen conducted numerous interviews, discussions, and reviews of documentation toward the end goal of using this needs assessment to bring a better understanding of where this aerospace client currently stands in relation to network centric processes, and what kind of training or interventions are needed for the client to become a world-class leader in network centric operations (NCO). Based on this assessment, Allen created a high-level design document to explain the process, layout, and needs for the course. After designing a blended ILT and WBT four-level course, Allen mentored and guided the instructors teaching the ILT courses on how to present the material and keep the learners engaged. Incorporated into the courses were evaluations and assessments to validate and measure the effectiveness of the training as well as the long-term success of personal implementation.
Training and Evaluation – Aerospace Manufacturer
This aerospace client wanted to help each employee of the company to see himself or herself as a leader who could make a difference in the company’s success. To do this, the client needed to define key leadership skills that they wanted to develop in all employees. Allen interviewed natural leaders throughout the organization to discover their best practices and to define six key leadership behaviors. Then, after interviewing learners at a number of levels to discover learner attitudes and preferences, Allen created a course based on the results of the needs assessment. This course received a Silver Award for Excellence in E-Learning.