We all know the basic idea: better foundational analysis at the start of our projects leads to better designs and better results. The challenge, though, is how exactly to run that analysis—what to look for and what to look at.
That’s where Allen comes in. Drawing on our 30 years of industry experience, we’ve created DesignJot, an award-winning iPad app focused on the critical analysis and design phases of a training project. The app helps you quickly and
effectively target and achieve business objectives tied to your training and communication projects.
Rooted in our in-depth ANSWER analysis process, DesignJot will help you evaluate your Audience, Needs, Successes, Weaknesses, Existing Content, Expertise and Results. The DesignJot process can be run in only a few hours, or it can be used across an entire design phase. Either way, it can be the best-spent time of the project.
Allen’s proprietary rapid learning and development needs analysis.
Understanding your learning audience will help you determine how best to engage them. To help, DesignJot guides you through questions like: What motivates these learners to apply new knowledge and skills on the job? How are their professional goals related to this initiative?
As you establish what motivates your audience, you’ll be better prepared to apply the correct instructional strategies to capture their attention throughout the training.
By identifying and prioritizing your needs, you’ll determine which can best be met by programs like self-paced trainings and which may require a blended approach, using things like coaching, policy/role changes, or tools and job aids. DesignJot will help you identify and prioritize needs to evaluate which ones must to be addressed.
When you understand your audience’s needs you are prepared to design a solution that tackles the specific skills, knowledge, and motivations that your learners must have to improve performance/results. Conversely, you don’t waste time on areas your learners already understand and are able to focus on the high priorities.
Often, in a needs analysis, people jump directly to the problems, the gaps, the weaknesses. We start with successes rather than weaknesses to examine what has worked well for your organization and what unique strengths exist in your organization.
Knowing where and why you’ve succeeded in the past enables you to take advantage of your unique strengths. DesignJot helps you revisit lessons you’ve learned that may affect the approach you take with this initiative.
Evaluating past mistakes can help you determine a better approach. In this section of the analysis, we take the time to review past experiences, doing this will help you find insights into tactics or subjects that should be avoided or dealt with carefully. DesignJot will help you approach questions in the right way with project stakeholders.
Understanding your weaknesses will help you avoid past mistakes and build in the areas where your organization can improve.
Being able to identify existing data, content, and subject-matter expertise is critical. As you identify gaps within existing content you will be better prepared to develop an approach for gathering appropriate content. Finding accurate content sources will help you organize your approach, modify existing source content, and generate collaboration with subject matter experts, saving you time and producing better designs.
The bottom-line, in practice and in DesignJot, is results. By defining and understanding how you will evaluate and measure your results, you will be able to develop a sustainable and impactful training program based on business-focused metrics.
DesignJot will help you prepare to gather evaluation data and measure the results, so you can design with the end in mind and prove your business objectives were met.