In the recent down economy, internal training departments sometimes seemed to be the first to feel the effects of downsizing. In these cases, it seemed to me that battle was actually lost months or years earlier, as training developed an internal reputation as a soft discipline unconcerned with business impact (and so easy to scale down). In other words, the departments, fairly or not, were perceived as not really making a difference, as producing a series of events that could be quickly forgotten. In other cases, these departments may even have created over-training and burnout, because the department focused on content output and not competency measurement. Hearing people describe some of these programs, I’m often reminded of the scene from Ferris Bueller, and unfortunately, this scenario feels surprisingly accurate.
One of Franklin Covey’s 7 Habits is to begin with the end in mind, and I’ve found that to be a useful perspective with many applications. At AllenComm, I’ve seen this same disciplined thinking play out in designing training. Specifically, our instructional designers have developed a performance model that provides a line of sight from the business goals directly to recommended learning activities. We call this process Performance Mapping.
When we create Performance Maps, our goal is to provide a meaningful learning experience that produces real business results and has a lasting effect on learners. Performance Mapping drives our decisions when selecting strategies and activities for training. The diagram below is an example of how the business goal of improving customer service has been mapped out.
The performance mapping process has generated enthusiasm for our clients around creating training with purpose. As I work with our account teams, I notice that this uniquely Allen approach makes a huge difference in shaping the design of a course and avoiding a boring and uninspired content push that learners soon forget. Organizations that are considered to be the best companies to work for are the ones that understand the value in the commitment to training, realizing that if done right the cost of training is truly worth the investment. Let your next training initiative be one that really makes an impact for both the learner and your business.