Like most success stories, an effective corporate training solution is built on a strong foundation of needs analysis, performance mapping, and content curation. At AllenComm, our team of performance consultants has developed several tried and true strategies that help us create and fortify a solid foundation for each of our projects. Their work often takes place behind the scenes, collaborating with clients and instructional designers to facilitate an environment where a successful training solution can thrive.
The Performance Consultant’s Role
During the learning design strategy phase of a project, performance consultants work closely with clients and instructional design teams to create the architecture of a corporate training solution. Once the architecture is in place, performance consultants and instructional designers distill the conceptual framework into a production blueprint that can be used by teams of writers, graphic designers, and programmers to create a training solution.
Our performance consultants come from all walks of life and represent several educational disciplines from educational psychology to astrophysics. Their ability to consider an organization’s big picture goals and deconstruct them into learning objectives that will generate actual behavioral change in their audience makes them a crucial part of our design process. In addition to conceptualizing our design strategies, the performance consultant team is proficient in guiding clients through the learning and development process to forge lasting collaborative relationships.
Even when organizations realize the need for training, it can be difficult to zero in on the root of a particular issue. When this happens, our performance consultants are available to conduct a needs analysis. Whether it’s a rapid needs analysis designed to gain stakeholder and workforce insights and process that information into usable data or an extensive needs analysis composed of site visits and focus groups designed to unearth critical nuances, our performance consultants excel at getting to the bottom of the issue.
Once a needs analysis has been completed, our performance consultants create and present recommendations for potential training solutions. After working with AllenComm on a needs analysis, clients come away with a more conceptual understanding of their training needs and are better prepared to solve whatever workforce issue they might be facing.
Performance mapping is focused on what peak learner performance looks like, and what existing factors are inhibiting that performance. When performance consultants design training solutions, their focus is more dedicated to changing a learner’s perspective in a way that creates a positive business outcome.
The performance mapping process begins by defining the business impact, a small-scale measurable goal that creates the boundaries of a corporate training solution. A typical business impact involves increasing or decreasing something on an organizational level—boosting sales, improving morale, and reducing policy infractions by a certain percentage are common examples. So how do we achieve a desirable business impact?
We target behaviors. Part of the performance mapping process is outlining the types of behaviors that the chosen demographic will need to develop in order to help an organization reach its business impact. When we define these behaviors, our process is to be as specific as possible and make sure to identify the result when performed the ideal way.
After defining ideal behaviors, we proceed to map our learning objectives to fit the behavioral needs of the learner. These learning objectives are tied to one or more learning activities that are designed to put the learner on track for developing the desired behaviors necessary to achieve a greater business impact. After analyzing the performance gaps and expected results, our Performance Consultants design a learning strategy with a blend of learning modalities, activities and learner paths. Our Instructional Designers then align the most relevant content in the right amount to the design strategy. Quality training content, aligned with a robust design, makes the learning experience meaningful and relevant.
During our design phase, performance consultants work closely with clients to gather training-specific content that will inform our corporate training solution. Our main sources of content usually come from previous trainings that the client has conducted. This could include a complete web-based training or simply training manuals from facilitator-led classes. In addition to existing client content, we often create additional contextual content in collaboration with stakeholders and subject matter experts.
Based on our performance map, we can cross-reference relevant content with existing performance gaps to further inform our design. When we arrive at a performance gap that has yet to be crossed, we consult with stakeholders to help us create the content that becomes the focus of what we include in the final course, such as instructional language, learning activities, and assessments.
Whether it’s a quick diagnosis or a full-blown performance map, the performance consultant team at AllenComm is ready to tackle any organizational issue from the ground up. If you’re interested in scheduling your own performance consultation, please speak with our team.