After many weeks or months, the training project is written, tested and approved. Now, it is ready to be implemented. There are many ways to roll out a training program, and the best method depends on the type of training program and the audience.
But the time to build the implementation plan is when the project is in the planning stages – in the ADDIE model, during the analysis and design steps. The training needs analysis (TNA) guides the design, development, implementation and evaluation. It tells the instructional designer about the audience, the content and who needs to know what. In the analysis stage, the instructional designer also learns about the work environment to help determine methods to deliver the content.
Then, in the design stage, the instructional designer determines how the learners would best learn the information, how they will use the information and what methods are best for delivering each type of content to each type of learner. Sometimes, the content drives the type of implementation, and sometimes, the audience drives the type of implementation. The most important consideration when building the implementation plan is how the information will be used on the job. The answer to this question will play a large role in the implementation and success of the project.
There are many tactics for rolling out a training project. Choose the best ones for the audience, the content and how it will be used. Some possible methods for delivering a program are face-to-face training, mobile training, online training, simulation training and a blend of tactics. Sometimes, training implementation is part of a sales kick-off, with many stakeholders, like sales leaders, product managers and marketing professionals. Sometimes, it is part of business-as-usual team meeting, and still other options are stand-alone training events. Think about the audience and how they can best access the content and prepare to immediately apply what they learn. Then, add those tactics to your implementation plan.
A subset of the implementation or rollout plan is the communication plan. The training rollout communication plan will detail how the learners know about the training and who will send which communications. The training rollout communications will differ depending on the audience. If it is an internal audience, you may simply send the learners a meeting notice to attend training face-to-face or virtually. For example, you may send learners an email from their manager with a link to the course. The hook for catching the attention of the internal audience, the “what’s in it for me,” could be “because the manager said so,” to help them advance in their career, to earn or maintain a professional license or credential, to help them do their job better, or to help them sell a new product.
The methods of training an external group are usually different, and so are the rollout communications. For an external audience, communications need to be written like marketing and sales materials to draw the audience in. External groups generally do not have to take the training, so something needs to entice them. Communications might include an incentive, such as receiving a product add-on or helping them advance in their career. Additionally, the audience might want to learn how to quickly get up to speed with a new product or improve their efficiency with that product. Just like finding a “what’s-in-it-for me” for the internal audience, it’s important to find the “what’s in it for me” for the external learner groups and then market accordingly, sometimes even tailoring the training to a variety of audience types.
Unlike in the movie “The Field of Dreams,” just because “you build it,” does not automatically mean “they will come.” The rollout of a training plan must be considered at the beginning, during the analysis stage. This analysis helps the instructional designer understand the needs of the learner groups and how they will use the content to help them improve, sell, learn, or use the product or knowledge. This knowledge will then help with the training implementation plan and communication plan. To have a successful training program, you must implement and communicate it correctly for the content and the audience. Start thinking about it at the beginning.