As organizations work to navigate the significant changes occurring in 2020, the September/October 2020 edition of Training Industry Magazine provides a collection of ideas to help learning and development (L&D) leaders develop great training organizations. For your journey, I thought it would be helpful to share a framework for great training organizations based on over a decade of extensive research conducted by Training Industry. We have learned that building any type of great organization requires an understanding of where the organization is positioned across three areas: its process capabilities, best practices and the ability of those practices to support continuous improvement and innovation.
The process capabilities associated with great training organizations include eight key areas:
- Strategic alignment: Ability to design learning programs that align with business objectives.
- Content development: Ability to assess, design, manage and maintain content.
- Delivery: Ability to manage an instructor network and deliver training using multiple modalities.
- Diagnostics: Ability to identify problems and make recommendations.
- Reporting and analysis: Ability to define business metrics and report data to make improvements.
- Technology integration: Ability to integrate learning technologies with other technologies and corporate applications.
- Administrative services: Ability to manage scheduling, registration, technology and other support functions.
- Portfolio management: Ability to manage, rationalize and maintain large portfolios of learning solutions.
Each of these process capabilities have varying impacts on organizational performance depending on the circumstances the organization is experiencing. As data from our pulse survey of the learning industry tell us, many organizations have been converting training programs for virtual delivery, so their capabilities in the areas of content development, delivery and technology integration are being put to the test.
The first step toward establishing a great training organization is understanding what we already do in each of these eight areas, and it is my belief that understanding means documenting. For example, the process of documenting what practices your organization executes in support of strategic alignment might include understanding the business objectives your programs are designed to support. How are you doing that today, and who is involved?
As you document these practices, you should also assess how mature your practices are. We developed a training practices maturity model to aid your assessment.
Maturity ranges from an ad hoc approach to optimized practices. When practices are optimized, processes are replicable, monitored, and continuously assessed for improvement.
Hopefully, this brief introduction to a framework to improve the impact of your learning efforts is one helpful step on your journey toward achieving a great and process-oriented training organization. We teach this model as part of our Certified Professional in Training Management (CPTM) program, so if you’d like a better understanding, just ask a CPTM graduate.
As always, we love to hear your thoughts about the perspectives shared in this edition. Feel free to send any suggestions for us to consider.