Sports have a great advantage: the goal is immediately apparent. In golf, sink the ball in the hole. In football, get the ball across into the endzone. In quidditch, catch the golden snitch. Regardless of the sport, the rules clearly state how to score points and the objective. Unfortunately, the objective of training is not always as easy to identify. Yet, clearly defining the end goal as well as any intermediate objectives will clarify success. In fact, clear objectives will also help define the process of achieving these goals.
How do you define success?
What are some of the considerations in goal setting? Consider the people: the trainers, the trainees, and the supervisors. What do each of these groups of individuals need to see success? Often, the trainees want explicit knowledge in order to improve their job performance. Is this technical knowledge? The supervisors are looking for more empowered work force. Have you considered how to help the trainees make more informed decisions. The trainers must understand who is in their classroom or coaching session and each individual’s background.
Variables to consider:
The classic training variable is “Hours in the Seat” but long term variables ought to include impact on task performance, quality outcomes, and personnel productivity. Each industry will view these variables differently, so work closely with your stakeholders to determine how they measure these numbers. How you tie the training to these variable improvements will make or break the success of the training program…and set the stage for future activities.
In determining the vision of the training program by beginning with the end in sight, you are effectively taking the first step in a gap analysis. More about performing an assessment of the current state in order to understand performance improvement to come!