What Do You Do with Outcomes?—Training
You’ve made the leap and mapped the outcomes for your critical roles. Now what? In this installment of our mini-series, we discuss the use of outcomes for designing and developing training programs.
Most corporate training programs focus on building large libraries of generic courses designed more for adult education than for improved performance. Those courses build general skills and knowledge and are not intended to help people perform better in their specific roles.
Outcome-based courses, on the other hand, are specifically designed to help someone produce each of the critical outcomes associated with his or her individual role. As an example, let’s say a key outcome for a project manager is to produce a project plan appropriate to manage the project. Applicable courses or modules might include the following:
- fundamentals of successful project planning
- how to write a project plan
- how to implement a project plan
Of course, there may also be a series of courses that help with the foundational skills and knowledge elements behind each of those outcome-based courses. An example might be a technical writing course to help build writing skills. But the bulk of the focus and the real value is in the how-to courses that help people consistently produce the key outcomes to standard.
This may seem to be common sense but, as usual, common sense is anything but common. In one case, a large organization had over three thousand courses in their learning library, but not one of them focused on helping people produce the outcomes gleaned from their top performers. In other words, there was a key outcome that helped people be successful, but the organization did nothing to help people produce that outcome. Thankfully, once that gap was understood, the organization quickly moved to develop and launch courses focused how to consistently produce the key outcomes determined by the TOPS analysis.
Questions to ponder:
- Are your training courses specific to the needs of your performers? Or are they too generic to make a difference?