Thursday, April 30, 2015

Careful Instructional Design Planning Upfront Pays Off

Careful Instructional Design Planning Upfront Pays Off

Oops! Ever painted yourself into a corner?

It happens all too often, and it is most often due to the lack of careful planning before beginning a project. The very best advice instructional design consulting experts can give is to spend the necessary time upfront in the business definition and planning stages so you are clear on goals. This clarity helps to avoid the most common missteps going into the instructional design phase.

Follow these three steps:

  1. Relevance. Talk with company leaders about what they need and why. Determine if training will help them achieve their most important business goals. For business alignment to occur, each learning solution should be highly relevant to three key stakeholders:

    • The Business
    • Leadership (including your boss and his peers)
    • Your Target Audience.

    The desired outcome – one to three agreed upon business metrics that you are trying to positively impact and the business value of achieving them.

  2. Adoption and Impact. Identify your key stakeholders and work together as partners to set parameters on everything from who the participants will be to how you will measure and reinforce the impact of the learning initiative on the business goals.

    The desired outcome – a training adoption and training measurement plan that is agreed to by all key stakeholders.

  3. Resources. Garner support from senior leaders so you are sure to have all the resources (i.e. time, information, tools, technology, supporting processes, and structures) you need to reach the goals you have set in a way that makes sense.

    The desired outcome – a resource allocation plan.
Being clear on the critical few business goals starts you off on the right foot. Setting specific parameters for implementation and garnering executive support keeps you on track for success. Planning, focus and accountability drive results. Do not start your instructional design until your plan is clear, believable and implementable.

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