The last several years in the ID field have trended towards authoring development that takes a lot of the guesswork out of how to create an engaging training. However, creating it and delivering it are two very different things. Yet, the delivery can and does impact the creation. So I wanted to take a moment to discuss four essential elements of the implementation phase that I would encourage conversation around at the BEGINNING of the project:
- Preparation – Start with a timeline for the rollout of the training. Include elements such as:
- Train-the-trainer (if needed).
- Training people to manage the reporting system.
- Training people on how to update the training.
- Making copies of materials (if needed).
- I think I would also include in here communications or promoting the training – that need to provide awareness to stakeholders and learners alike.
- Distribution – Here you would start off with testing or piloting the training. Then determine how the learning will be distributed/disseminated.
- Evaluation – This is where Kirkpatrick’s 4 Levels really takes hold. We, if we did as such in the beginning while planning the project, discussed the outcomes or return on investment for the learning intervention. Do we now have the evaluative tools and materials in place and lined up to go when we need them? For example, Level 2’s are all data gathered from inside the training course itself so we can get that immediately after the training has been completed by the learners. However, if we are intending on doing a Level 3 even a month later – are we set up to do it? Are the materials in place, is the plan in place, do folks know what to do when? What about a Level 4 if we want to address the return on investment?
- Maintenance – Oftentimes a quite overlooked piece of implementation is the discussion around how the training is maintained. For example is it a yearly training that should be reviewed three months in advance of its next launch to make sure updates are completed on the content? Or is the contact fairly static, but maybe the images or videos linked to the training potentially going to go out of date, that type of thing. What do we recommend for ensuring that the training is always going to be optimal?
The strength and value of these considerations provides a strategic look at a project from the start that allows for a more comprehensive discussion and allocation of resources (time, people, money, etc.) to take place.