Training Evaluation

Hal Richman has developed a simple framework for linking business strategy, performance and training evaluation inspired by his decade of work in international development. The framework is geared for people who do not need a full-blown methodology. The work steps are noted below.

1. Determine the Business Problems to be Addressed
Any consideration of learning, training and development (“training” for short) must emerge from the identification of business problems and not, like the “cooks who cook on the battlefield,” from simply trying to find a home for training.

2. Map the Work System
Training initiatives operate in a larger environment of variables – an environment that is always in a state of flux. In discussions about business problems people tend not to hear each other because they lack a shared vision of the system. Mapping the work system helps a variety of stakeholders understand the dynamic inter-relationship of variables so that they can grasp the system as a whole.

3. Define the Performance Improvements Needed to Address the Business Problems.
To ensure that initiatives are tightly linked to what people need to do to improve their work performance, define specific and measurable performance improvements.  Some examples of performance improvements include retention of existing staff, training of new hires, improving product knowledge and customer service…the list goes on.

4. Isolate the Business Problems
If training is going to be selected as a way of addressing business problems, you need to ensure that the problems are not caused by lack of management support, availability of training or tools.

5. Specify the Training
Specify the training initiatives that can have impact, especially system wide impact. In doing so, you need to consider what performance improvements may be best addressed by training, as well as development activities such as: self-study of documents and procedures; performance support.

6. Evaluate the Training
This is accomplished by what is called a logic model. A logic model identifies the linkages between the activities, outputs, immediate outcomes, intermediate outcomes and final outcomes of a policy, program or initiative.

7. Measure Results
Develop a Performance Measurement Framework (PMF). The PMF specifies in some detail how the intended effects of the initiatives will be measured, both quantitatively and qualitatively. The PMF builds on the logic model by specifying in some detail how the intended effects of the training initiatives will be measured.

Take a look at Training Evaluation Case Studies