There are a lot of great excuses for why practitioners skip analysis when starting a training project. Familiarity with audience and content, lack of time, lack of resources – we have really good reasons for avoiding analysis. The problem is that the results of an effective analysis are the foundation for high-impact training. Without analysis, your training is very likely to miss the target. Worse, you may not know what the target is at all.
Whether you follow ADDIE or any other design model, eventually you need to perform some amount of analysis. The effort may be large or small, formal or informal, but along the way you need information so you are not operating in the dark.
Here are three ways to include analysis in every training project:
1. Be Proactive! Incorporate analysis into your project plan from the beginning. During kick-off and stakeholder meetings, openly share the information you hope to get from an analysis. When negotiating for project time, include a reasonable timeframe for completing the analysis work needed. This will help you ensure time and resources for your analysis plan.
2. Think Strategically! Use the analysis phase to determine the business results and performance outcomes needed by the organization. What is driving decisions at the senior leadership level? How does that affect your project? These are the most important take-aways from an analysis. Even if you feel pretty familiar with your audience and/or content, the answers to these questions may be surprising.
3. Act Like a Partner! Communicate often and early. Prepare stakeholders for the analysis work you expect to do and the amount of effort you need from them. Provide results from your analysis in consumable formats (email, presentation, etc.) as needed to keep your partners in the loop.
At the heart of analysis is the need to uncover important organizational implications for your training project and learners by partnering with your stakeholders. If you approach this project phase with these end goals in mind, you will be in great shape.
Now that you know how to avoid the most common stumbling blocks, check in next time for a dive into some time-saving analysis tools!
For more real world tips and methods, check out Jenn’s book Real World Training Design, available now from ASTD Press.