Best practices for integrating "training" programmes into CM plans.

The exercise of stock-taking of all best practices leaves us with six major success factors.

Article written by Vincent PIEDBOEUF

Taking a structured approach to managing the people side of change can boost the rate of project success by a substantial amount. Adoption and usage make a critical difference between getting short-lived results or effective and long-lasting change. Needless to say, training plans play an essential role along the path of implementing reforms or new processes and tools. Our partner PROSCI[1] has identified the key elements to be combined for these plans to deliver the best results. To gauge the efficiency of your freshly implemented programs, this article also lists the most useful tracking and reporting tools[2].

Key contributors to the success of training plans.

The exercise of stock-taking of all best practices leaves us with six major success factors. According to PROSCI, “planning and audience matching” is reported twice as often as the other contributors.

  • Planning / design: “Standard” or generic content is the enemy. Most effective training plans are always tailored to their audience. Involving future recipients during the development phase can ensure real-life concerns are addressed. It is also the best way to proactively manage resistance.
  • Timing: Flexible or just-in-time delivery is recommended to maximise participation and make sure that most pressing needs are met.
  • Ability and measurement: Tracking results is crucial to ensure knowledge is properly applied. Read on to discover how to measure adoption and progress (§2).
  • Awareness and Desire: A common mistake is to rush headlong and deliver training before people know the why and how of the initiative. Participants should be given a clear picture of training requirements, expectations and logistics ahead of time.
  • Trainee support: Support is crucial to maximise engagement and course-correct if needed. So consider using intranet, peer to peer coaching, leadership messaging, one-on-one discussions, Q&As…
  • Training approach: Preferred approaches include practical training. Scheduling hands-on activities is a great way to give trainees the opportunity to apply fresh skills right away.

Measuring effectiveness.

Assessment of training effectiveness should cover everything from trainees’ readiness to field results and overall satisfaction with the programme. The toolbox may include:

  • Surveys coming in the form of training and competency questionnaires, directed at employees and sponsors alike.
  • Quantitative reports designed to measure the level of adoption and based on relevant metrics such as the number of errors and help calls frequency.
  • Readiness assessments given to trainees before and after the program to measure effectiveness and general preparedness for the change.
  • Final and overall feedback discussions, through group meetings, one-on-one sessions, or in written forums via company forums.

Documenting the success (or flaws) of training plans is not only important to increase the relevance of programs and prevent people from returning to previous practice patterns, it is also a ubiquitous element in Change Management communication. Put your audience first and adjust as necessary!

 

[1] PROSCI (2016), Critical Success Factors on Project-Specific Training.

[2] PROSCI (2016), Evaluating Effectiveness of Project-Specific Training.

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