10 Strategies for Analysing Your Training Project


Do you want to:

  • Be clear on your project goal?
  • Create training that solves the right problem?
  • Make a difference to the lives of your learners?
This is where the analysis phase of your training project adds great value. Analysing your project enables you to achieve each of these things. It is crucial to your success.

An ineffective analysis can lead to: 

  • Unnecessary stress.
  • Working towards the wrong problem.
  • Being unclear on what you are working towards.
  • Risking your reputation due to poor project outcomes.
  • Creating a solution that does not meet your project goal.
  • Creating a solution that does not engage or speak to your learner.
The list goes on...

At Belvista Studios we have discovered analysis strategies that lead to the most success from our experience.

In this blog we share the strategies that we use so that you can apply them to your own projects. We are confident that these strategies will add value to your training projects.

There are a number of ways that you can gain value from this blog. You can...

  1. Read it all the way through and move on with your life
  2. Skim through it, pick out what will add value to you and take notes
  3. Apply all of the strategies to your own projects.
What is important is that you apply at least one of these strategies to your project/s. Small actions lead to large impact. These strategies will help lead your project to success.

1. Look at the Evidence

Before deciding that a problem needs to be solved, ask yourself, “How do I know that the problem exists?”

Has the problem become evident to you because of:

  • Feedback from employees?
  • Conversations around the office?
  • A direction from your boss?
By understanding how the problem came to fruition, you are more likely to solve the right problem. You will also understand if time and effort should be spent on solving it.

Practical Actions 👇🏻

  • Look for data and evidence that the problem exists. Ask yourself, “How do I know that the problem exists?”
  • If you did not personally identify the problem, speak to whoever did. Ask them, “How did you discover that this problem exists?”


2. Create a Success Statement

A Success Statement clearly states what success looks like for your project. It indicates what would be happening in the future if the project was a success.

An example Success Statement is:

“Leaders holding effective and timely performance conversations with their team to communicate expected performance standards and in turn improving organisational performance.”

Practical Actions 👇🏻

  1. Facilitate a workshop/meeting with your project stakeholders and ask, “Why is it important to complete this project?” and “What do we want to achieve at the end of this project?”
  2. Access the free preview of our Human-centred Design Course (Belvista Studios, 2020a). It runs you through how to conduct a creative conversation, which shows you the questions to ask and what you may encounter when facilitating a workshop with your stakeholders.
  3. Create a Success Statement for your project. Ensure that all stakeholders agree on the Success Statement before you move forward with the project.
  4. Refer to the Success Statement throughout the duration of the project. Every decision you make related to the project should align with your Success Statement. It is your compass for success.


3. Prioritise the Organisational Objectives

Organisations should focus their efforts on contributing to their organisational objectives.

If you discover that your training project does not contribute to the organisational objectives, ask yourself, “Should we be spending our time and effort on this project?”

Obtaining support and approval is difficult if your project does not contribute to the organisational goals. It also results in you spending time and effort on something with minimal return on investment for the organisation.

Practical Actions 👇🏻

  1. Determine if your project goal/Success Statement aligns with the organisational objectives.
  2. If your project goal/Success Statement does not align with the organisational objectives, consider whether your time and effort would be better spent on something else.


4. Conduct Human-centred Design Activities

By conducting human-centred design activities, you are able to analyse your project through the lens of your learners. This enables you to understand the context that surrounds your project.

To be effective, you need to develop training solutions that align with the people that you are designing for. By creating solutions that speak to and meet your learners’ needs, you are better able to meet your project goals. Your learners themselves are the levers for change.

Practical Actions 👇🏻

  1. Check out our ‘Human-centred Design for Instructional Designers’ YouTube playlist (Belvista Studios, 2020b). It provides context and advice for conducting human-centred design activities, including, collages, card sorts, user testing, user personas, empathy maps, user interviews, user observations, discovery insights and creative brainstorming.
  2. Gain insight into using human-centred design for your projects by watching our video ‘Inside the Mind of a Human-Centred Design Practitioner’ (Belvista Studios, 2020c).
  3. Explore our ‘Human-centred Design Playbook for Instructional Designers and Learning and Development Practitioners’ (Belvista Studios, 2020d). This playbook will enable you to use the principles of human-centred design to create effective learning experiences and solve business problems.
  4. Join our ‘How to Become a Better Instructional Designer Cohort’ (Belvista Studios, 2020e). You will learn EVERYTHING you need to know to apply human-centred design to learning solutions. This ultimate human-centred design learning experience enables you to adopt and apply the approach to your own projects.


5. Gather the Relevant Resources


Before creating a training solution, ensure that you have gathered the relevant resources. They can help you to solve your problem and stop you from creating something that already exists.

Practical Actions 👇🏻

  1. Ask all of your stakeholders to send you the resources they have relevant to the project. Some examples are word documents, videos, eLearning courses and websites.


6. Identify the Behaviour Changes Required

You need to be very clear on the behaviours that you are training. To do this successfully, you need to determine what behaviours will help you to meet your project goal/Success Statement. Ask yourself, “What do learners need to do differently to contribute to the project goal?”

A combination of empathy mapping and action mapping enables us to do this. This involves determining what your learners would be saying, thinking, hearing and doing when the project goal is met. A tip is to imagine that you are a fly on the wall and observing your learners. This helps you to be specific in your answers. For example, by writing out exact scripts that you would hear the learner say.

Practical Actions 👇🏻

  1. Once you have discovered what success looks like for your project, run an empathy mapping session with your stakeholders (including ideally 1 or 2 learners). Watch this video on ‘How to Empathy Map’ to learn how to run this activity (Belvista Studios, 2020f).
  2. Read the book, ‘Map It: The action mapping book’ by Cathy Moore (Moore, 2019). It helps you to identify the actions required to meet your project goal.


7. Get to Know Your Learners

To effectively analyse a training project, you need to gain an understanding of who will be engaging with your solution. This enables you to create something that speaks to them and aligns with their goals and motivations.

Practical Actions 👇🏻

  1. Conduct user interviews with your learners to better understand how your project goal plays out in their context.


8. Identify the Barriers


Training is not always the answer to the problem. Explore what other barriers could be stopping you from meeting your goal. For example, do your learners have the skills and knowledge of how to meet your goal but lack motivation? If this is the case, your solution would focus on motivation over skills and knowledge.

Practical Actions 👇🏻

  1. Ask yourself and your stakeholders, “Why are learners currently not behaving in alignment with the goal?” Consider their:
    • Skills
    • Motivation
    • Knowledge
    • Environment.


9. Determine Your Project Scope

Your project scope provides guidance on what is and is not expected as part of your project.

Determining your project scope can help you to:

  • Avoid missing deadlines.
  • Keep you on track throughout your project.
  • Avoid becoming overwhelmed with additional tasks.
  • Gain clarity on what is expected of you and your stakeholders.
Practical Actions 👇🏻

  1. Learn more about this in our ‘Contract Template’ (Belvista Studios, 2020i). It provides you with structure and clarity for your projects. It also ensures that all stakeholders are clear of what the project involves. If anything is requested that is outside the scope of the project, refer to the contract and request a variation to scope.


10. Create a High-Level Strategy

The high-level strategy is the plan of how you intend to achieve your project goal. It focuses on the Success Statement, audience and learning objectives.

Do not move forward with your solution until you have received approval on the high-level strategy from all relevant stakeholders (anyone who can say “no” at any point throughout the project). 

It is created using:

  • Resources related to the project.
  • Outputs of project meetings/discussions.
  • Anything you know already that helps you to achieve the project goal.
  • The behaviour changes/actions required by learners to meet the project goal.
The high-level strategy is the foundation of your solution.

Practical Actions 👇🏻

  1. Create a high-level strategy.
  2. Obtain approval for the high-level strategy from all relevant stakeholders before creating your solution.


Those are our 10 strategies for analysing a training project. We encourage you to focus on at least one of these strategies and apply them to your project/s. Share one of these and make a public commitment to actioning it!

If you liked this blog, you will love our creator hub. There are heaps of resources for instructional designers and learning and development practitioners that you will find valuable, including many resources that help you achieve the strategies in this blog.

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You can also contact our passionate founder Kim Tuohy by emailing kim@belvistastudios.com or by connecting with her on LinkedIn.

References

Belvista Studios. (2020a). Human-centred Design Course. Retrieved from https://creatorhub.belvistastudios.com/courses/human-centred-design.

Belvista Studios. (2020b). Human-centred Design for Instructional Designers [Youtube playlist]. Retrieved from https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PL53y2Uv-umyZ7HP3WsyIOMEtsSmYG6R81.

Belvista Studios. (2020c). Inside the Mind of a Human-Centred Design Practitioner | How to Become an Instructional Designer [Video File]. Retrieved from https://youtu.be/UPTkR5f8xsA.

Belvista Studios. (2020d). Human-centred Design Playbook for Instructional Designers and Learning and Development Practitioners. Retrieved from https://creatorhub.belvistastudios.com/courses/human-centred-design-playbook.

Belvista Studios. (2020e). How to Become a Better Instructional Designer Cohort. Retrieved from https://creatorhub.belvistastudios.com/courses/hcd-ultimate-kit-cohort-january-waitlist.

Belvista Studios. (2020f). How to Empathy Map | How to Become an Instructional Designer [Video File]. Retrieved from https://youtu.be/rJVx456SYt8.

Belvista Studios. (2020g). How to Conduct User Interviews | How to Become an Instructional Designer [Video File]. Retrieved from https://youtu.be/DxP3GR55T3I.

Belvista Studios. (2020h). How to Conduct Successful User Interviews | How to Become an Instructional Designer [Video File]. Retrieved from https://youtu.be/eferaelI6_0.

Belvista Studios. (2020i). Contract Template. Retrieved from https://creatorhub.belvistastudios.com/courses/contract-template.

Moore. C. (2019). Map It: The action mapping book. Retrieved from https://blog.cathy-moore.com/book-map-it/.

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