Why Are We Doing This?

Why Are We Doing This?

The class just won’t end. Looking at the clock for what seems to be the millionth time shows that it has moved only mere seconds since the last time I looked at it. “So, this is what it feels like? This is what is feels like to be bored to death.” And the worst part is that I have no idea why we are even attending this training or what the training hopes to accomplish.

Ok, so I was a bit dramatic – I probably wasn’t going to be literally bored to death. Although, it certainly felt like it at the time. We have addressed the snoozer part of this painful scenario in a previous blog (From Snoozer to Engagement). What we want to talk about today is the seeming lack of an answer to “why are we doing this?”

Once again, our collective hands are raised here at Command Presence – but have you ever developed and delivered a training without a clear understanding of the mission of the training? If we don’t know the desired outcome, then why are we doing this?

In 2016, the Harvard Business School released an article called “The Great Training Robbery”. According to the authors corporations within the United States spend $164.2 billion on training and education in 2012. Yet the overwhelming majority of the companies saw little to no change in employee behavior. What an incredible misuse of limited funds and time.

One of the ways to ensure that this doesn’t happen to you or your agency is to complete an in-depth analysis. Most of you are probably familiar with the ADDIE Model – perhaps you’ve even used it in your training development. If, however, there is a step that we shortcut or skip altogether it is the Analysis Phase.

Is the training even needed? Without conducting an analysis that question cannot be answered. With limited budgets and time availability at a minimum, why would we even consider using those resources on training that our folks don’t need? Make sure that the there is a demonstrated and documented need for the training.

If there is a need, what do I want the change in behavior to look like? This is the roadmap for everything else that takes place in the course development. If I am unable to explain what the desired results are, how can I possibly come up with an assessment to show if I succeeded or failed?

All of the steps in instructional design are important. Failing to complete any of them almost surely dooms the training endeavor to the world of ineffective and irrelevance. But the Analysis Phase is the foundation for the rest of the phases. Don’t skimp on your efforts or even skip the phase. Proper analysis will allow you to answer the question, “Why are we doing this?”

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