New Year’s Resolutions to Improve Measurement, Reporting and Management of L&D

The new year is a great time to make changes. You may have been thinking about some of these changes, so why not resolve to make them happen? Here are ten top suggestions:

  1. Start using the TDRP terminology. It costs nothing for your team to use the three categories of measures and the four reasons to measure. Make this your common language.
  2. Ensure you have a balanced set of measures for courses and programs. You should have level 1, level 2 (if applicable), and level 3 as effectiveness measures in addition to the standard efficiency measures like the number of participants, cost, completion rate, and date. For key programs, you should also have level 5 ROI. And, if the course or program supports a high-level goal, you should have a level 4 outcome measure.
  3. Make sure you have a balanced set of measures at the department level for formal learning. In addition to the common efficiency measures like the number of unique and total participants, the number of courses and hours, and the total cost, you should have the common effectiveness measures (levels 1,2,3) aggregated across all of your courses. Ideally, you also will have a summary of the outcomes and ROIs for key programs.
  4. Begin to collect data on informal learning if you are not already doing so. Efficiency measures might include the number of communities of practice, the number of performance support tools, the amount of content available online, utilization rate for each, and the number of unique and total participants for each. The primary effectiveness measure for each would be user satisfaction which would be measured periodically, perhaps semiannually.
  5. Start using the TDRP framework to select the right report for each user depending on the reason to measure. Dashboards are currently used for everything and they should not be. Do not use a dashboard to brief the results of a program or to manage a program. Scorecards and dashboards are intended ONLY for informing and monitoring.
  6. Begin to integrate different modalities into a learning program. For example, you might use online learning or online content to provide a common base of knowledge before bring the participants together in a virtual or in-person course which would be followed by providing performance support tools and enrolling the participants in a community of practice.
  7. Create a measures library to be your single, safe source for measurement definitions, formulae and sources.
  8. Pick one important program you would like to manage for the year. Meet with the goal owner at the start of the year to carefully plan the program, including agreement on an outcome measure as well as specific, measurable targets for the outcome measure and all the important efficiency and effectiveness measures. Agree on roles and responsibilities. Once the program is underway, use the program management report with plan, year-to-date (YTD) and forecast data to manage the program on a monthly basis.
  9. Meet with your CLO to reach agreement on the efficiency and effectiveness measures targeted for improvement. Get agreement on a reasonable plan or target for each and ensure that sufficient budget and staff will be made available to achieve the improvement. Create an operations report with plan, YTD, and forecast data to use monthly to manage the initiatives to successful conclusion.
  10. Last, resolve to increase your knowledge of the field. There are hundreds of books and of course I recommend the two Measurement Demystified books and Learning Analytics by John Mattox II, Peggy Parskey and Cristina Hall. To help you run learning like a business I recommend my book The Business of Learning as well The Business of Training by Edward Trolley. There are hundreds of webinars each ear – all free. And there are numerous workshops on measurement in general like our Measurement Demystified workshop and our workshop on the new ISO standard for L&D metrics. In addition, there are workshops on ROI and the Kirkpatrick approach as well as a host of other great topics.

I hope you will resolve to follow through with some of these, and we are here to help with our books, webinars, and workshops.

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