Aligning Training for Results: A Process and Tools That Link Training to Business / Edition 1

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What makes some training programs successful while others produce disappointing results? The answer, says Ron Stone, lies in the processes trainers employ to determine needs, design and develop programs, deliver the training, and partner to get business results. It is time to reexamine these processes, says the author, and bring them into the twenty-first century. In Aligning Training for Results Stone provides a potent, comprehensive, and versatile resource to help guide trainers through assessing, designing, and delivering training solutions that achieve real and measurable results.

Many training programs have a limited chance to succeed, Stone explains, because trainers have not focused on the factors that really matter. This book lays out the five critical factors of alignment that drive the entire training process to desired results. The author addresses all aspects of the training process, beginning with needs assessment and ending with designing transfer strategies—and shows how to align training with business needs and goals. The guidelines, techniques, and tools in the book integrate best practices with the best available empirical evidence in making decisions about how to design and deliver training for business results. By following the author's research-based methods, trainers will sharpen their consulting skills, learn how to eliminate time wasters, clarify performance execution and outcome requirements, and—most important—satisfy the needs of clients.

Full of evidence-based templates, strategies, assessments, and other tools, Aligning Training for Results communicates a foundation of concepts and principles, and a systematic process demonstrating how to create, sustain, and align training solutions to get business results.

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Product Details

Meet the Author

Ron Drew Stone, an international consultant and presenter, is one of the world's most recognized and accomplished authorities on improving training and performance interventions and measuring results. He is president of the Center for Performance and ROI. He is also a partner with the ROI Institute, where he has helped to refine the ROI methodology. He works with businesses and governments around the world, providing performance consulting and workshops in linking training to business measures, designing training for results and ROI, conducting situational needs assessments, and evaluating results. Ron also certifies practitioners in aligning training to achieve business results.
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Table of Contents

About This Book iii

Tables, Figures, and Exhibits xv

Web Site Tools xvii

Preface xxi

Introduction xxiii

Audience xxiv

How This Book Is Organized xxiv

Getting the Most from This Resource xxvi

Key Terms Used Throughout the Book xxvii

1 Thinking Performance in the Twenty-First Century 1

Performance Is Our Business 1

Performers Do Have a Choice 2

Viewing Training Through a Different Lens 3

Client-Friendly Performance Framework 4

Business Outcome 6

Execution in the Work Setting 6

Performance Readiness 12

Preferences 14

The Training and Performance Process 14

Top Three Barriers to Performance 16

Summary 17

2 Five Key Factors of Alignment 19

It’s About Results 19

Performance Results Defined 20

Keys to Alignment and Linkage 20

Factor One: Business Outcome Need Is Identified Up Front 22

Factor Two: The Training and Performance Design Is Guided by the Root Cause and Relevant Needs 26

Factor Three: Development and Delivery Are Focused and Linked to the Training and Performance Design 27

Factor Four: Following Delivery, Performers Choose to Execute in the Work Setting 29

Factor Five: Execution Is Linked to One or More Business Outcome Measures 29

Summary 31

3 PAL: The Alignment of Our Processes 33

With a New View Come New Processes 33

Introduction to the PAL Process 34

Phase One: Situational Needs Assessment and Performance Design 36

Step 1: Scope the Project and Utilize Six Signals to Determine Assessment Strategy 36

Step 2: Conduct Detailed Assessment and Analysis and Identify Alternative Solutions 37

Step 3: Administer Situational Risk Assessment and Analysis 37

Step 4: Propose the Solution and Negotiate Performance Alignment Contract 38

Step 5: Go/No Go Solution Decision 38

Phase Two: Design and Development 39

Step 6: Finalize Delivery Design and Strategy for Performance Transfer 39

Step 7: Develop and/or Acquire Focused Performance Solution Components 40

Phase Three: Delivery and Execution 41

Step 8: Implement Pre-Engagement Action 41

Step 9: Deliver Performance Solution and Assess Learning Readiness and Initial Reaction 41

Step 10: Trigger Transfer Strategy and Work Setting Execution 42

Phase Four: Verification and Follow-Up 43

Step 11: Rapid Verification of Results and Follow-Up Action Steps 43

Guiding Principles 43

Summary 43

4 Situational Needs Assessment: Opening the Door 45

A Process with Many Names 45

Getting Started 46

Two Roles for Needs Assessment 46

Proactive Role 47

Client Request Role 48

Client Key Behavior and Suggested Solutions 49

Client Resistance to Our Processes 49

The Initial Meeting: Let the Client Talk 50

Step 1 of the PAL Process: Scope the Project 52

The Six Signals 52

Intake Scope and Alignment Document 64

Summary 73

5 Situational Needs Assessment: The Analysis 75

Step 2 of the PAL Process: Conduct Detailed Assessment and Analysis 75

The Approach 76

The Strategy 76

Sampling 81

Data Collection Methods and Sources 83

Data Collection Methods 83

Data Collection Sources 85

Detailed Analysis 87

Execution Gap Analysis 88

Root Cause Analysis 89

The Acid Test 92

Step 3 of the PAL Process: Administer Situational Risk Assessment and Analysis 92

The Guiding Objectives and Measures 97

Risk Analysis: Assessing the Need for a Transfer Action and Strategy 98

Summary 107

6 Aligning and Proposing the Solution 109

Believe in Your Solution 109

Influencing the Client 110

Step 4 of the PAL Process: Propose the Solution and Negotiate Performance Alignment Contract 110

Educating the Client 113

Negotiating the Solution and the Performance Alignment Contract 119

Evaluation Inquiry 125

Step 5 of the PAL Process: Go/No Go Decision 126

Forecasting the Return on Investment 126

Summary 129

7 Aligning Design and Development 131

The Alignment Continues 131

The Phase Two Handoff 132

Step 6 of the PAL Process: Finalize Delivery Design and Transfer Strategy 134

The Handoff Briefing 134

Step 7 of the PAL Process: Develop or Acquire Focused Solution Components 140

Key Factors for Learning and Performance 141

The Training Manager’s Role 143

Summary 143

8 Aligning Delivery and Execution 145

Enabling the Performer 145

Phase Three of the PAL Process 147

Step 8 of the PAL Process: Implement Pre-Engagement Action 147

Step 9 of the PAL Process: Deliver Performance Solution and Assess Readiness 149

The Delivery 149

Learner Readiness and Initial Reaction 151

Step 10 of the PAL Process: Trigger Transfer Strategy and Execution 153

The Follow-Up Transfer Action and Strategy 153

Developing a Transfer Strategy 154

The Significance of Active Management Reinforcement 158

Summary 159

9 Rapid Verification of Results 161

In The End It’s Results That Count 161

The Evaluation Decision 162

Evaluation Framework 164

Step 11 of the PAL Process: Rapid Verification of Results 167

Step 1: Determine Purpose and Verify Sponsorship for Evaluation 167

Step 2: Develop Detailed Plans for Low-Intensity Rapid Verification Strategy 170

Step 3: Collect and Analyze Readiness Data 179

Step 4: Collect and Analyze Follow-Up Performance Data 179

Step 5: Communicate Findings and Recommend Follow-Up Action 191

Summary 195

10 Cultivating and Sustaining Sponsorship 197

Contribution and Survival 197

Importance of Sponsorship 198

Influencing Sponsorship 199

Channel One: Direct Use Knowledge 200

Channel Two: Casual Indicators 200

Channel Three: Communication of Demonstrated Results 202

The Outside View 203

It’s Time to Stop Doing—and Start Doing 206

Working Our Processes 208

A Few Closing Thoughts 209

Summary 210

Bibliography 211

About the Author 213

Index 215

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  • Posted October 23, 2008

    Transforming Traditional Process

    Ron has transformed the traditional process and discipline associated with high-quality professional training into a flexible framework that delivers results fast. Rich with tools and new perspectives, this book offers processes and methodologies well suited to the high performance and fast paced business environment of today - experienced training professionals will find refreshing approaches and beginners will quickly benefit from the performance centered framework to achieve business results in their organization.

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