Whenever I hear someone say that s/he single-handedly developed a training program, I cringe because I know that creating an effective and efficient learning solution is ALWAYS a collaborative effort. It is the collaboration of many knowledgeable and talented individuals inside (and sometimes outside) the organization.
It starts with a keen observer who initially identifies that a business need or a performance gap exists. This is usually raised to a person in the organization with influence, possibly a manager, who gets the attention of the entire management. Management then decides and asks a learning professional to look into the issue. The learning professional then analyzes the situation to determine if training is the solution, or at least part of the solution. In general, this process entails working with the people who are directly affected by the issue, Subject Matter Experts (or SMEs), as well as management.
Once it has been determined that training is or part of the solution, the results of the analysis is then presented to management. Typically, a team is then formed to begin with the design and development of the training program. The team would usually include:
- An Executive Sponsor – who will support the training program
- SME(s) – who will be the source of information
- Instructional Designer(s) – who will design, develop and evaluate the program
- Trainer(s) or LMS Administrator – who will implement the training
Depending on the complexity of the program and the size of the organization, other individuals may be included, such as affected employees, project managers, graphics artists, content developers, e-Learning specialists, among others.
The Executive Sponsor is usually responsible for promoting and communicating the program. S/he removes obstacles that may hinder the completion of the training. S/he also give the final approval for the entire training program. While the SME is the source of the content, without his/her knowledge and experience, gathering content will be tedious and painful. The SME is also responsible for ensuring the accuracy of the content. The Instructional Designer is typically the project manager, curriculum designer, content developer and graphics artist. But in cases of big and complex training programs, these roles are delegated to other talented individuals. On the other hand, the trainer (or the LMS administrator in case of eLearning) is in charge of the implementation of the training program.
It is clear that it takes a team to develop an effective and efficient program. Hence, the success of addressing the business need or performance gap is dependent on this team.
Who do you include in your team?