Avoid Miscommunication and Scope Creep in Your Training Programs

Kirkpatrick scholarship award winner
June 10, 2015

Rob Berry, winner of last year’s ATD VOS Don Kirkpatrick Scholarship, has now earned his bronze level certification and is actively implementing what he learned.

Here, he shares the primary concepts that he took away from the program, and how he is using them to solve problems faced by his organization.

Read on for Rob’s ideas and to access the customizable sample intake form that he created. 

Rob Berry
Learning Design Manager
Massage Envy, LLC

One of the biggest concepts I took away from the Kirkpatrick Four Levels® Evaluation Certification Program – Bronze Level was the importance of designing training with the end in mind, and not fixating on specific learning objectives or deliverables until all parties have agreed on the overall business goal(s) to achieve. 

With that as my first “flag at the top of the mountain,” I worked with our Learning and Development team to overhaul our development process, focusing primarily on the analysis we do before we even start design or development. I used what I learned in the bronze program to create an intake assessment* with notes for our instructional designers so that they can conduct a thorough analysis of each project with a subject matter expert or business partner.

The team loved it. It quickly became the primary reference for all our projects and has proven highly useful in keeping all parties aligned on the expectations for the project. It has also been critical in bringing new project members up to speed when additional resources are required. 

So far, we’ve had great success in using this tool to guide our development process and our interactions with business partners – something that has historically been a major stumbling block for our team. In the past, we’ve had significant issues with miscommunication and “mission creep” during projects, where deliverables get steadily tacked on by our partners during the course of development. This intake tool helps us clearly identify the objective of the training and agree on the training products that will best meet and (ideally) exceed expectations.

In addition to helping with design and development, the intake tool provides us with a great way to set expectations for evaluating the effectiveness of the training we create. Our business partners clearly communicate what “good” looks like to them, so that we know what business goals we are helping to accomplish. Once we implement the training, we know exactly what results we want to see from the field as a result of the training we deliver.

* To access a downloadable, customizable copy of the intake form that Rob created, visit the Resources tab, log in to the site (or register if you do not already have an account), scroll down to the Kirkpatrick® Diagrams and Forms category, and click on “Sample Intake Form.”

Join the Discussion

Can you implement any of these ideas in your organization? What, if any, implementation barriers would you anticipate? Here are some ways to join the conversation:

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Additional Resources:

Kirkpatrick Four Levels® Evaluation Certification Program – Bronze Level

Bringing Business Partnership to Life: The Story of the Brunei Window Washer

Sample Intake Form

Training Value Questionnaire

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