Friday, May 27, 2011

Evaluation Starts Before the Training Happens

KNO is always working with clients to strengthen their approaches to evaluation of performance and training initiatives. Our Partners are all ISPI Certified Performance Technologists (CPTs) with many years of assessment and evaluation success.  Recently, two KNO Partners have also become Kirkpatrick Certified for program evaluation.

We seek to work with our clients to design training flowing down from the business results demanded. On the front end, we conduct a simple PiP analysis to estimate a potential return on investment if a proper performance solution is selected, designed and implemented.

We find that in almost all cases that real success requires a grouping of parallel efforts to address all components of performance: clear expectations, knowledge/skills, incentives, ongoing feedback loops and adequate resources.

There are different models for approaching the evaluation task. A very common method, the Kirkpatrick 4 Level Evaluation, is a starting point for most organizations. This links high end business results to required staff behaviors. Training can then be designed with objectives to build the required knowledge and skills, that are supported by in the workplace by multiple "drivers".

Drivers of behavior are necessary to support the new skills in several ways:
  • reinforcing
  • encouraging
  • rewards
These can include such tools as job aids, coaching, action-plan followup, process checklists, refreshers and recognition with peers and bonuses.  We know from research that too much energy is spent on investigating participant reactions to the training and very little on training transfer of behaviors and linking to the business goals.

These levels of resource expenditure and energy are reversed with those clients who actually succeed in implementing the desired changes in performance.

In addition to the Kirkpatrick approach, Robert Brinkerhoff  has conducted extensive research and advances alternative options such as the Success Case Method (SCM) and the Learning to Performance Model.

Donald Clark combines several methods to depict what he calls Backwards Planning to the same effect.

Donald Clark's Backwards Planning Model

Jack and Patti Phillips of the ROI Institute have further refined an ROI methodology for measuring and evaluating programs - sometimes referred to as Level 5.

Phillip's Elements of ROI Methodology

All of these successful approaches focus on the end results at the beginning. Before any training even starts to be designed, the objectives are derived to create behaviors that will support the critical strategic and operational results.

Thursday, May 5, 2011

The Performance Conference 2011

The 2011 theme was simple yet very profound: THE Performance Improvement Conference! Plus, this year ISPI launched a new Research-to-Practice Day!

Graphic by Lynn Kearny

With the focus on performance technology, the International Society for Performance Improvement is in a position to be a powerful force for helping organizations successfully adapt to the ever-changing business environment. 

During THE Performance Improvement Conference, April 8-13, 2011, in Orlando, Florida, participants had the opportunity to learn from the many expert presenters sharing their thoughts on adapting to the current external environmental forces and applying and implementing innovations. Answers were found to some of the most significant problems many organizations are facing. There were many chances to share best practices, and network with the smartest minds in the industry from around the globe.

ISPI continues to shape the future of performance improvement through learning, sharing, working together, and networking. We gather great minds and practices from the environments where human performance technology (HPT), with all its potential, has so much to offer. This includes business, government, military, health care, academia, and other sectors. 

KNO Partner Steven Kelly (right) with Jason Lei (Jetblue) discussing 2012 awards

It is important to hear what they say, share your insights, help move our profession forward, and improve your performance. The knowledge available in this field is dynamic and growing. ISPI thought leaders are constantly adding to the foundations of that knowledge. Every year active practitioners discover new ways to implement what has been learned so far.

During the upcoming 2012 conference in Toronto, we will come together to learn and share. We will build on what we know already, improve our skills at applying that knowledge, and facilitate the creation of valued results for ourselves, our clients, our organizations, and society in general. Consider to join us.

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