Careful Instructional Design Planning Upfront Pays Off

Instructional Design Planning Upfront

Do Not Short-Cut Instructional Design Planning
Instructional design planning upfront is worth the effort.  Those of us that have painted ourselves into an actual or proverbial corner can attest to the “measure twice, cut once” rule.

It All Depends Upon How You Begin
It happens all too often, and it is most often due to the lack of careful instructional design planning before beginning a project. The very best advice instructional design consulting experts can give is to spend the necessary time upfront in the business definition and planning stages to create clear goals and desired outcomes before you begin instructional design. This clarity helps to avoid the most common missteps going into the instructional design phase.

Follow These Three Instructional Design Planning Steps

1. Be Relevant
Talk with company leaders about what they need and why. Determine if training will help them achieve their most important business goals. For business alignment to occur, each learning solution should be highly relevant to three key stakeholders:

  • The Business
  • Leadership (including your boss and his peers)
  • Your Target Audience

You will know you are on the right path when all three stakeholder groups should agree upon the critical few business metrics that you are trying to positively impact and the business value of achieving them.

2. Design for Adoption and Impact
Work together with your key stakeholders as partners to set parameters on everything from who the participants will be to how you will measure and reinforce the impact of the learning initiative on the business goals.

You will know you are on the right path when you have a training adoption and training measurement plan that is agreed to by all key stakeholders.

3. Align Resources
Garner support from senior leaders to ensure you have all the training support resources you need to reach the goals you have set in a way that makes sense.  Example of training support resources to consider include:

  • Time
  • Information
  • Tools
  • Technology
  • Supporting processes
  • Organizational structures
  • Rewards and recognition
  • Performance management

You will know you are on the right path when you agree to a resource allocation plan to support skill adoption, behavior change and performance improvement with your key stakeholders.

The Bottom Line
Being clear on the critical few business goals starts you off on the right foot. Setting specific parameters for implementation and garnering executive support keeps you on track for success. Planning, focus and accountability drive results. Do not start your instructional design until your plan is clear, believable and implementable.

To learn more about how to make better training, download 3 Steps to Building a Smarter Training Initiative – One that Gets Business Results

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