CHANGE MANAGEMENT TRAINING STRATEGY & PLAN
Overview – Creating a Training Strategy & Plan for Effective Change Management
Planning, designing, developing, and executing an effective training strategy, plan and program is one of the most vital deliverables you need to implement to ensure that your target audience is provided with the specific skills and behaviors needed to succeed in their new roles or in a future state.
A new role might involve a new employee joining the organization, or it might involve new roles that existing employees have to take on as part of a change to the company’s business processes, technology, systems, organizational restructuring or for any other reason.
Training might also involve educating external parties (for example, your firm’s customers, suppliers, vendors, distributors, consulting partners, etc.) on new business processes, new sales programs, re-engineered ways of conducting transactions, how to use new processes for an account they have with the company, overview of new products that the company has developed, or educating them on new ways of doing business with the company.
Irrespective of whether you need to train new employees, existing employees, mid-level management, senior leaders, or external parties, the training strategy that you use, will often remain the same. What changes will be your training plan, which needs to be customized for each targeted training audience.
The process for developing and implementing your training strategy and plan is outlined below. In addition, we will discuss various training templates, samples and step-by-step training approach to help increase the success of your training plan implementation.
Training Plan Methodology
There is a wide range of training methodologies that can be applied to developing and implementing a training program plan. The training methodology that I find the most useful is the ADDIE Training framework. As a Senior Organizational Change Management Lead with extensive experience working with large organizations on complex, enterprise-wide transformations, I often leverage ADDIE for training, based on its simplicity, comprehensiveness, and easy to understand structure.
Here is a summary of the five steps that are part of the ADDIE training model. I added a 6th step (“Pilot / UAT”) based on my experience in implementing best training practices. I’ll explain further below.
The original ADDIE training model was developed for the U.S. Military in the 1970s, and has now become the industry standard for developing and rolling out effective training programs across different industries and sectors.
ADDIE is an acronym for Analysis, Design, Development, Implementation, and Evaluation, which are five key phases for analysis the training needs, identifying your training audience, developing instructional curriculum, building training materials, and implementing training.
Process for Developing Your Training Plan/Program
Analysis (Phase 1 of the Training Development Process)
The first step for developing your training program is to assess your training objectives. In other words, why does this training need to be provided? What are you looking to achieve? The next step is to identify who specifically needs to be trained. These individuals will be your training audience.
During phase 1 of the training plan development is when you conduct a current skills vs required skills assessment across your target audience groups to determine how much training and coaching will need to be provided. The larger the gap between existing knowledge and required knowledge, the more training will be needed.
In developing your training plan, you also will need to assess and determine how you will deliver the training program. You can use one or more of the training channels outlined below.
List of potential training delivery channels:
- Instructor-led training (in-person)
- Instructor-led training (virtual or via video)
- Recorded or video instructor-led training
- Online resources
- New job aids and procedures
- Computer-based training
- e-learning focused training
- 1-on-1 coaching
- Group mentoring
- Train-the-trainer sessions
Document Your Training Requirements
To increase your effectiveness and your ability to manage the assessed training information, you should document your training analysis output in a Training Management Template. You can create this template, matrix or database from scratch by yourself, or obtain one from Airiodion Global Service (AGS). AGS’ training template is included as part of a training management tool for managing all aspects of your training. Click below to learn more
Training Program Design (Phase 2 of the Training Development Process)
During the second phase of the training program development, you will need to draft outlines of your training material and curriculum. You will also need to develop iterative designs of the training storyboard, content, props, prototype, program, and overall training implementation strategy. Iterative process involves: design->socialize->integrate feedback->update design.
Work with Business Analysts, Program Managers, and other resources to develop your project training designs. During this phase, you will also need to design the user interface and user experience if your training delivery includes web-based or online delivery.
Make sure to design the training prototype platform with the end-user in mind. User experience is a key factor in the success of a training program. Make sure your training props are visually appealing with lots of graphics, images, and other visual media.
During the training design phase, you should also design the prototypes for both the pilot training implementation and the general population training implementation (full training roll out). Designing the prototypes will include creating course curriculum and end-to-end testing and training scripts (business & technology process flow/user stories), learning outcomes, methods of delivery, props (documents, tools, software, learning application or website), testing procedures, etc.
Training Plan Development (Phase 3)
The third phase in your project training plan development involves the actual development of the designs that you created during the second phase. During this phase, you can develop (or seek internal/external resources to help develop) the training prototype, training materials, props, learning interactions, and overall training program.
During this phase, work with Business Analysts, IT Developers, Testers, Program Managers, HR Training staff, project resources and other stakeholders to develop and test/evaluate the training content, materials (for example: PowerPoint decks and Microsoft Word instructional manuals), as well as graphics, images, audio, and video.
Part of this process will involve developing and testing the prototypes for both the Pilot training implementation and the general population training implementation (full training roll out). Developing the prototypes will include creating course curriculum and end-to-end testing and training scripts (business & technology process flow/user stories), learning outcomes, method of delivery, props (documents, tools, software, learning application or website), and testing procedures.
IT developers can help develop and integrate props and technologies. Business Analysts and testers from different business units can perform testing and debugging procedures.
All of the processes outlined above for the development stage are normally done using an iterative approach, where the completed tasks are presented to key stakeholders, reviewed, feedback is provided, feedback is integrated, additional revisions are made, more testing is done, and additional review is made until all key stakeholders are satisfied with the finalized plans.
Training Pilot / UAT Implementation (Phase 4 of the Training Program)
A training pilot should be conducted to align with the program UAT before the training program is rolled out across the general training population.
A training pilot is a best practice process that allows you to test out your training program, and get direct feedback from end-users. The audience for this pilot should be people that are not part of the program and who were not involved in the training design, development, and testing.
You want “fresh eyes.” People seeing the training for the first time, and who can provide a fresh perspective from a UX (user experience) perspective.
In addition, during the training pilot phase, is when you want to ensure that trainers, facilitators, SMEs, and instructors spend some time preparing to implement the training program to the training population and audience. Not everyone will need to spend a lot of time preparing and practicing their training delivery and presentation, so apply this “I-need-you-to-prepare approach” on a case by case basis.
Training Implementation (Phase 5 of the Training Program)
During the training implementation phase is when you or the training team rolls out the training to the broader targeted audience. This phase involves scheduling the training sessions ahead of time.
Best practice is to schedule training at least two weeks in advance. Also, you should contact the managers of the trainees with a heads-up communication, and provide them with a reminder of the training time and venue for their employees.
Training Evaluation (Final Phase of the Training Program)
During the training evaluation phase, you want to:
- Measure the effectiveness of the complete training
- Measure change adoption of the new skills and knowledge
- Follow-up and provide additional training as needed
Read more: Change Management Tracking & Measurement
Training Milestones & Roadmap
When developing your training strategy, you should develop a roadmap of your training analysis, development, pilot, implementation and evaluation activities. Create this roadmap from scratch or obtain one as part of AGS’s Training Management Tool.
Calendar of Events
As part of your training strategy, you should also develop a training calendar of events that outlines the various training dates and delivery. A “Calendar of Events” provides a holistic view of the various trainee groups, as well as the timeline for training each group of trainees
Don’t forget to view the AGS Training Management Tool for training milestones, plans, and matrix templates. Included is a step-by-step training process flow to help increase the success of your training program design, development and implementation.
External sources: https://www.pexels.com/photo/woman-wearing-gray-blazer-writing-on-dry-erase-board-1181534/, https://pixabay.com/photos/ux-prototyping-design-webdesign-788002/, https://pixabay.com/photos/adult-city-employee-furniture-2178440/
Author: Ogbe Airiodion (Senior Change Management Leader and Founder of AGS).
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