A Tale of Three Trainings

3 Little Pigs Houses By McapplbeeEvery good training progresses through the same basic stages and have many of the same elements. There’s an initial concept, a need to be met, and it moves through various iterative processes to its final implementation. The end result though, and the corresponding retention it offers will vary wildly based on how it’s built – much like the fate of the three little pigs. The foundation and underlying pedagogy must be solid, yes – but the construction of the training built on top if it is equally important.

Let’s imagine Three Little Pigs have been tasked with training at your organization, as someone undoubtedly has been. Based on the framework your company has established, you’ll end up with a training made of hay, stick or brick.
Which house model would you end up with? Which do you have now? You have one form or another currently, though you may be surprised which, as everyone likely assumes their training is solidly constructed of brick. Do you know for sure?

This series is going to help you find out.

We’ll start by setting the foundation for each house, with some common elements they’ll all have:

  • Requirements analysis: Determining the needs of your organization and deciding where to start and who the training will be for.
  • Learning Objectives: What do they need to learn, exactly – and why.
  • Design: How will this training be created? Where? With what materials?
  • Prototype: Gathering all the requirements captured in the analysis, objectives and design phases and creating a prototype of the training.
  • Field Test: Testing the prototype with a target segment.
  • Iterate: Back to the drawing board to make any changes to the training.
  • Build Training: Create the final model.
  • Deliver Training: Give training to target audience.
  • Evaluate Impact: Measure to against learning objectives to see how well they’ve been met

Then we’ll spruce each up, as appropriate, identifying extras that make sense for the building/training at hand. The Stick House training will have more options than its ‘few frills’ straw counterpart, though it will not be nearly as robust as its brick brethren – and that’s not necessarily a bad thing in some respects as brick houses can experience a flurry of scope creep and the next thing you know, you have an unwieldly McMansion in a neighborhood that doesn’t support such over-indulgence.

We’ll be exploring it through a “training cycle in the life” lens, speaking to each construction, and highlighting specific strengths and pitfalls – and yes, even the brick house could use some caulking. We’ll cover the stages in each, from how they came to be, how they look in action from start to finish, what they do well, areas for improvement, associated soup-to-nuts costs, and additional considerations to be aware of for each. A brief intro to each follows:

Straw. Is your training made of straw? It’s not as obviously flimsy or ill-conceived as one would imagine. But it is a thing of basic construction relying on outdated tactics. We’ll define what those are, where participants struggle, and ways to improve.

Stick. A training made of sticks will have additional shoring and is where many organizations live these days. It’s crowded here and the strength in numbers offers a false sense of “we’re doing all we could be” in participant organizations.

Brick. And then the brick-built training is where many aspire to live, and increasing numbers attain, showcasing bells and whistles that optimize learning anytime, anywhere. And we’ll touch on those McMansions that clutter the horizon and scare people off.

At the end of the series, you’ll have a clear picture of where your training is today on this spectrum, where you would like it to be, and a checklist helping you get there. So lookout for the next three posts on our blog.

Let’s head out – we have a long day ahead building these houses!

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