We want to make sure we are driving learning outcomes for your business, in a sustainable, repeatable, and scalable way. We call this ‘frictionless learning’. By giving you the tools to do the job effectively, your people will learn better, your business will thrive, and you will save time and money too!
We’ve outlined our approach to delivering ‘frictionless’ learning through our Kallidus Readiness Model. We’ve done the research and learned that it is hardly ever (translated to “never) one person who makes decisions or influences the learning strategy of the organization. These decisions are influenced by leaders in Finance, IT, Operations, even Legal, and are ultimately made by Learning & Development, Talent, and Human Resources. We’ve taken all this into consideration and designed a model that you can use and share with leaders throughout your organization so that you have a framework within which to make the best decisions for your learners and your business as you contemplate the learning management system that works best for you.
The following document provides an outline of the process and tools to support this approach. There’s lots here, but nothing worth having is easy – right?
In fact, we wrote this playbook for people who find their current learning environment — to use the words from our L&D practitioner survey — “a little clunky”. Well, don’t worry! The friction that you feel now is what sparked you to look for something better. The good news is that we’ve done the heavy lifting for you, so now let’s get you moving toward frictionless learning experiences for all!
We know every organization is starting from their own unique place. Depending on your current use case and progress against that use case, you may be able to skip some of these steps, or this playbook entirely.
In the following pages, we will help you strategically align learning outcomes with business objectives which will enable you to choose an LMS that delivers the results you want. Use this playbook as a guide to shape your learning outcomes. Challenge yourself to draft outcomes that serve multi-stakeholders. Be sure that your chosen outcomes are relevant to your key stakeholders. If you do this process correctly, you will be building credibility with each and every success. Future use cases and learning initiatives will be approved faster because you will have the record to prove your effectiveness.
Now, let’s dig in!
Let’s get a warm up in. The following five steps will help you to frame your thinking around how to set outcomes for your learning initiatives. We will help you to establish outcomes for the varying stakeholders involved in your learning programs.
Remember that learning outcomes should be learner-centered, meaning they focus on what the learners will gain from the experience. Clear and well-defined learning outcomes help both managers and learners understand the purpose of the learning and track progress effectively.
Next, we will discuss how to align these outcomes with business goals and objectives.
I can hear it now, ‘This learning initiative didn’t work’.
We’ve all been there, done that, said that so now let’s change that. Before we begin a new initiative, let’s plan for how we want it to work. Sometimes “seeing it” — even if just through your mind’s eye — can help you achieve it.
If you use the proper planning tools, work toward your milestones, and track progress, you’ll at least know where things have gone awry. Add a little passion, and this time, you’ll make it work!
Sian Murphy, Kallidus L&D and Customer Success
Getting the language correct is a big part of the learning outcomes discussion. Learn how to talk about learning outcomes so that you can advance the conversation about learning inside of your business.
Your key stakeholders will all have opinions about what success will look like so having a vocabulary for the discussion will help articulate the overall outcomes. It is also important to pay attention to the nuisances of the labels and definitions as it may be too easy to use words interchangeably and cause confusion down the road.
Organizational Goals: Organizational goals refer to the overarching, high-level aspirations that an organization aims to achieve over a longer period. These are broad and strategic objectives that guide the organization’s overall direction, growth, and purpose. Organizational goals typically encompass aspects such as market positioning, profitability, sustainability, and competitive advantage. They provide a sense of purpose and focus for the entire organization.
Project Objectives: Project objectives are specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, and time-bound (SMART) targets that a project is designed to accomplish within a defined timeframe. These objectives outline the desired outcomes of the project and serve as a roadmap for planning, execution, and evaluation. Project objectives are more detailed than organizational goals and are tailored to the unique scope, resources, and constraints of the project.
Project KPIs (Key Performance Indicators): Project KPIs are quantifiable metrics used to assess the performance and progress of a project in relation to its objectives. These indicators provide concrete data that can be measured and tracked to determine if the project is on track and meeting its intended outcomes. Project KPIs help project managers and stakeholders monitor and manage project performance, identify areas for improvement, and make informed decisions.
Baseline KPIs: Baseline KPIs are the initial set of performance metrics established at the beginning of a project to serve as a reference point for measuring progress and success. They provide a benchmark against which actual project performance is compared. Baseline KPIs are set during project planning and help project teams monitor deviations from the original plan, enabling them to take corrective actions if necessary.
Success Metrics: Success metrics are the criteria used to determine whether a project has achieved its intended outcomes and met its defined objectives. These metrics are often broader and more holistic than project KPIs, encompassing various aspects such as stakeholder satisfaction, business impact, and long-term sustainability. Success measures provide a comprehensive evaluation of a project’s overall effectiveness and its contribution to the organization’s strategic goals.
While these terms are interconnected and contribute to the overall success of an organization and its projects, they differ in terms of scope, specificity, and purpose. Organizational goals set the overarching direction, project objectives outline specific targets, project KPIs provide measurable indicators of progress, baseline KPIs establish initial benchmarks, and success measures assess the comprehensive achievement of project outcomes.
Let’s talk about ‘measures’. Measures are numeric values that you are setting to achieve. This could be course completion percentages by a specific date, number of courses completed on time, or passing scores. You will know what measures your organization consider “success” so that you can rate your progress. Conducting a learning needs assessment will help you define a baseline and achievable measures against your goals and objectives. If you haven’t already, consider reviewing our Needs Assessment playbook.
With this vocabulary in mind, you are ready to see how all the terms play together to provide you with a framework to define and articulate your learning outcomes. Take a look at the mapping tool that follow so you can get an idea of how these things work together.
Don’t dive in just yet! We have more tools to help you work through this and to engage others from your team to work with you.
Determining your learning outcomes is a foundational process that will drive your success. Learn how to do it right the first time.
Here are some prompts to help you work your way through the map. We know! This may feel overwhelming, but don’t stop here. Give yourself some creative freedom to walk through this guide as if you were the “boss”. What do you think should be the goal or objective? This will help to warm up a productive conversation with colleagues. What specific skills or knowledge do you feel are important for your role or department?
Identify Organizational Goals
There are so many things the organization wants to do but remember, you are playing the role of the “boss”. What do you want to prioritize?
You need a boost? We know these decisions are not easy so let’s think about how you can get help. As you are contemplating this exercise, remember that you will have to get key stakeholders on board. Things to think about:
Define Measurable Objectives
Determine Key Performance Indicators (KPIs)
Establish Baseline Metrics
Define Success Metrics
It’s a boost moment! Remember to prioritize your objectives!
Now that you have determined your outcomes, it’s time to identify what you are working toward. Consider reviewing one of our five use case playbooks to start your success journey!
Be sure to establish a monitoring and evaluation plan. It’s always important to know how you will measure progress before you begin implementing the game plan. Consider these tips.