learning and development consulting and successful learning projects go hand in hand.
Without the skill of consulting up front on learning projects they run the risk of not achieving what was intended.
When investing time, budget and resources it’s important to make sure the scope is clear beforehand.
This article will share with you why learning and development consulting is important, and my top 10 questions to make consulting a success.
Why consult beforehand?
So you can…
- Make sure you’re preparing the right kind of content to meet the learners needs
- Prepare for training evaluation
- Assess the commitment and involvement of key stakeholders prior to any learning taking place
- Decide if the suggested route is actually the right course of action (i.e. does it have to be face to face), or needed at all, some training requests are actually just performance conversations.
The top 10 learning and development consulting questions
Below are my top 10 suggested consulting questions to ask before developing any new learning projects:
1. What do you expect to be different for the team/individual as a result of the learning?
You can even break this question down further. What will the learners know? (knowledge), what will learners be able to do? (Skill) and finally, how will learners carry out the skill? (Behaviour).
2. What change in behaviours are required?
Ask this question to understand what behaviours will be different with the learners. It’s important to ask as just because you share a new process (knowledge/skill) that may not necessarily alter learner’s behaviour. And sustained behaviour change is the key to transferring learning.
3. Why is this change in skills/knowledge/behaviour required?
Again, to assess the relevance of the learning request. If your stakeholder isn’t clear this is an early red flag that the learning request isn’t clearly thought through, or going to have the desired return on investment.
4. What benefit will the change bring to either, the learner, the business or customers?
It’s important to understand what is in it for each group, this helps to understand commitment levels to the project and later sell to the learners the value of the learning and what’s in it for them.
5. What does success look like?
Assess your success measures. Are you measuring success on outputs or outcomes? I.e. 100% attendance (outputs) vs decrease in customer complaints (outcomes).
6. Why now?
To assess whether this is truly the right time.
7. What barriers, if any, do you anticipate?
Barriers are important to consider, as if you’re aware of them you can try to address them either before the learning in the comms or throughout. Barriers to consider are managers, time, resources, systems, competence etc.
8. How do the learners perceive this learning requirement?
Equally as important to know their take on the learning. Are they going to resist this learning, be suspicious of it, is it coming at a turbulent time in the business etc.
9. What training metrics or measures of success will let us know if the learning has been successful?
You need to understand your training measures, as it will help you measure success of the learning project down the line. Use the scoping as an opportunity to understand and obtain these metrics in advance to measure success post-learning.
10. When will the learning take place?
Make sure you’ve got enough time to make it a success. Manage their expectations if they want it sooner than is reasonable.
Armed with the right questions, learning and development consulting can be a simple, valuable process to assess learning needs. So go get started using this questions, you can even print off the infographic and keep it with you.
Want more great L&D content like this? Sign up to my mailing list. As a thank you, I’ll send you my free little ebook of learning and development essentials.