Before diving headfirst into a new learning project, it's crucial to start by properly evaluating the situation to fully understand the problem or opportunity at hand. This process is called learning discovery, and it's a critical step in ensuring the success of any learning initiative. In this article, we'll walk you through the essential steps of how we conduct a thorough learning discovery.
Identifying the Key Players
We will identify the key players involved in the project. This could include project sponsors, stakeholders, subject matter experts, and others. Understanding who is involved and what their roles are is essential to ensure everyone is on the same page and working towards the same goals.
Understanding the Problem or Opportunity
We will consult with your key stakeholders to identify what problem your organisation or learning team are trying to solve or opportunity you're aiming to seize. This could be anything from improving employee performance to minimising speed to competency for new starters. By mapping this problem against business outcomes, we can clearly articulate how the learning will be of targeted benefit to the organisation.
Exploring the Current Situation Based on Evidence
We will work with your stakeholders and learners to evaluate the current situation in terms of learning. This includes exploring the evidence and environmental factors- how do the staff currently learn and is it working well? For example, a business function that is primarily in call-centres will have very different requirements to technicians who often work on site. This phase may involve conducting a needs analysis or learner interviews and surveys to identify any gaps or issues that need to be addressed.
Mapping Any Risks or Dependencies
This step involves discussing and mapping out any potential risks or dependencies that could impact the success of the learning initiative, such as access to information or subject matter experts, timeline constraints or dependencies on IT systems. We can then work with you to develop contingency plans and mitigate any potential issues.
Mapping the Audience
We will map out the key parameters of your audience. Who will be participating in the learning initiative? How many learners will be participating in the learning, where are they located and are there different types of learners? Identifying your audience will help us to tailor the learning experience to their needs and preferences.
Understanding the Purpose of the Organization and Its Customers
To ensure alignment with organizational goals, it's crucial to understand the purpose of the organization and its customers. What is the mission and vision of the organization? Who are the customers, and what do they want and need? This step will help us develop a learning solution that aligns with the organization's goals and meets the needs of its customers.
Mapping Learning Metrics
We believe it's essential to measure the success of any learning initiative. To do this, we map out the best learning metrics that align with the overarching learning and business goals. We identify these metrics based on maturity, with the highest being business impact or return on investment, the medium looking at competency increase and the lowest being completion or satisfaction. We aim to use the highest practicable maturity metrics, given the scope and analysis tools available.
Mapping Learner and Business Outcomes
In addition to learning metrics, we will work with you to map out demonstrable core and detailed learning outcomes. These outcomes will underpin the learning solution to be developed.
Setting out the Timeline
Once we have a clear understanding of the project scope and requirements, it's time to set out a timeline. This includes core dates and timelines such as the project kick-off date, development and review timelines, and final completion. This clear timeline ensures that all parties are in agreement on what will be delivered and when, and helps to manage and inputs and dependencies on your side too, such as subject matter experts or reviewers.
Setting Out the Work Required
Finally, we work with you to set out the work required to achieve your goals, based on our own EMERGE framework. This may start at the analysis phase and include a longer discovery program, or launch straight into high level learning solution design and learning build. We can also help to run pilots and provide change management to scale the learning across the organisation. Our flexible approach ensures we augment as opposed to replacing your in-house capability and fit in with your requirements and budget.
Ready to start your next learning project off on the right foot?
Book a learning discovery session today! Our team of experts can help you fully understand your goals, identify potential challenges, and develop a comprehensive learning plan to ensure your learning intervention aligns with business outcomes and supports learner needs.