Developing a Training Strategy (using the IIP framework)

Developing a Training Strategy

Many of us, over the years, have been charged with, or in some cases, commissioned to, develop a training strategy (by definition the word “training” encompasses learning, training & development).

There is plenty of advice out there about the “what”, but little advice about the “how”. This is where a practical framework such as IIP can help us in embedding a training strategy into an organisation.

How then?

I’m grateful to CIPD for their extremely useful research, papers and tools on “aligning learning, training and development with strategic priorities” and here is where we discover that their research identifies the alignment of training as an outcome and as such should be the first step in putting together a training strategy. I have identified 5 phases for this:

Phase 1 On-going Alignment

This phase has 3 distinctive, yet linked and continuous actions:

1. on-going dialogue with a range of organisational stakeholders

2. ensuring that investment in training fits with organisational priorities

3. the delivery of cost effective training processes

What is the dialogue that we should be having? Well, the strategic expectations for training are that:

a) we deliver on-going skills development and reduce “time to competence” to provide cost effective labour.

b) we develop the capabilities in people in readiness for change

c) we deliver performance improvement at organisational, team and individual level

d) we enable talent & management development, contributing to succession planning

Phase 2 Alignment – organisational priorities

This phase essentially focuses on four questions for the most senior stakeholders:

Q1 – the high-profile activities or initiatives that senior management regard as critical for the fulfilment of organisational strategic objectives?

Q2 – any change initiatives that are taking place or are planned?

Q3 – does our performance management process reflect these needs?

Q4 – have we determined what good management will look like when managing these priorities?

Phase 3 Alignment – team/functional needs with organisational priorities

This phase essentially focuses on two questions for the line management stakeholders:

Q1 – how do you plan to ensure you have the resources to meet your team’s emerging development needs?

Q2 – does our performance management process reflect your priorities?

Q3 – with your own development in mind, do you know what good looks like

Phase 4 Alignment – individual needs with organisational priorities

This phase is about creating a dialogue opportunity with staff stakeholder groups/teams/areas to identify how effective the current training provision is in terms of how :

a) we deliver on-going skills development and reduce “time to competence” to provide cost effective labour.

b) we develop the capabilities in people in readiness for change

c) we deliver performance improvement at organisational, team and individual level

d) we enable talent & management development, contributing to succession planning

Phase 5 Training plan, budgets & evaluation

This phase consists of writing up your discussions and identifying those actions that need to be taken.

The training plan should be presented as a business or added value case.

Budgets for, and evaluation of, the training should be agreed as part of the on-going dialogue with key stakeholders.

The degree of dialogue held is to be determined by their impact on the training budget.

Evaluation opportunities can be found at the point at which, in the experiences of the stakeholders, benefits and costs can be brought together into a meaningful equation for the business.

To discuss how the IIP framework can assist you in designing people development strategies that can add real value to your organisation, e-mail alex.gallon@profilehrd.com

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