Ask a learning leader from any company that values the impact of their learning programs how they measure and improve their programs and you just might get a different answer every time.
Especially now, in the midst of massive change caused by a pandemic and The Great Resignation, world-class learning organizations have been updating and adapting their learning programs rapidly, adopting new platforms and embracing new technologies to meet rapidly evolving needs.
There is no one-sizes-fits-all approach to measurement that perfectly aligns to every learning organization, as expectations, capabilities and resources necessitate variation.
However, there are certain components to a measurement solution that can and should be implemented across all approaches to ensure the foundation is rooted in continuous improvement and demonstrating impact.
Here are the five components of a world-class learning measurement solution:
1. Suite of Validated Assessments
Assessments should be aligned to a process map (example below) and desired outcomes. It's critical to ensure that you have predictive questions targeting application and impact. For example, if you have a program targeting engagement as an outcome, you may include the question "As a direct result of this learning, I am more motivated and committed to this organization." This question would provide you with the necessary data to determine if the solution is 'on track' in terms of impact.
2. Learning Evaluation Platform
A Learning Evaluation Platform enables the automated distribution of the Suite of Validated Assessments, modified by desired outcomes. In the example above, we only want the engagement question to appear for courses where that has been deemed a desired outcome. This would ensure that the right questions are being asked for the various programs and aligned to the right outcomes.
3. Reporting Engine
Based on data from the validated assessments distributed and collected via a Learning Evaluation Platform, a Reporting Engine calculates High Impact, Low Impact and Net Impact Scores by program, region, business unit, modality, demographics and other important analytic tags. Ensure that the platform also has adequate reporting to accommodate the business needs.
4. Data Management Process
A data management process allows you to collect and store data from various platforms for the purposes of analytics. Depending on where you are at in the process, this data should include Efficiency, Effectiveness, and Performance data. Essentially, this process should allow you to easily access and analyze your data.
5. Stakeholder Reporting Map
A stakeholder reporting map ensures that you get the right data to the right people at the right time. This map is similar to the process map above. The purpose is to ensure that there is alignment between the KPIs, stakeholders, and ultimately the dashboards or reports that are presented to this audience.
A world-class learning measurement solution should include a suite of validated, proven assessments; a learning analytics platform to automate and streamline learning evaluation; a reporting engine to identify areas of high, low and net impact; a clearly defined data management process; and a stakeholder reporting map to assure the right people get the right data at the right time.
Whether you are in the process of re-evaluating your current measurement solution or researching the market, these components should be considered the starting point. You don't need to tackle all five simultaneously. Instead, you should address each individually to identify improvement opportunities and then take action so that you can see value from your results.