Where to go, what to do, how to practice, what to know

Cathy Moore has an excellent post on action mapping. This is a technique for effectively designing training by figuring out:

  • The business goal (Where do you want to go?)
  • The necessary skill (What do people need to do?)
  • The relevant activities (How can they practice those skills?)
  • And the information people must have (What do they really need to know?)

It’s the specificity that gets you to effective training. I think of this as working backwards from the results you want. I recall a salesperson saying to me, at the start of a session, “I hope this is a good one — it’s costing me $45,000.”

He thought of each working day in terms of his quota, and time away from customers had to be recouped somehow. He wasn’t opposed to training — he just didn’t want it to waste his time. If it was product training, he didn’t want marketing department blather about world-class excellence going forward; he wanted to know what kinds of customers would benefit from which particular features, and how. He wanted to know where the product was weak or unsuitable, so he didn’t try selling the wrong thing.

I’ve talked about the key question that gets you from old-fashioned, content based training to on-the-job performance. Cathy’s showing one way to make that movement clear for a client. Not all of them will listen, but those who do are the ones who understand that the parts of an organization need to work in an organized fashion.

Hype-mobile photo by…me.