For every person involved in a training intervention there are opinions about its success. Unfortunately by the time a development team begins considering whether the training was a success it is too late to do anything about it.  For that reason Donald Kirkpatrick, considered to be the foremost authority on training evaluation, has proposed an alternative approach that reverses the thinking on training development.

In his revised approach, he advises starting the discussion on the business expectations (results).  This is a fundamental change in thinking from the way most organizations view training.  In fact, this approach does not assume training will achieve those expectations.  Training may play a role but it may require something else as well.  The key to this approach is to include a member of the training team early in discussions about achieving business expectations.  Note that the diagram above shows training joining the discussion after the business need is identified.

How is this a departure from a traditional approach?  The typical ISD approach would be to develop a list of goals and objectives for training.  Notice, however, that this is the third step in the model.  Kirkpatrick recognizes that the typical ISD approach may result in instructionally sound training but completely miss the mark when it comes to organizational expectations.

By focusing on expectations and the behavior that will achieve those expectations the eventual intervention is more focused and has a much better chance at success.

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