Analysis phase of a large scale training program

Hi all,

I'm working on a proposal for the analysis phase of a training program for a non-profit. This would be my first time doing something at this scale, and I was wondering if anyone could advise on how many people it might take and an average length of time. Its an international non-profit with sites around the world. The already have an LMS and are looking to redesign the LMS and the training.

20 Replies
Andrew Ratner

Hi Andrea!!! I literally just figured this whole thing out on one of my own forays into this, too (also my first time). Here's the link to my convo. Will you be interfacing with any stakeholders overseas? We have to do that too, and it's been immensely helpful. Let me know and I can walk you through the steps I've been doing!

Daniel Brigham

Andrea: To give you an estimate it'd be great to know the following:

  1. How large is the actual training you are offering? (are you talking one elearning module or a large-scale blended learning solution given to every employee...)
  2. How many sites? In how many countries?
  3. Who are the key stakeholders?
  4. How many SMEs would you need to verify content?
  5. Are you really wanting to get rid of the LMS right now? (That would slow things for sure...)

If you are still wanting help with this, respond back. Thanks for your post. --Daniel 

Andrea Flores

Hi Daniel,

Thanks for your reply! To answer your questions. I'm still in very early stages of discussion, but I'd like to start getting a sense of the scope and get comparisons from others. 

1. The training right now consists of in-person teams going to field sites. They use this in combination with their LMS, but I haven't seen how well the two are integrated yet.

2. They have about 20 sites in at least 10 different countries, and the sites vary in size from a few employees to many. They are creating new field sites rapidly, and would like to use the online platform to do the majority of the training for cost and scale reasons. They would also like to create a train the trainer the model for  similar reasons.

3. Founder of the non-profit and an executive team that oversees the grant funding.

4. Not sure yet about number of SMEs Lot of content and media already generated.

5. They definitely don't want to get rid of the LMS, they just want to improve on it and redesign what's on there now. 

Any thoughts or ideas you have would be great!

Dave Goodman

Andrea - to approach this type of a project, I would step back and look at the expressed training need as given to you and then look at the actual needs of the learners followed up by a "vision plan". Just because there exists a large amount of content, videos, an LMS etc. doesn't really tell you that you have what you need and more critically, it may not be what is needed for the optimal solutions. You didn't mention if the learners need to have a community based learning and sharing environment or platform, an place for best practices, solutions and problems, cultural interpretations, multi-lingal and localization concerns, etc. These types of questions and potential answers are part of your vision plan that you could present to your stakeholders before you begin. They probably never thought of the vision, the possibilities and the future of what could be - that might be your best job that you can deliver - helping them to see with new eyes. Your job is not about content and LMSs at this stage, your job is to create potential solutions and help them to think through where and how they must think creatively. Your answers will come from these types of conversations.

Having said all of the above, you must also think about the technical issues of bandwidth, internet speed/access points, trans-border data flow, privacy and information security issues. It is a great project to have. Make sure you read up on cultural diversity and country specific learning diversity - countries have their own means of learning, learner participation in the class and online and how the learners should be assessed. You might be designing and developing specific learning programs but you also need to understand how that learning will be delivered in each of the 10 specific countries. One country will need more time for debating and discussions while another country doing the exact same training will want group activity and shared exercises. Good luck and have fun doing this.

Andrew Ratner

Hey Andrea --

What David says above is a super sound approach. My company is also on a similar project. What we've done is create a Change Management approach, where we use training design, a change "network" of SMEs/super users (this is a software project) across all of our global sites to help engage and train their user base/stakeholders, and a comms plan. 

I think getting a clear understanding of:

  • what the tasks/skills are that the training tackles
  • what the actual tasks/skills are that the employees & supervisors do
  • what the expected outcomes are of those tasks/skills
  • where supervisors believe their employees are
  • where the employees believe they are
  • and from there, determine whether there's a gap between the expected outcomes of their tasks/skill sets and their perceived and/or actual outcomes

I've found it pretty hard to do that myself, so having the change "network" has been super helpful because they're the boots on the ground, so to speak. 

But I guess we're providing a lot of advice without asking what you've done already. What have you been able to do so far?

Andrea Flores

Hi Andrew,

Thanks for asking! I'm still in very early stages of discussion with just the founder to get a sense of the work, so I haven't been on the ground yet nor have I started any kind of in-depth needs assessment or analysis. I'm planning to go and meet their team sometime in July. Everyone's answers have been extremely helpful in thinking about what types of questions to ask and what areas to focus on for this type of work do I can do further research. If you all have recommendations or resources that would be wonderful to have! 

Dave Goodman

Andrea - start with these:

Hofstede, G. 2001. Culture's consequences: Comparing values, behaviors, institutions, and organizations across nations. (2nd ed.) Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage.
8 Hofstede, G., & McCrae, R. R. Personality and culture revisited: Linking traits and dimensions of culture. To be published in Cross-Cultural Research, 2004

Read Hofstede's book on Cultural Diversity - he has some great references and there is a listing of country learning styles.

Drop me a note if you need more.

Andrew Ratner

To hop on David's train, I would also check out any PD you can find on Universal Design for Learning -- it's a great way to think about how to design for all types of learners, including cultural diversity and sensitivity. Also, thanks, David for the tip on the book -- it sounds fab.

This book also looked really cool when I read about it. It's called "Culturally Sensitive Instructional Design."

Andrea Flores

Perfect! I'm in the Boston area right now, so a quick trip to DC would be worth it. Culturally responsive learning design is a big area of interest for me, and all the topics you've mentioned are fantastic for me to start looking into.

Andrea Flores

Senior Learning Designer

Teaching and Learning Lab

617.496.3011 (w)

6 Appian Way, Cambridge MA 02138

Dave Goodman

The World Bank Bookstore is on the corner across the street from headquarter bldg. The store has some internal documents that the Bank uses for their own learning, e.g., styles, learning design requirements, screen and page layouts, etc. in addition to books on culture and diversity that includes learning. The Bank needs to go from paper flyers as part of their learning delivery to advanced online technologies. When the Bank and IFC go in country, they are training people with the most simple environments so paper, cartoon like training offering handouts and poster boards are very possible delivery methods.