Stakeholder Engagement

Hi everyone , 

I was wondering if someone can please suggest an effective way or questions to ask to help my stakeholders identify the difference between what they need and what they want. 
Also I have heard that in training development,  stakeholder sign off process should be rigid . Can someone please shed some light on what it is  and why is it important? 
3 Replies
Nicole Legault

Good evening Amanda!!

Question 1: I think you're looking to do what's called a Training Needs Analysis. Here's a handy PDF document all about Conducting a Needs Assessment. that I found online. I think it contains a lot of good information, including the types of questions you should be asking to identify if there is indeed a real need for training, these are questions like:

  •  "Why is this training needed?" "
  • "What impact will training have on the business?"
  • "How will training improve a specific problem?"
  • "How can this improvement be measured?"

Basically you're looking to identify if there is some sort of performance or knowledge gap. If there's no gap, the training is probably not needed, but more the wanted type. Keep in mind that even if there is indeed a performance or knowledge gap, that still doesn't mean you NEED training because the problem could be caused by a lot of other issues other than a lack of knowledge and skills (lack of motivation, no standard process has been defined, employee performance isn't properly measured, etc., etc.)

Question 2: In my opinion, in training development the stakeholder sign-off process is critical because (usually) training developers and instructional designers are NOT subject matter experts, meaning they don't have in-depth knowledge of the subject matter or content that they are developing training for. After all, IDs and training designers can't be subject matters in everything... that's why IDs and training developers work closely with Subject Matter Experts, to get the information that they need to know. So because the training developers often can't vouch for the accuracy of the content themselves, they need a sign-off process to make sure that everything is correct and accurate. That's my two cents anyways =) Hope this helps!!

Helen Tyson

Hi Amanda

Without knowing where the phrase "rigid sign off process" came from I can only offer an opinion, but two possibilities have popped into my mind:

  1. The organisation/people you heard the phrase from may have a multi-stage process that involves multiple sign offs, and up to a certain point in the process there may be the ability to go back and make minor changes to something, such as content or design, that had previously been 'signed off'.  However, once you reach a certain point in the process, whatever that point may be, the sign off here is "rigid", so nothing prior to this can be changed without going through formal change control. Normally this would be very close to the end of the project so errors picked up in testing can be addressed.
  2. It's just preferred terminology. What you would call "sign off" someone else calls "rigid sign off", and use of this phraseology is just to emphasise the importance of sign off in the design process to SMEs and other stakeholders who may not realise the possible implications of changing their mind later on.

Or I could be wrong, and there might be an official definition of "rigid sign off" that someone else could provide