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Vol. 4, No. 3      February 21, 2008    

Learn  More About Business Needs—at ISPI
Master’s Series Presentation in New York, NY
Dr. Darryl Sink is a featured Master’s Series Speakers, invited to present by the 2008-09 President, Dr. Jeanne Farrington,  at the International Society for Performance Improvement conference on Sunday, April 6. Connecting the Dots: Learning and Performance Results to Achieve Your Organization's Goals  Check it out and register at www.ispi.org.

DSA’s The 2008 Learning and Performance Strategies Conference, June 17-18-19, Monterey, CA
Bringing  new life to learning experiences you create and manage

Are you in a creative rut? Are you aware of all the many tools available to you in learning and performance? Are you challenged with less is more (less time-more work)?
Join us for this truly unique event emphasizing the creativity in learning and performance, including cognitive apprenticeship, problem-based learning, goal-based scenarios, and real world authentic learning activities, creative learning approaches using Web 2.0 approaches,
The conference will be packed full of practical ways to stimulate your creativity and offer you new design skills to take back home.

Participants remain up-close and personal with the stars of the learning and performance world: never to be lost in a crowd of hundreds.

Register now online...

New this year –Instructional Design Fundamentals
Pre conference one-day workshop: Instructional Design Fundamentals—Monday June 16

Prepare yourself for the creative topics presented at the conference by learning or refreshing yourself on the fundamentals of instructional design—identifying the business need, writing terminal objectives and enabling objectives, applying adult learning principles, an easy technique for writing instructional materials from scratch.

Register now online...


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Today's Tip
Business Needs: Your Guiding Light For Creating Results Oriented Learning Experiences

Dr. Darryl SinkWhat perspective do you take when designing a learning/training program?
 
We have found that starting with answering the question of why the business or organization cares to have the program can serve as your guiding light through the entire instructional design process is crucial.

We call the answer to that question the Business Need Statement. “The business need describes why organizations have employees participate in a course or training program” The Business Need Statement summarizes the business problem or opportunity that the training will address (at least in part). The business need statement should be described from the point of view of the company or manager who is “paying” for the learner to attend training (internally or externally). This should be distinguished from why individual employees go to the program”.

The individual employee’s needs and desires are important, but too often by focusing on individual needs we miss the point of the training for the host organization. An individual may, for example, decide to attend a course/program to further advance their career in general. They may be going for a certain type of certification. They may have simply found the topics for the program interesting and decided to sign up.
By focusing instead on the business drivers and needs for the program we can create learning experiences that are tied directly to attaining business results.

This distinction between business needs and individual needs was highlighted for me recently. DSA has been designing and redesigning management courses (31 titles now) for a very large training company. The training company provides hundreds of public and in-company deliveries of their courses each year worldwide. We noticed that the course authors were very focused on satisfying the needs of each individual that attended their courses and designed their courses accordingly.

As instructional designers, the needs and desires of the individuals are important to try to address. But those needs are not very helpful when deciding:

  • what content is important to include
  • to what degree the learners should master the content
  • which type of learning experiences and instructional strategies will work best.

A better focus, rather than focusing on individual needs, is to focus on why the company/organization needs the learning program.

Once the business need is established, we believe you will be better able to select content and instructional strategies that will meet the sponsor’s business needs and you will be seen as a real business partner.

Want some examples of a business need statement? Send me an email at darryl@dsink.com, to receive a variety of examples.

Until next time,

Darryl

Article 2008 Darryl L. Sink & Associates, Inc.

Learning and Performance Tips

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, a DSA newsletter for Instructional Designers and Performance Consultants. Each issue will include at least one proven tip to help you get the most out of your development and consulting efforts.

Did you miss out on a past issue? For access to all tips newsletters, send your top "Tip" to jane@dsink.com.

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Copyright, Darryl L. Sink & Associates, Inc.
Monterey, California

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