From the Business Need to the Learning / Training Goal

About DSA

Darryl L. Sink and Associates, Inc. (DSA) helps organizations design and develop learning and performance solutions that get results. DSA works cooperatively with organizations to:

  • accomplish internal custom projects
  • train and educate their internal staff in Instructional Systems Development.

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When organizations decide they need training solutions, where do they start? The strongest starting point is understanding the business and individual needs that underlie the training initiative. This requires defining the business drivers for training program development and the organizational results needed or desired.

OK, that sounds good, so how do we get from the needs and desired results to the training program?

Answer: We write training goals based directly on the business needs. We define training or course goals as:

Course or Training Goal

A broad statement that describes the intended direction towards which you want the target audience to move. It specifies how the training will satisfy the identified business/organizational need. Take a look at the formula we use to write one.


Name the target audience (e.g. Front Line Managers, Repair Technicians, Order Processors).

Towards what?

Describe the intended direction in which the learners will move.

With what results?

State what results will be met tied back to the business/organizational needs.

Here is a real example of a business need statement and its complimentary training goal.

Business Need: Order Fulfillment Example

Customer Sales Division and Telemarketing Division at Lone Star Enterprises decided to consolidate 11 order processing (OP) centers into 3 sites. Because management expected a limited number of experienced OP coordinators to transfer, the historical training strategy (on-the-job) was not feasible, so training became a critical success factor.

Course Goal

The goal for the Order Fulfillment (OF) Curriculum Project will prepare new OP staff so that they can process 80% of their orders independently and all of their orders accurately. A key requirement of the project was that we start training in San Antonio within 6 months. The primary audience was all employees new to OP. A secondary audience was the experienced OP staff.

The goal is then a starting point to begin your Content/Task Analysis. By closely connecting training goals to business/organizational needs and desired results you should realize benefits both from an instructional design point of view as well as the point of view aligning your training efforts to your business or organization needs.

See you next time,