Most of the training programs we develop for our clients are individual, stand-alone courses; but every once in awhile we’re called on to help a client introduce a new product or service on a large scale to multiple audiences. The client often comes to us knowing that they need numerous training courses, but without a clear plan or path for achieving their objectives.
When that happens, the approach we recommend—and with which we’ve had excellent success—is to begin with a small consulting project we call a “road mapping project.” We recently completed just such a project and the resulting 20-page roadmap report is providing direction for course development work which will continue over a period of at least 6 months, perhaps longer.
During this roadmap project, we spent time interviewing the project principals in order to understand the breadth of their training needs and their training objectives. We helped them identify the various audiences to be trained and the different needs of each audience group. As the study revealed, some learners need only a high-level understanding of the new product. Other learners needed to be able to sell the product to prospective clients and they needed to understand its features and benefits. Still others needed to learn how to use a software application that was a critical part of supporting the new product.
We asked a lot of questions and we did a lot of listening in our interview sessions. We also reviewed as much product or service material and literature as was available. The outcome of these extended conversations was a project roadmap—a summary of what we discovered and a set of recommendations for meeting the training needs and objectives of the client organization.
The roadmap is now guiding the development of a full curriculum of courses, but it does so as a living document. As we develop the first courses in the program, we will be updating the roadmap based on new learnings and feedback from the first trainees. The end result will be a very focused and effective training program that meets client needs and—we hope—exceeds expectations.