We have crossed the training industry threshold that performance-based learning can only be achieved at the point of need, based on true job competencies. The things that work are learning paths, prescribed workflows, purpose-built content and process-based training.Completing a training program or passing a product certification just doesn’t ensure that somebody can effectively transfer the knowledge from the test to on-the-job performance. Simply providing a mixed bag of blended learning options doesn’t get us there, either. You have to start with the job role or define the outcome first, from either a top-down or bottom-up approach. What is most important is that the time is taken to ensure the outcome is clearly defined based on tasks and competencies for the job.
Step 1: Define the outcome
Most likely, your organization has a unique set of workflows that lead to specific outcomes. No one person is responsible for all deliverables of a project, but each person, each role, has unique competencies that define it and contribute to the team. You can do this by answering a few key questions:
What are the required competencies for the tasks to meet the deliverable?
Who is responsible for that deliverable?
Does that person have all the knowledge and skills they need to complete the deliverable?
Do we, as an organization, have all the required resources to ensure that people tasked to perform the job can be evaluated based on the required knowledge and skills?
Step 2: Align the Job/Role
Giving someone a training guide or a library full of product lessons will not ensure job competencies. The key to building more effective blended learning paths is to create a hierarchical structure of the knowledge and skills in your organization. Define the job role and responsibilities. In many cases, this starts by looking at the job title, description, and defined responsibilities within the organization.
Do these descriptions actually align with the tasks performed on project deliverables?
If not, what changes and adjustments need to be made to meet the requirements?
Typical job/role descriptions address recommended previous experiences, but they don’t address the current requirement or outcome. For example, the job responsibility might state, “working with BIM,” but the actual goal is to generate a facilities energy analysis from a model. This is a much more specific definition of the needed outcome—define the deliverable, give it a name, and then determine what specific, actionable competencies and skills are needed to create the desired outcome.
Step 3: Define the Competencies/Skills
Once you have defined each job/role, then you can then drill into the actual competencies and skills required that must be met in order meet the outcome. This is where the tactical aspects of the workflow are defined. In all cases, the candidate must complete a task that is actionable and measurable. To do that, you must clearly define an objective for each step of the outcome.
Objectives need to be actionable and measurable. You MUST write them down. The outcome is met when a series of tasks or skills are performed. The objectives must meet a defined criteria.
Only after you follow these three steps in identifying the outcome, determining whose job/role is expected to complete the outcome, and then defining the competencies or skills, can you then start evaluating what available content resources you have to support the learning.