Analysis – Answering the Hard Questions

AnalysisHow do you know what your training needs to accomplish?  How do you know what needs to be done in order for your organization’s goals to be met?  Most trainers are familiar with this process… management will set goals or strategies for the organization, and then lean on training and development to make sure employees are ready for those goals to be measured.  Trainers need to be able to evaluate the goals of any class or objective and decide what needs to be done and how that can be accomplished through education.  As part of the ADDIE instructional design model, the first step is called “Analysis”.

The first stage of any training should be the analysis portion.  Using the ADDIE model, the Analysis phase is defined as “a systematic exploration of the way things are and the way things should be.  The difference is the performance gap.” (Source: ADDIE Methodology) As part of this phase of instructional design, one would need to answer a number of questions.  “What outcome do I want?” “Who is my audience?” “What does my learner already know?” “What content do I need to present?” “What instructional strategies will I use?” UTHealth has a good list of resources to help trainers break down each of the tasks during any analysis phase.

These are some (but not all) of the questions that a trainer should be asking of himself or their project sponsor / manager during the Analysis portion.  Essentially, the biggest question that should be answered is: “Is this training relevant?”  Most of the time, the answers to these questions would need to come from either investigation into the objectives of the training, management of the program or team in question, or from the sponsor of the training class. But above all, the Analysis phase of the ADDIE model is most important because this is where you decide what outcome or behavior you want at the end of your lesson.

Contrary to what you might think, the Analysis phase simply answers questions based on what is needed from the training session.  The actual development of materials and delivery come in the later phases.  Analysis can and should be done throughout the training cycle, but it is of highest importance at the beginning when the objectives must be identified, and to save everyone a good deal of time and effort in the long run.

What kinds of experiences have you had looking for answers for a training?  Have you ever had to be on the receiving end of those questions?  Let’s chat about it here!

Photo credit: Drumbeat Marketing


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