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1 Strategic Planning, Learning Theory, and Training Needs Analysis

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Running head: Assignment 1 Strategic Planning, Learning Theory, and Training Needs Analysis

Assignment 1: Strategic Planning, Learning Theory, and Training Needs Analysis
KorVina Hunter
Professor Robert High
BUS 407
December 9, 2011

The analysis phase defines what needs to be trained. Next, an instructional design is crafted to meet this need. Only after the design is complete are the instructional materials developed. During development, individual and group tryouts of the materials are conducted. Results are iteratively fed back into design and development. Evaluation is a central feature of ISD and is performed in each phase. The phases are:
Phase 1: Analysis –Determine if training is the appropriate solution; if so, define training requirements
Phase 2: Design – Define objectives, design the training program, and select training methods and media.
Phase 3: Development- Develop all training materials in accordance with design. Conduct pilot training classes. Refine course, as necessary.
Phase 4: Implementation – Implementing training, evaluate, and refine.
Phase 5: Evaluation – Performed during development, during implementation, immediately after training, and six months or more after training.

Most training design models contain five steps. One of the most commonly used models is the ADDIE model, which stands for analysis, design, development, implementation and evaluation.

Analysis stands for needs analysis, where the need for the training is studied. Design is the phase where the training program is outlined and planned. Development is where the training is rolled out to the field in whatever form the design phase stipulated. Evaluation concludes the process and measures how effective the training program was at achieving its goals.

Design is the phase of the training model where learning objectives and outcomes are determined. The core of the potential training solution is created and explored. Storyboards and initial prototypes of the training solution are proposed and reviewed with the client. Feedback is received, and initial training solutions begin to take shape. Types of training solutions, classroom, web-based and blended learning programs are discussed and explored. Much like an architect's renderings, the blueprint for your training solution begins to take shape

Development is the phase of the training design model where the training program is created and written. Whether the program is classroom-based or designed to be taken online, materials are created and produced in this phase. The design phase produced the outline or blueprint, but it is in this portion of the training model where everything comes together in production. Supporting materials are produced, trainers are trained, and the target audience is notified of the training dates.

Your training program is delivered to your employees in the implementation phase of the training model. Classes are taught or taken online. Students receive their training and practice how to use their new skills. Materials and training products are distributed to participants, and classes begin. Initial results are measured, and the program begins to take shape in your company. If the preceding phases are conducted properly, implementation runs smoothly and the training is taken and received as it was intended.

Evaluation completes the training model. Measuring the results of your training program begins during the implementation phase. Learning is measured after each class, and results are analyzed. Evaluation of the entire program is conducted after all the training is completed. Measurements and feedback determine whether adjustments to the initial design are needed, and results are reviewed with the client. Students are contacted and instructors, designers, developers and anyone involved with the program meet for a "lessons learned" review. The model then begins again.

There are all sorts of reasons which may inhibit the Human Resource Development team from developing a strategic training approach; the following three reasons are what I would consider the main ones.

The first I would consider would be cost. There is no doubt that many organizations cannot afford to hire an external consultant to help them develop their strategy and implementing this strategy when not specifically trained in predicting future direction of the business can be risky. The second reason follows on from this quite nicely; future predictions may not unfold as envisaged. Even if a company pays top money for a profession in the field of strategic planning, there are always unforeseen events which can affect how the future unfolds. This could, therefore, prove the consultation to be a waste of money and the company may have to alter its strategy anyway.
The third possible reason could be preference of immediate results. Strategic planning is a long term method and some companies prefer to work to smaller time scales (possibly for the previous reason). Smaller companies are more likely to avoid strategic planning approach to training due to this reason.

The first thought that comes to mind is the "situation analysis". This is part of any strategic planning exercise. You need to assess the current situation and examine strengths, weaknesses and opportunities. You need to compare yourself to competitors and industry accepted "best practices".
If the current HR management is invested in the current training systems, there could be some natural resistance to any critical assessments and suggestions for change.
You overcome this by ensuring that the current HR team is open and committed to zero-based thinking going in. That's a discussion that needs to occur BEFORE the process is begun.

Behaviourism only concerns itself with the behaviour that can be observed. It assumes that we learn by associating certain events with certain consequences, and will behave in the way with the most desirable consequences. It also assumes that when events happen together, they become associated and either event will have the same response. It does not note any difference between animal behaviour and human behaviour. Cognitive psychology assumes that humans have the capacity to process and organise information in their mind. It is concerned less with visible behaviour and more with the thought processes behind it. Cognitive psychology tries to understand concepts such as memory and decision making. The only real similarities between the two is that they are both attempts to explain human behaviour, and they are both old theories which have been replaced by other, more recent approaches (such as congitive behaviourism- which takes the best of both theories- and social psychology- which looks at how our interactions with others shape our behaviour).

The purpose of a training needs assessment is to identify performance requirements and the knowledge, skills, and abilities needed by an agency's workforce to achieve the requirements. An effective training needs assessment will help direct resources to areas of greatest demand. The assessment should address resources needed to fulfill organizational mission, improve productivity, and provide quality products and services. A needs assessment is the process of identifying the "gap" between performance required and current performance. When a difference exists, it explores the causes and reasons for the gap and methods for closing or eliminating the gap. A complete needs assessment also considers the consequences for ignoring the gaps. The purpose of a training needs assessment is to identify performance requirements or needs within an organization in order to help direct resources to the areas of greatest need, those that closely relate to fulfilling the organizational goals and objectives, improving productivity and providing quality products and services. The needs assessment is the first step in the establishment of a training and development Program. It is used as the foundation for determining instructional objectives, the selection and design of instructional programs, the implementation of the programs and the evaluation of the training provided. These processes form a continuous cycle which always begins with a needs assessment. Quite simply you need to carry out a tna (training needs analysis) because training and development is an investment. It is important to treat it as seriously as investment made, say, in machinery, new technology, or facilities. An effective tna (training needs analysis) will contribute to this investment thinking by identifying training issues and priorities in a systematic way, rather than on an ad hoc basis.

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