The American Society for Training and Development publishes a comprehensive guide to help workplace learning professionals create and deliver quality training. Typical project phases include analysis, design, development, implementation and evaluation. Project management usually involves creating a plan, scheduling meetings, creating status reports and obtaining vendor support, if needed. Filling in an outline for a training and development project plan reminds the project manager of all the components required for successful project completion.
An outline for a training and development project plan features the project goals, structure, student prerequisites, hardware and software required, and project milestones associated with each phase of the process. Each section should identify the risks associated with the work. Project team members and their roles may also be included. Comprehensive planning promotes clear communication, sets expectations and establishes a preliminary schedule.
The first section in the plan usually covers the tasks associated with analysis, such as writing learning objectives and conducting audience or task analysis activities. Additionally, by identifying the critical success factors as well as the risks associated with the project, the project manager establishes a solid foundation for the project work.
The design section in a training and development plan addresses the tasks associated with producing the design document, which contains details dependent on the training delivery format. These tasks include researching topics with subject matter experts, identifying instructional strategies and getting approvals required to move the project forward. Plans for seminars, workshops and classroom training typically involve getting input from instructors and facilitators as well. Web-based course design plans include additional tasks such as graphics design, animation development, video design and planning how the course will look.
The development section covers the implementation tasks, such as drafting content, conducting reviews, revising materials, preparing files for printing, production and distribution. Development work usually includes conducting a pilot session and getting feedback from test audiences. The plan also outlines the types of materials that will be produced, such as instructor guides, presentations and student reference guides.
The implementation section addresses the tasks involved in deploying a training solution. For classroom sessions, work includes scheduling facilities and instructors, inviting and registering students, and sending prerequisite materials. For distance-learning sessions, work includes testing and maintaining Web-based conferencing software.
The plan's evaluation section outlines the tasks associated with monitoring the success of the training solution. This usually involves creating feedback forms, either paper-based or online questionnaires, to get input from students. This part of the plan also lists the activities included for analyzing and acting upon the results.
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- The ASTD Handbook of Training Design and Delivery; George Piskurich, Peter Beckschi and Brandon Hall
Tara Duggan is a Project Management Professional (PMP) specializing in knowledge management and instructional design. For over 25 years she has developed quality training materials for a variety of products and services supporting such companies as Digital Equipment Corporation, Compaq and HP. Her freelance work is published on various websites.