As we assess the changes in the learning and development landscape, we must also consider how we are managing the delivery of our learning. What is being learned, how people are learning, and where learning takes place have evolved dramatically, and how we manage the delivery of training has likewise changed.
During this evolution, your training delivery management may have become misaligned with what your business actually needs. Ensuring alignment in this area can facilitate better engagement, more growth, and increased customer satisfaction. Read on to learn how to capitalize on and enhance your training delivery management to bring the greatest results to your organization.
5 Tips for Better Training Delivery Management
1. Plan for Demand and Leverage Downtime
Proper demand planning is crucial when managing a training delivery function. It’s important to have an idea of your organization’s anticipated delivery needs—these details will help guide you and allow you to make decisions about how best to utilize your team and identify any resourcing gaps. Demand planning involves consistently looking into the future and anticipating needs.
Bringing attention to periodic or seasonal trends that indicate peaks and valleys in training need can help you manage resources effectively. Anticipating any future need also helps this process. If you know there will be an increased demand for a virtual learning initiative in a few months, you can use that information to ensure you will have enough virtual producer support when the need comes. Utilizing a common system for training intake and requests can help your demand planning run more smoothly.
When you adequately plan for demand, you have the opportunity to optimize for efficiency by leveraging your downtime. Leveraging your downtime involves measuring your utilization—the process of tracking how many days and hours facilitators and other delivery resources spent actually delivering learning.
It is wholly unrealistic to expect delivery resources to have 100% utilization. Needs will always fluctuate—an onboarding course that spans several months will involve much higher time utilization than running a few virtual instructor-led training (VILT) leadership sessions, for instance—but it is important that you also set a utilization target. The industry standard for utilization is around 65% of all available hours. As a delivery resource manager, you want to carefully consider where you want to dedicate the other 35% of the time, be it to plan for upcoming sessions, update materials, refresh skills, practice self-development, or familiarize yourself with operational procedures.
2. Align with Your Customers and Stakeholders
A foundational step in successful delivery management is gaining a deeper understanding of your customer and stakeholder needs. Whether you are working with program stakeholders, executive champions of the initiative, content designers or developers, or even a workforce management team, it’s imperative to align everyone to the same vision and strategy.
A strategy our delivery management team utilizes when aligning with our partners is to ask various questions such as:
- What business problem are you trying to solve?
- What opportunities are you trying to grasp?
- What will be the duration of this initiative and program?
- What locations and languages do you need delivery support in?
- What expertise and skill sets may be required?
These details can help you build a resource profile to aid in selecting the right team members for the delivery. Once you have drafted a resource profile, remember to share the profile, and then calibrate it with your customers and stakeholders.
3. Have Processes and Procedures for Various Modalities
In recent years, many organizations have examined their learning programs and have begun utilizing different modalities to support learning, such as VILT. While there are still programs being delivered in person, many have shifted to virtual and digital deliveries.
To optimize and ensure a successful delivery management function, examine your processes and procedures and question the reason for choosing specific modalities. While much of the training we see today can be done virtually, a learning need may involve more than self-led eLearning and job aids, requiring a team of producers, facilitators, instructors, and systems that must be synchronized.
Examining how you set up all the distinct types of learning opportunities and how you determine what type of training is needed can help you establish procedures and steps to make things run smoothly. This will enable your project and program managers or coordinators to successfully execute critical steps and tasks for delivery at the time of need. Our experienced project and program managers review the processes and procedures aligned with training and training delivery periodically, for example. Staying up to date and incorporating best practices and your lessons learned can be invaluable.
4. Commit to Ongoing Upskilling and Resource Development Efforts
Learning modalities and strategies are constantly evolving and changing, and keeping current with platforms and tools is critical for delivery management. Because of this, you must develop a plan for ongoing upskilling and development of delivery resources. One way to do this is to take advantage of the various resources through ATD or even a partner like GP Strategies with its many blogs, articles, and webinars on industry changes and hot topics.
With this information on new industry trends, strategies, and modalities, you can build a strategy around how your team will stay up to date and continue its growth. If you have tracked your utilization, this is an ideal way to leverage downtime between training delivery projects. A side bonus of committing time to resource development is that it can dramatically increase engagement and the retention of your top talent.
5. Invest Time in Community and Engagement
A final, key way to improve your training delivery is to provide an opportunity for your training facilitators to communicate and share ideas in this era of decreased connection. Providing a space for your teams to share ideas on hot topics, themes, customer project wins, the launching of new programs, learner reactions, and design quality not only enhances your team’s morale but also promotes knowledge sharing and celebration.
Outside of online communities, you can also consider hosting regular Q&A events on hot topics or trends or creating ongoing touchpoints for quarterly reviews or industry update talks that invite discussion. Find the ways that make sense to build a community for your team and provide easy and constant access to it.
Build and Maintain a Successful Training Delivery Team
There are countless ways to ensure your training delivery management is operating at full efficiency. For more information on how to create or manage a successful delivery team, download GP Strategies’ eBook, First Class Delivery | Building and Maintaining Successful Global Training Delivery Teams, or learn more about our managed learning services.