L&D: Tuesday L&D Processes Audit 01: T&D Governance Process

T&D Process 12.1: T&D Governance Process

Note: In my 2001 book I continued my decades old name for the profession as T&D – Training & Development.

Convert for your use as necessary. I will use both T&D and L&D in this weekly series for 2018.


Not all loose processes need to be tightened up.

You should only do that Investment if the Returns warrant.


Learning By Design vs Learning By Chance

When the Cost of Non-Conformance of poor Process/people Performance warrants the Investment in T&D/ Learning/Knowledge Management Content – then make those investments.

And – just because an L&D profession can determine a valid Learning Need and gap in Content – does not in and of itself warrant meeting that need – in any manner.

It’s a Business Decision. 


The L-C-S Framework View

I use both views…


Overview of the Big Picture


T&D Process 12.1: T&D Governance Process

Process Purpose

The T&D Governance Process organizes the executives of the enterprise for the purpose of directing both the overall T&D system and the specific efforts to expend the limited resources allocated to T&D, toward only the high-priority/high-payback needs.



Process Description

This process organizes the enterprise’s executives into a board of governors for the T&D system and charges them with stewardship for the overall T&D. They will act on behalf of the enterprise leadership, all other stakeholders, and especially the shareholders—the owners.

The board of governors, with advice, will rule T&D. Business decisions will rule.

No more undo attention will be paid to the “low-hanging fruit” with its mass appeal. If these executives target T&D for return on investment or economic value add, as measured by human performance and business process performance, “time management” probably won’t be given the time of day.

If the T&D effort and investment aren’t projected to provide a significant financial return now or later, they simply are not attended to. The body count of personnel to be affected by the T&D isn’t the driver for prioritization and expenditures.

Just because T&D professionals—who were recruited and selected for their skill in systematically uncovering T&D needs—uncover T&D needs, does not mean that the enterprise should meet those needs. Only those needs with potential returns above the corporate “hurdle rate” for return on investment, or that make other business sense, should be addressed.

The process performance-biased/oriented organization does not strive for T&D that will maximize the “butts in seats” measure (the key measure for the lowest of the “low-hanging fruit”). Nor does it automatically address the current, popular, faddish spin on “age-old wisdom” packaged in up-to-date, sexy, newfangled technology, just because it’s currently vogue. That’s just “butts on sites.” If it won’t result in better process performance, it isn’t done.

The only way to ensure that the T&D system is addressing the critical and highly important T&D is to systematically engage the leaders of the enterprise and to double-check with them regarding the findings of our systematic analyses. They then will cherry-pick what to address and will also be involved in the discussion of the alternative approaches with which to affect the high-payback situations. After all, they live with the results.

Depending on the overall complexity of the enterprise, the Governance System may be a hierarchy of committees/councils of the key leaders of the enterprise, or it could be one single group. It depends on the similarity or differences in the “business units” and their people’s T&D needs. Most companies can do with one single board of governors.

In addition to their day jobs, the “governors” are charged with the collateral duty of overseeing the entire T&D system. They may meet in an established forum, where T&D topics are added to their existing agenda, or their responsibilities can be carried out through a new committee/council structure established exclusively to manage the T&D system and its limited resources.

The top committee(s)/council(s) would typically meet twice a year.

The T&D board of governors’ objective is to enable the human assets of the enterprise to better perform in all priority, critical business processes. It is consistent with the goals and objectives of the enterprise’s board of directors, which are typically to maximize shareholder return over the long run.

They allocate the enterprise’s resources—headcount, facilities, equipment, and dollars—as means to an end. The end target is high performance in targeted business operations or in all operations. It’s a business decision.

This team of executives establishes subprocesses to

  • Communicate the current challenges and opportunities of the business.
  • Communicate the general business plan.
  • Communicate the T&D goals in measurable terms linked to the business plan.
  • Establish and oversee the Advisory Process.
  • Provide resources and oversee T&D programs and projects to build the required infrastructure.
  • Provide resources and oversee T&D programs and projects to build and maintain the high-payback T&D products and services.
  • Collect measurement data and direct improvement efforts at targeted areas.
  • Champion the targeted development of relevant, economic value adding, enterprise competence.

The T&D Governance Process works closely with the T&D Advisory Process.

Where the T&D Advisory Process provides advice to the enterprise leadership board of governors from their parochial needs and perspectives, the T&D Governance Process then makes the business decisions, which might be simply to agree and then fund the requests from the T&D Advisory Process. More on the T&D Advisory Process is provided later in this chapter.

The board of governors is more than just the final decision body regarding the allocation of most-likely limited enterprise resources. They are the stewards who target the results, redirect efforts as needed, and hold the entire system accountable, just as they are ultimately accountable to the enterprise shareholders.

Ladies and gentlemen of the board of governors, please place your strategic bets.

The T&D Governance Process interfaces with many of the other T&D system processes in order to provide direction and obtain inputs and feedback.

For More About This Process In the T&D Systems View

See my 2001 book: T&D Systems View.


Click on image to link to the download page.

T&D Systems View is also available as a $15 Paperback book – and $7.50 as a Kindle – for more information and/or to order – please go – here.

This 2018 Weekly Series Continues Next Tuesday

For Past Series Posts search this site using: “Tuesday L&D Processes Audit”

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