L&D Target Audience Analysis & Safe Assumptions

Target Audience Analysis is one of my 4 standard types of ISD/LXD Analyses.

  • Target Audience Analysis
  • Performance & Gap Analysis
  • Enabling Knowledge/Skill Analysis
  • Assessment of Existing Content for ReUse

And when you are producing “performance-based” Instruction (Job Aids and/or Training – or – Performance Support and/or Learning Experiences – or – Resources and/or Courses) in an Enterprise Learning Context versus an Education Learning Content – your efforts are easier – as your Target Audience is much narrower in an Enterprise Learning Context.

Enterprise Learning Context Target Audiences

Target Audiences in an Enterprise Learning Context might include the current “performers” and/or those that will be recruited and selected for the job in the future (new hires/transferees from other jobs).

Safe Assumptions

I use my “Safe Assumptions” to inform my Design-Before-Development efforts. And those efforts include Mode and Media selection efforts. And other factors after that – language choices and alternatives, reading levels, imagery, font sizes, etc., etc., etc.

And etc.

But as an Analysts turned Designer for that next sequence of tasks and outputs – my preference is always to Design with a Design Team looking over my shoulder.

Leveraging Design Teams

As I’ve been telling Design Teams in the 80s and as I wrote in my 1999 book, lean-ISD, the purpose is:

“…not to be design by committee so much as a way to influence the MCD designer by
committee. The Design Team master performers and SMEs didn’t actually do the design; they
suggested content, examples, and resources.”

From “lean-ISD”…

So the selection of the initial Analysis Team members (from which the Design Team is sourced) is critically important – and THEY REPRESENT the Target Audience(s).

They respond to The Designer (me or you) and guide the Design by responding to thoughts and decisions in that workflow – which in my case is MCD – Modular Curriculum Design/Acquisition design process – a very mechanized approach to processing the Analysis data into the design.

Lesson Mapping is at the very “heart” of my Design efforts.

The Safe Assumptions – or the assumptions I might make as a Designer (and later as a Developer) are “guard-railed” by my Design Team members and later by the Development Team(s) and then finally tested by the Pilot Test Team(s).

Bob Mager taught me long ago to Test-Test-Test.

I even extracted Pilot Testing out of the Development Phase and made it its own Phase quite deliberately so that I could emphasize that to my Project Steering Team and in my detailed Project Planning.

I’ve covered this in numerous books over the years. And in many blog posts (search using “target Audience”) since 2007.

See all 28 of my books on my Amazon Authors Page: https://www.amazon.com/-/e/B08JQC4C4V


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