Without a Focus, upfront, on desired Performance Improvement – regarding Outputs produced and Tasks performed that meet Stakeholder Requirements for one or both – measuring IMPACT after the fact is left to measuring Learning Activities or a Desperate Seach for the Holy Grail of What Changed after the dust settles.
This, for me, goes back to a binder of Praxis workshop materials from 1972 I reviewed back in August of 1979 – my first month out of college and in my first T&D/L&D job, that included this paragraphic…
… Praxis was the consulting firm of Geary A. Rummler, Ph.D., and Tom Gilbert, Ph.D. back in the late 60 and into the late 70s.
In my experience since 1979 – including my time as an ISD consultant since 1982 – MOST L&D processes, practices, and practitioners – DO NOT focus on major accomplishments or outputs (the results of the activity) of the job.
So they cannot measure IMPACT – the deltas between pre and post Performance Competence.
Performance is sometimes quite complex – and can vary situationally – and without a focus on the Outputs that are Inputs downstream in someone’s Process/ WorkStream/ WorkFlows – it remains a mystery without very many concrete clues regarding IMPACT – have a strong effect on someone or something – such as improving the production of Outputs better, faster, and/or cheaper.
In that case, a lot of time and effort can be expended searching haystacks for results of L&D – unnecessarily.
And that’s something itself that should be a target for Performance Improvement, intentionally.