How to Evaluate a Training Program

24 May 2011 Sandeep Mehta

Training is a great way to improve the performance of R&D teams.  However, the value delivered by training remains quite hard to measure.  We have discussed some approaches to rigorously explore the value delivered by training programs.  The Great Leadership blog has a useful checklist on how to evaluate the success of training programs using web-based surveys (How to Evaluate a Training Program):

Since the dawn of time, when early trainers were training their clan members how to improve their hunting and gathering skills, training organizations have struggled with how to measure the impact of their training programs.

Here are my takeaways:

  1. Use the same web-based survey platform to evaluate all training courses
  2. Ask questions about: 
    1. Course logistics (instructor, food, venue, etc); 
    2. Course material and learning
    3. Course value and business results: Ask participants about the impact of training on concrete business results such as time-to-market, margins, cycle time, costs, etc
  3. Ensure questions are consistent across all courses so the results can be aggregated
  4. Administer survey immediately after the class is complete (but not in-class because people tend to feel pressure from trainers being present.  Also, survey should be administered by someone other than the trainer to remove biases)
  5. Administer survey section 4 90 days after the training to measure actual value delivered
  6. Ask managers to validate section 4 results (through the same survey).

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