How to Link Training to Business Objectives

I recently read an excellent post by Leslie Allan on his Business Performance blog that outlined a practical approach to linking training to business results. You can open the full post in a new window by clicking here.

4 steps to creating an impact map

In his post Leslie Allan explains his technique of creating an impact map. He suggests a group of relevant stakeholders gather together and collectively complete the following steps:

Step 1 – Define what the business objectives are that the proposed training programme is meant to support.

Step 2 – Define the behaviours and skills required to achieve those objectives.

Step 3 – Define any intermediate objectives that will need to be achieved before the business objectives.

Step 4 – Draw the connecting arrows to illustrate which behaviours and skills support which intermediate and ultimate business objectives.

Some practical implementation tips…

When I have completed similar types of exercises in the past I have used post-it notes and a whiteboard. Post-it notes are really effective because you can concentrate on getting all the ideas down on paper first and then afterwards start to move them into position as you identify the linkages.

You can keep amending the impact map by moving the post-it notes around without worrying about making messy pen amendments; simply rub out the connecting arrows on the whiteboard and replace as required.

My impact map picture summary…

Impact map using post-it notes

Key takeaways…

In my opinion there are 3 key takeaways from Leslie Allan’s post that you should consider when linking training to business results:

1.  You should identify the linkages between training and business results at the design stage.

2.  You should ensure that all the right people contribute towards identifying those links; this should include representatives external to the training environment.

3.  You should allow robust discussion at the design stage but ensure you conclude with a group consensus.

If you haven’t already done so check out the Business Perform blog at where there are lots of interesting articles to read from Leslie Allan and others.

Has anyone tried this technique before?  What do you think of this approach?  It would be a great to hear your comments below.

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