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Modern Building

Keys to Successful Learning Strategy

Learning initiatives can have far-reaching impacts across an organization. Front-loading during the planning phase reduces the likelihood of scope-creep, late-game conflicts, and project ambiguity. Here are some of the best ways I've found to ensure successful execution of strategic learning programs:

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Identify Performance Gaps and Business Needs

First and foremost, there must to be a performance gap that is based on lack of understanding or knowledge. Questions to ask: 

  1. How will this learning program impact the business?

  2. How will success of the training be measured?

  3. What are the learning objectives for this program (i.e., what should learners be able to do after completing the training)?


Stakeholder Buy-In and Formalized Project Plan

Once the business problem and learning objectives have been assessed, it's time to pull together all stakeholder across all relevant functions. This could involve a small meeting or a large kickoff event, depending on the problem. The final result of this step is to get formalized approval from all stakeholders on the purpose of the learning program, the development plan, and the proposed deliverables and timeline. 


Writing down objectives, the business case, relevant stakeholders and their level of involvement in the project will be critical to avoid last-minute critical changes and scope-creep. Taking an agile approach is preferred, as this allows for adjustments in real-time. However, getting the project plan in writing or into a project management platform is critical for keeping the project on track.

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Utilizing Use Cases and Personas

Another way to make sure that a learning program is still relevant and essential for business impacts is to develop learning journeys and thinking through all the different audiences that will digest the training or learning asset. Questions to ask:

  1. What do these audiences care about?

  2. What modality will work best for these personas? 

  3. How and when will the information provided be used in the "real world"?


Measurable Results

Last, but certainly not least, no learning solution is complete without measurable results that show improved performance, increased sales, or some other business-driven outcome. Metrics for success should be defined at the beginning of any learning project, but it's important to evaluate these results on a regular cadence and report them to all relevant stakeholders in the organization.

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