By Keith Willis
Success in the life sciences industry lies in the ability to sell and launch products.
At some point there will be a request to update the curriculum or to build it from scratch.
This can be difficult because everyone wants this to occur quickly, the business needs are high and there are different perspectives on what needs to be in the curriculum. No one is afraid to voice their opinions to the training team.
Save yourself time by following specific steps. Here are tips to help develop a spectacular curriculum.
Stakeholder management plays a vital role in developing a successful curriculum strategy; this means carefully selecting the people involved in the process. Whether a trainer chooses to develop the curriculum in-house or hire a supplier partner, starting with communicating with stakeholders and aligning on business outcomes is a good first step.
Determine the level of influence each stakeholder has in this process. Armed with this information, develop an effective communication strategy. This way, you can keep them informed.
ADDIE is an instructional design framework based on five key principles:
It takes time to learn those principles, but it’s an effective way to ensure consistency in completing training projects. Over time, trainers have formulated different variations of this model, albeit to achieve the same results.
Following these steps is a roadmap to success.
To develop a successful curriculum strategy, rely on gathering data that offers a rich base for analysis. This phase is one of the most important. It is like an architect having a blueprint. Unfortunately, some trainers take shortcuts when doing the analysis because of the pressure to get a product out the door.
There are different approaches to finding the data needed to conduct the needs analysis. Stakeholder interviews, focus groups and field force surveys are tools that provide direct information from those who will use the curriculum. Data from field coaching reports, feedback from training classes and analysis of learning management system data from training participants validates other data from more subjective sources and provides additional insight.
Getting an external viewpoint from customers is a powerful addition to the needs analysis. This can be accomplished by conducting market research, using company-bought syndicated data, benchmarking or working with organizations that conduct market audits of organizations.
Summarize the results with findings, key themes and recommendations after the data is collected from internal and external sources. Utilize the company competency model to map current development gaps within the training. If the organization does not have a competency model, this is the opportunity to develop one.
Build a case for the recommendations. Use graphics and charts, and tell rich stories. Share the data and the curriculum strategy with each of the stakeholder groups, gain their alignment and make changes as needed.
Measure the training to gauge the impact on the learners. Measurement data is also useful for further updates and changes to the curriculum. One suggested practice is to develop a measurement strategy earlier in the ADDIE process. The Six Disciplines of Breakthrough Learning by Andy Jefferson, Calhoun W. Wick and Roy V.H. Pollock is a good reference for this strategy.
The Kirkpatrick evaluation is the most popular model used to measure training impact. Many organizations collect Level I and Level II data. Level III, which looks at behavior change, and Level IV, which focuses on the results of the training, are useful tools to sell the value of training within the organization.
The ADDIE instructional framework has proven to be one of the most effective ways to develop a curriculum. As a part of this process, stakeholder management and the needs analysis are important components of developing and delivering a curriculum.
Developing a measurement strategy earlier in the ADDIE process will be beneficial to have continued data post implementation. Following these steps will increase the speed of the process and serve you well as a trainer.
Keith Willis is president at Core Management Training. Email him at email@example.com.