4 Phases of a Successful Training Program

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When it comes to training, facilitation gets a lot of attention.

But most trainers know that facilitation is really just the tip of the iceberg.

It takes a whole lot of work before and after to make sure that the training or program is a success.

To help you organize your work for greater impact, here are the 4 phases of a successful training program and a variety of methods you and your team can use for each.

Needs Assessment

This gathers qualitative and quantitative data to identify the assets and gaps of the group to be trained and, in some cases, those with whom the trainers will work.

Ways to accomplish this include:

• Interviews
• Focus groups
• Surveys
• Participant observation

Why it’s important: For learning to convert into action, the content of the training program must be relevant to the learners’ lived experience.

Design

Based on an analysis of the data gathered, the coordinating group must identify specific objectives and create a training program and accompanying materials to meet the objectives.

Ways to accomplish this include:

• A committee including various stakeholders
• Working with a subject matter expert
• Working with internal leadership (think beyond title)

Why it’s important: A participatory design process helps draw from group knowledge and helps prepare them to address the next challenge on their own.

Implementation

This is where the trainer and the team carry out the plan established in the design phase.

Ways to accomplish this include:

• Facilitation with the whole group
• Facilitation with a specific subgroup or team
• Facilitation 1:1, i.e. coaching or supervision

Why it’s important: Having a process, rather than a one-off event, helps learners apply what they’ve learned and navigate challenges as they arise.

Evaluation

This is a multi-phase process where reaction, learning, behavior, and results are measured and summarized.

Ways to accomplish this include:

• Before and after surveys
• Interviews
• Data analysis

Why it’s important: Social change rarely goes exactly as planned. Ongoing learning is critical to determine what your next step is to build towards your collective vision.

Even if you are doing one-off training, these 4 phases are critical to having an impactful program, which goes beyond facilitating what happens in the training itself.

Try it for your next program.

Have questions? Contact us!

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Riahl O’Malley and Indira Garmendia, co-founders