Book Review: The Training Measurement Book
The Training Measurement Book: Best Practices, Proven Methodologies, and Practical Approaches
According to Bersin, the material in his book is based on the results of surveys that he and his associates conducted among more than 600 C-level executives in 2005-2007. One of the most important revelations is that more than 90% identified performance measurement as being either most important or next most important on their list of what to improve. In 2007, they conducted research among more than 700 HR and learning executives indicated that only 4% rated their learning programs were “fully aligned” with talent needs, and, only 15% rated them “well-aligned.” These additional revelations also caught my eye. While acknowledging the important work of others, Bersin asserts that the models offered by Donald Kirkpatrick and Jack Phillips, specifically, “limit an organization’s thinking and make the measurement process difficult to implement.” (Others are far better qualified than I am to comment on this assertion.) Bersin also asserts that organizations need more than what these models offer. In this volume, he introduces and then examines the Business Impact Model® and the Impact Measurement Framework®; then he recommends a seven-step training measurement process to implement both.
For decision-makers in any organization (whatever its size and nature may be), however, the first five steps of the training measurement process are essential. As Bersin explains in Chapter 5, the most valuable step most organizations need is the sign-off process (which is often missing) and the basic Level 1 surveys. As for the other two steps, follow-up evaluation for the learner (#6) and follow-up evaluation for the manager (#7), he believes they are optional. I strongly disagree. Managers who fund training as well as those who receive it should be included among those who are viewed as “customers.” Their evaluations can be of incalculable value if the information obtained from them is pragmatic, actionable, and specific.
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