Measurement Is Complicated, but not Complex
Motivation and insight for L&D on Tracking Success
By Lisa M.D. Owens January 2022
This is the second of several blogs on Tracking Success for L&D. Crystal Kadakia and Lisa MD Owens are the co-creators of the Learning Cluster Design (LCD) model. This model is made up of five Actions that L&D takes to create learning clusters to meet the needs of modern learners in a digital age. Because Modern changes every day. Lisa and Crystal regularly research and evolve the model and the five actions. This blog series is a result of Lisa’s recent research and work to evolve the “Track Action” (short for Track Transformation of Everyone’s Results). For more, see www.LearningClusterDesign.com.
Recap of blog 1: Did you make a New Year’s resolution this year? People who are serious about their goals write them down and track progress, and are more likely to achieve them. Barriers to tracking progress include fear, lack of motivation or accountability, and complexity.
Measurement seems so complex! But, in truth, it’s just complicated. That’s good news because L&D does complicated all the time. Deciding the right sequence for training is complicated. So is any eLearning software. But we in L&D still do it! Yet, when it comes to measurement, we just tend not to. Let’s change that!
What’s the difference: Complex has parts that interact in unpredictable ways, so that what works this time likely won’t work next time. Power Skills (formerly called soft skills) are complex, because people are highly variable. Complicated just has lots of parts, parts that can be separated and dealt with systematically and logically. With so many moving parts, we can’t keep it all in our head. So it’s best to have written plans, step-by-step processes, and a place to keep track of all the pieces (think: spreadsheet, software, apps). But once you figure out how to do it, you can keep doing it each month, each quarter, each year.
It can make it easier to face each measurement project if we recognize the parts and how they connect. Here is an example that names the parts and shows how they fit together. I prefer to use the OGSM business nomenclature for names. In this example we’ll focus on the ever popular “feel healthier goal”[i] that is shared by 60% of Americas.
As you can see from this example, measurement and tracking is not nuclear physics, but it does require a growth mindset and a discipline to hold ourselves accountable. This is the shift that the Learning Cluster Design model bringing to our industry – we hold ourselves accountable, not just for in-class measures, but for on-the-job behavior. Being accountable includes proving that we are meeting objectives and goals with our strategy and tactics. We measure, track and act; then we report our improvements and our successes.
We want to hear from you! What questions do you have about Track Action? Join the conversation on LinkedIn
[i] A new survey revealed that 60% of Americans want to feel healthier and 51% want to lose weight by exercising and changing their diets, including trying to eat more plant-based. https://www.statista.com/topics/1749/physical-activity/