In his book “Evaluating Training Programs”, Donald Kirkpatrick proposed four ways of evaluating training programs:
Many organizations are becoming more serious about evaluating training from all of these four perspectives and are therefore asking training vendors to provide methods for ensuring that training produces positive ROI, in other words, quantifiable results in excess of investment cost.
This challenge of course is a complex one because when the trainee returns to the workplace, they re-enter a tangled web of interconnected forces and dependencies, many of which resist the implementation of new learning on the job.
So a well-designed training program has to take into account the whole context within which the learning is expected to be implemented, and where the results will ultimately be measured.
What this means is that both pre-training analysis and post training follow-up must take into account the whole ecosystem where the knowledge and skills will be used to produce measurable value for the business. Without proper alignment between all the elements in the ecosystem with the content of the training, little can be realistically expected.
This is the reason why training programs these days must be custom-designed, in a consultative way, taking into account all of the forces at play in the workplace.