Great post Joe.
- What is the problem and is it worth pursuing? In many cases it may be more expensive or anti productive to address the problem then it would be to leave well enough alone. You always want to be sure that you are going to get a justifiable return on your investment.
- Is the performance problem a result of a skill deficiency, consequences, or the process? You would think this is such an obvious question to ask your self but all too often we assume that some kind of a course is the answer to the problem. I have found that in many situations that simplifying the process or providing consequences can have a much larger impact than any kind of instructional product. Is the workflow efficient? Is desired performance rewarding? Do they know when they are doing a good job? Are there any obstacles? Many of us are paid to turn out courses but you will prove greater value to the business by recommending the solution with the highest return on investment.
- If your answer to the above question is skill deficiency, then how often do they need to perform the task? Is it just something that they need to do every once in a while? If so, maybe a job aid would be more effective then a course. Sometimes all that is needed is a simple set of instructions that are accessible just in time. A simple job aid can sometimes produce better results at a fraction of the cost.
- Which solution yields the most value? By the time you answer the questions above you will have a good idea of what needs to be done to close the skill gap. At this point you need to decide which solution or blend of solutions is going to yield the most value to the organization. Not the solution with the most bells and whistles but the solution that is going to provide the most bang for the buck