Set Yearly Goals

Set Yearly Goals

When you have your budget broken down into details and your savings calculated, you can set overall and yearly goals for your project, including what you intend to do and what impact your efforts will have on the company. These are the high-level details you will share with executives when you present your business case. Stick to big-picture numbers to give them a sense of the vast impact your project will have on the company. For example, at Rockwell Collins our overall goal was to provide 400 percent more learning with 24/7 global accessibility for 40 percent less cost to the company within three years . Then we broke that down into yearly goals.

Our goals for Year One were to:

  • Establish an online learning infrastructure

  • Establish the learning and development technology center

  • Deliver 30 percent of the curriculum using alternative methods

  • Establish curriculum-authoring tools and development stations

  • Establish learning councils

  • Establish resource rooms

  • Implement virtual classrooms

  • Standardize curriculum design

  • Establish internal learning and development processes

  • Implement the learning-consultant concept

Our goals for Years Two and Three were to:

  • Deliver 50 percent of curriculum using alternative methods by end of Year Two and 70 percent by the end of Year Three

  • Offer 24/7 global accessibility to training opportunities

  • Meet learning-environment cost, quality, and schedule goals

  • Increase curriculum opportunities by 400 percent as compared with the previous year's training opportunities

Implement Marketing and Communication

The last step before you build the business-case document is to create a catchy or sexy name for your project. Naming your project is critical. A name gives it life and creates a picture in the minds of end users about what it is and what you are trying to do with it. The name should represent the transformation you are trying to effect at your company. Once your project is named, you can build images and campaigns around that theme. Create a marketing and communication plan outlining how you intend to promote the new system, involve learners, and keep the company abreast of the changes and impact your efforts have had at the company.

Our team named our initiative Project Oasis, because it would give employees "relief from the routine ... an oasis of learning." We crafted an island logo with palm trees against a blue ocean. Because Rockwell Collins is in the midwest and thus landlocked, we thought that theme was different enough to catch the eye of employees . That became the theme for our project, and we used the imagery liberally throughout the strategic plan and business case. That island would come to represent the changing face of learning at Rockwell Collins.

Using Microsoft Project, we built a marketing plan that laid out every step our team would take to promote Project Oasis. It began with defining the look and included campaigns targeted at business leaders to buy their support, introduction programs, feedback collection, CBT launch parties, virtual-classroom introductions , global awareness programs, and ongoing learning fairs. The marketing plan, which would be included in the business case, showed our audience not only that we had defined Project Oasis but that we knew how to implement it with excitement and fanfare to maximize its acceptance and ultimately its results.

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  1. Define the current state of training.

  2. Define the future state of training: your strategic plan at a high level.

  3. Make the connection between training and business success.

  4. Close the deal: Define your decision and support requirements.

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With the details of the strategy thus broken down, you have all the information you need to create a dynamic, sellable business case that will amaze and impress your executives.

Using your strategic plan, budget, and work-breakdown structures, create a document that walks executives through your process, assumptions, and results. This document will be the structure from which you will build your presentation. It should highlight themes and issues from the strategic plan that you want to have jump out at your listeners, such as projected savings, effect on the business, and cultural-change issues that need to be addressed.

Your audience won't read a lengthy written document on the reasons why training is valid. They want to skim a presentation that instantly offers exciting sound bites of information. Avoid using excessive training terms and educational theory. Focus on the business and the language of the company. Put everything in a context they will understand. The most important thing you can do is appeal to your audience. As in an engaging training seminar, you want to capture the audience members ' interest as quickly as possible by showing them the personal value of what you offer and how you intend to accomplish it.