Development Programmes

Our Philosophy

We believe that designing programmes are both a skill and an art. For training to be truly effective, we believe it must be learner-centred, rather than facilitator or presenter-centred. For that reason our facilitators are highly skilled.

Although training is not designed to be entertainment, we believe that our facilitators are able to keep the participants involved. We pride ourselves on successfully getting the participants to want to learn and helping them see the need for changing their behaviour or acquiring new behaviour or skills. This is really what training is about – helping people change their behaviour to something better, more effective, more successful and fresh.

 

Our Approach to the Design of Development Programmes

Step 1: Information Gathering
We explore what the desired outcomes are with all appropriate stakeholders who have requested the training, for example, information will be gathered from:

A strategic level (Optional if appropriate) – interviews will be conducted with members of top management in the organisation with a view to gaining a better understanding of the strategic organisation transformation vision which they have over the next 5 to 10 years. This ensures that programme material equips staff with the necessary knowledge and skills that will take the organisation into the future.

Middle management (Optional if appropriate) – views of middle management will be canvassed in order to gain a better understanding of what is required in order to ensure that levels of productivity are enhanced through the provision of skills which enhance efficiency. We ensure that they are aware of the risks involved in the success of the training. Is the organisation prepared to monitor and reinforce efforts made by learners to make use of the results of the training sessions? What bottom line outcomes does the organisation wish to gain from its investment in this particular training effort? Are they being realistic?

Step 2: Needs analysis
We evaluate or re-evaluate the needs of the population to receive the training.

  • Do they need awareness or skill building?
  • How do their perceptions of their needs fit into the organisation as we are aware of it from other sources?
  • Can their needs or desires be realistically accomplished through training?
  • Does goal accomplishment mean short-term programmes or long-term organisational change?

Step 3: Identify potential obstacles
Any constraints on the project are surfaced and explored. If possible, hidden agendas or preconceived attitudes are exposed and dealt with sensitively but appropriately. Real and perceived barriers are brainstormed and plans are identified to overcome them.

Step 4: Programme outline
A curriculum outline is designed with benchmark objectives identified at each step of the programme. Each concept to be covered is identified in the following ways:

  • How it will be presented didactically.
  • How it will be related to the learners real world of work.
  • How will the programme be specific and contextual.
  • How it will be experienced by the learners (i.e. what games, role-plays, etc. could be used to get the learning points and principles across).

An important component specifically addressed is the range of learning styles which different people have. Care is taken to design the training material so that all the different styles will be stimulated and satisfied during the different parts of the programmed.

Outcomes are identified for each activity and they establish the basis for the next step.

Step 5: Determine method of monitoring success
A method of measuring the success of the training is identified based on benchmark and outcome accomplishment. Feedback systems are established with a clear means of utilising their results.

  • Monitoring: Again our commitment to the transfer of learning is underscored by the follow-up work, which we do after the learning intervention. Again in our experience the principles of action learning which require people to practically apply their learning to real situations further facilitates transfer of skills. We will create projects which delegates need to tackle after the learning intervention and which will result in a follow-up review some time afterwards. This will enable us to not only review the degree to which knowledge and skills have been assimilated, but will also enable us to examine the impact on the job.
  • Feedback: In order to close the loop, we would require an opportunity of meeting with strategic decision-makers in the organisation whereby a general progress review is provided to them regarding the progress made on the learning intervention.This will be a two way process for both ourselves as well as the decision-makers to make any adjustments which arise out of this feedback process.

Step 6: Plan logistics
Logistical needs are identified. These include all areas, from who will conduct the training, to what equipment and / or materials will be needed, to room location and set-up. These are all carefully thought out in advance and prepared as necessary.

Step 7: Pilot testing
If appropriate, the learning intervention is piloted as designed. A detailed account is made of all activities, interactions, responses, etc. Materials, presentations and activities are refined as necessary to more closely meet the desired results as identified in steps 1 and 2.