The Course Project is designed to provide you with real-life, practical experience in conducting a training and OD needs assessment for a selected organization and in developing a training or intervention strategy to address the needs that have been identified.
The Course Project must be comprehensive and follow the analytical stages below.
Once the steps have been completed, a detailed paper outlining your processes, methodologies, results, and recommendations should be prepared. Although the length of the paper is not predetermined, a paper of 10–15 pages in length, double-spaced, is customarily necessary to cover the topic adequately. This does not include the title and reference pages.
Note: There is an excellent guide online called Human Capital: A Guide for Assessing Strategic Training and Development Efforts in the Federal Government put out by the United States General Accounting Office. Although this relates to the government and not the private sector, it contains excellent information that can be applied anywhere.
Part 1: Select an Organization to Be Studied
There are a number of ways in which an organization can be selected. One option is to look outside your organization for companies that would be interested in participating in the project. Another is to volunteer your own organization, or if you are not currently employed, use a church, school, club, or other organization.
Once your organization has been selected, you will need to learn a lot about it. It is essential for you to understand the organization’s business, goals, objectives, and mission in order to complete this project successfully. (Submit the information on your selected organization to your Dropbox by the end of Week 1—this is an ungraded step but required and essential to help you make sure you are on the right track.) Also note that you will be submitting a progress report for this project in Week 5 in the Minipaper assignment—this is worth 100 points.
Part 2: Conduct a Needs Assessment
Training and development processes begin with a needs assessment. Given the economic pressures that businesses face today, it is imperative that those needs be connected to specific organizational performance issues. There are three different forms of analysis you will need to complete.
Hints for a Successful Needs Assessment
As you conduct your needs assessment, you may want to consider four potential sources of information that may help you in your analysis. Information such as employee turnover analysis, incident reports, long-range production goals, employee satisfaction studies, and physical plant layout can tell us a lot. Examples of other documents you may wish to consider include the following.
Potential questions include the following.
It is up to you to determine the methodology to be used in conducting the assessment. Considerations should include the willingness of the organization and its employees to provide information, the availability of information from the organization to be studied, and the availability of individuals in the organization to be interviewed and observed.
The nature of the needs analysis, of course, also should be based on the type of assessment desired. Given the broad coverage of the course, assessment may include, but would not be limited to, the following.
Part 3: Analyze the Data Collected and Identify Training Needs
Analyze the data you have collected and identify one or more training needs for the organization. Be sure to fully justify your recommendations and link your recommendations to the organization’s business goals.
The data collected must be viewed in terms of the initial intent of the project. Care must be taken to evaluate the data for what they portray. Insufficient analysis or understanding of data, as well as reading more into data than what they actually portray, are equally ineffective activities. (Submit your course Minipaper that describes your needs assessment findings and other relevant project information in Week 5—100 points.)
Part 4: Develop a Training or Intervention Strategy to Address the Needs
Creating a developmental strategy is the objective of the investigative segment of the project. The strategy may include the following.
Part 5: Determine the Training or Intervention Cost and Quantify Expected Results
The fifth section of the Course Project is conducting a cost-benefit analysis. Training costs must be evaluated against anticipated results. This will only be palatable if, in the initial assessment, specific behaviors and processes and their impacts on the performance of the organization were determined. If so, conducting this final analytical segment should be possible.
Part 6: Develop a Method of Training Evaluation
Once you have completed the training, how will you know whether it has been successful? There are a variety of ways to evaluate training and development programs. Clearly identify the specific outcomes you expect from the project. Then develop a method of evaluating the effectiveness of your project.
|Background||50||Acquaint the reader with the organization selected, why it was selected, and the specific division or department of interest. Fully discuss the corporate agenda, its business strategy, its environment, and its objectives. A professional overview of the organizational culture and values should be included in the analysis.|
|Needs Assessment Design, Implementation, and Analysis||75||Design a needs assessment that analyzes organizational objectives and goals and then examines the factors that affect reaching those goals. Your analysis should look at the organization, person, and task levels. Be sure you fully describe your methodologies, process, and results.|
|Recommended Training Strategy and Design||75||Outline your plan for developing a training model to meet the results of the needs assessment. It is important to recognize that training is not always the most cost-effective solution to an organizational problem. Credit will be given for other creative and cost-effective developmental modalities other than training. Professional justification is expected for the choices. Clearly outline the desired learning outcomes and include your specific recommended training methods. Fully address any learning environment and transfer-of-training issues.|
|Cost-Benefit Analysis (ROI)||50||Outline the cost of recommended training, the potential return on investment (ROI), and the expected results. A plan should be provided on how to justify the costs.|
|Training Evaluation Plan||50||Detail your methods for evaluating the effectiveness of the training after it has been completed. How will the organization know whether the training has been successful?|
|Total Point Value||300||100||A quality paper will meet or exceed all of the above requirements.|
|Submission Week Due||Parts of Course Project||Name of Item||Description of Item|
|Week 1(ungraded)||1||Proposal||Part 1: Select an Organization to Be Studied|
|Week 3(graded)||2||Needs Assessment||Part 2: Conduct a Needs Assessment|
|Week 5(graded)||3||Minipaper||Part 3: Analyze the Data Collected and Identify Training Needs|
|Week 7(graded)||4, 5, 6||Final Submission||· Part 4: Develop a Training or Intervention Strategy to Address the Needs|
· Part 5: Determine the Training or Intervention Cost and Quantify Expected Results
· Part 6: Develop a Method of Training Evaluation