How to prioritize your academy’s course production pipeline

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It is highly unlikely that you will have all the budget and resources you need to create at once every course in your training roadmap at once. This is why knowing how to prioritize your course production pipeline is so important.
HBR’s collaborator Antonio Nieto-Rodriguez has coined the expression “hierarchy of purpose” as a committed and comprehensive strategy that aims to fully understand a business’s project portfolio in order to be able to plan appropriately. Many business leaders will agree with Nieto-Rodriguez: an effective prioritisation at a strategic and operation level can often be the difference between success and failure. Therefore, following a prioritisation scheme to rank your courses according to their importance, urgency and need is the best way to keep you focused on allocating your budget and resources wisely.

 

The key to creating an effective training programme – for customers, partners or staff - is to understand your audience’s training needs, distinguishing individuals and segments. Training needs assessments will identify skills, competences and product knowledge that your customers, partners or team need to be successful.

 

In addition to this training needs analysis, there are a few questions you can ask that will help you understand which training is more imperative. Keeping the answers to these questions in the same spreadsheet is a great way to ensure that you are not comparing apples and oranges when it comes to the different training courses in your list. You can download our DLS team’s Course Production Pipeline template here and at the bottom of this article.

 

So, which themes should you consider when prioritizing your academy’s course production pipeline? First of all, you should analyse what courses would have the strongest and most immediate impact on your goals, revenue and overall performance. Evaluating the business priority match is important: your course production schedule should be a perfect reflection of your business goals. For instance, if your main objective is to reduce customer onboarding time, you should start with onboarding courses. We recommend adding a priority score (high, medium, low; or a numerical scale such as P0 through P4) to each course based on these elements.

 

Your spreadsheet should also include notes on the sponsor and decision-maker, and any contingencies around them. If the top decision-maker is away or takes a lot of time to respond, plan accordingly. Similarly, you should identify who the author and owner of each course will be and understand his or her engagement and sense of urgency. This will help you set a timeline without last minute surprises.

 

It is also necessary to estimate the course’s reach. How many people will benefit from it? Is it a cross-product learning opportunity, or is it tailored to a specific product or region? And what will this mean in terms of overall impact?

 

Resources and materials also need to be mapped out. You should list all the resources you will need (think people, budget, time, additional materials to add to the courses…) in order to plan accordingly. The most important thing is to make sure you reflect and map each course appropriately — only by doing so can you expect to create a hierarchy that makes sense.

 

Be prepared to come across pressing training requirements that will need to be addressed immediately and that will need to be put on top of your pipeline. Your plan is not absolutely set in stone but it is important that you have a guideline so that you are prepared and organized. In the words of Benjamin Franklin “By failing to prepare, you are preparing to fail.”

 

You already know that having a good training programme is key to your business success, but make sure it is well-managed to ensure your investment will pay off and add value!

 

We invite you to download and follow our Digital Learning Solutions team’s Course Production Pipeline template here.

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You may also find interesting:
How to create a video training course: the step by step guide (eBook)
5 ways to overcome a small budget for video training (article)
Free tools for low-cost professional looking video production (article)

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Writen by Lisa Belchior
16-May-2019 09:41:00

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