how can you assess them and your ROI?

Impact assessment and Return on Investment

Although we fully accept that 'some things that matter cannot be measured, and, some things that can be measured don't matter' - we still recognise the need to apply robust and creative impact assessment to our work.

Through a variety of techniques we have been able to use our assessment approaches as a design aid – by challenging the objectives to more fully define the desired outcome and also as a pure assessment technology – to create meaningful data that measures the shift and changes in attitude and behaviour that result from learning, development, coaching and training interventions.

Part of our commitment to our client engagement process is to work with the client team to design this phase of any work-stream – in our experience, this aspect of measuring Return On Investment (ROI) is either reported out via a 'tick-box' or 'happy-sheet' approach – neither of which provides the business with the data it deserves to have after committing time and money to any level of people development.

We are also able to use our approaches to independently assess other investment decisions – particularly when multiple providers are used to deliver 'similar' interventions – for example, coaching.

Some thoughts on working within an 'outcome orientated' development culture:

Include those that you wish to 'change' in defining the current issues and the future benefits of any organisational/personal/team differences.

  • This ensures that everyone knows why they are in the process and what the end-point will both look like and feel like.
  • Too many organisations invest in development programmes without declaring the 'real agenda'.

Be courageous enough to apologise if what you are about to do is something that you once said would not be done – even if you weren't the one that said it!

Invest 15% or more of your budget in defining the outcomes and the methods of measurement.

  • Use those methods in advance of your programme to create an agreed and valid 'baseline' for your future process evaluation.
  • Use the baseline data as part of the programme content, making as many links to customer or employee datasets as possible.
  • Where appropriate always seek to work with union or work council colleagues in the same way.

Where possible always ensure that you take the 'workplace to the classroom'.

  • Look for opportunities to work on real-life issues rather than case studies and role plays.
  • Make coaching live and dynamic and add to the process by looking for 'in-programme' contribution from delegate teams, direct-reports and line managers.

Provide communication opportunities through formal and informal means that helps build interim stories of success.

  • Don’t wait to measure failure.
  • Look to measure success as an ongoing part of the learning process.

Share responsibility for programme evaluation with the delegates.

  • Look to them to carry out evaluation and seek feedback as part of their own programme content.
  • 'What have I done differently?'
  • 'Where has my change of approach added value?'