20 questions to ask before talking about learning objectives!

Reading time: 2,5 minutes
This post appeared first on LinkedIn.

I’ve been in Learning and Development for over 12 years now. It has been quite the learning journey for me, as I went from starting out in the role to being, well…, more experienced. One of the things that have continuously evolved over the years are the questions I’m asking my clients. Asking the right questions makes all the difference.

When I started out as an e-learning specialist my questions were focused on building the best possible e-learning module. Over the years I’ve learned that even though my job title might constrict me to ‘learning and development’, focusing on the product of a training request isn’t the best way to help my clients nor my organization.

I should be asking questions about the problem or change that we are trying to address and that address the desired outcome. I should not be jumping into learning objectives and solutions from the go. …and neither should you!

So what are the right questions to ask?

Good question! As I mentioned, my list of questions is an ever-evolving one.

The questions below have helped me, and my clients tremendously in painting a clear picture of where we are, where we want to be and how to prove what we are doing is actually working!

I am sharing these with you because we, as Learning and Development professionals need to better. We need to stop being a course factory and start building learning and performance solutions that actually work in the long term.

These questions, rooted in performance consulting, might just help you get started!

20 Questions to ask before talking about learning objectives!

  1. What is the problem/challenge you are trying to address?
  2. What is the business reason for this request?
  3. Do you have an idea for a solution in mind already?
  4. Who are the stakeholders and what are their roles (RACI)? What is their stake in this?
  5. Have you done a root cause analysis for the problem/challenge? What is the result?
  6. What will happen if we do nothing? What is the impact to the organization?
  7. What changes will we see in the organization when we implement this solution (What does success look like)?
  8. How can we measure the impact of the solution (with existing means)?
  9. Are there existing/immediate issues and/or behaviors that need addressing?
  10. What areas affect the desired outcome (Ability, Motivation, Organisational barriers …)?
  11. What are risks/challenges we need to consider?
  12. What is the desired timeline? Why this timeline?
  13. Is there a budget (range) known?
  14. What does the Target audience look like? How many people? Different roles? New starters? Existing? Access to digital? Mandatory? Language requirements? When will they take this training? Where would they look for information/support? …?
  15. Which others are affected by this problem/challenge?
  16. Which employees (5) can we talk to that experience/are impacted by the problem/challenge?
  17. What materials are available already and where? Is it being used? What works, what does not (proven)? Reusable? Scalable?
  18. Which technical requirements and limitations do we need to take into account?
  19. Which cultural aspects do we need to take into account?
  20. Is there anything relevant to this project I should know that I haven’t asked about?

So what are your thoughts? Questions, remarks? Drop me a comment below!

Published by

Jeff Kortenbosch

Jeff is a performance-focused learning professional that believes in making learning relevant again!

Leave a Reply