1. Plan your metrics before writing survey questions:
Prior to the collection of data, Eaton University met with stakeholders to discuss required metrics. The result was a set of metrics and core questions that Eaton University could use to glean reasonable indicators on the measurement objectives of stakeholders.
2. Ensure the measurement process is replicable and scaleable:
If the University were not able to measure each event consistently, comparability across programs would be lost. Leveraging technology to automate data collection, storage and reporting was critical. More critical was leveraging a methodology that provided reasonable indicators of core metrics without having to exhaust significant resources.
3. Ensure measurements are internally and externally comparable:
Eaton University requires answers to a core set of questions to be collected for every learning event. The core questions are comparable. Eaton leveraged questions used by external parties, allowing a view of Eaton’s performance against external data points.
4. Use industry-accepted measurement approaches:
Eaton University needed to sell the process to management and the business units. KnowledgeAdvisors has experts such as Donald Kirkpatrick (author of the 4 Levels of Learning) and Jack Phillips (author of the ASTD-accepted ROI Process) on its advisory board. The new process provides indicators on the measurement levels of these experts. Aligning the process to those endorsed by organizations like the ASTD shortened the time to gain acceptance.
5. Define value in the eyes of your stakeholders:
The University asked stakeholders for their definitions of value. To some it meant a financial ROI. To others it meant a solid delivery of learning programs that are of high quality and create high impact on the job. As a result of this process, the University was able to gain wider acceptance for a balanced approach to measurement and did its due diligence to ensure its process was aligned to the organization’s value expectations.
6. Manage the change associated with measurement:
Months before the process was implemented, communications educated customers on the forthcoming process. Eaton continued to reinforce the message when the process rolled out. Today metrics are shared with stakeholders, and Eaton University is spreading the measurement process to other areas due to its acceptance within the culture of the company.
7. Ensure the metrics are well balanced:
Eaton University uses its measurement against each level of learning as its balanced scorecard. Just because a particular event received high satisfaction marks, that does not necessarily translate into impact back on the job. The balanced measurement approach facilitates that type of analysis.
8. Leverage automation and technology:
Eaton University integrated its measurement system (Metrics That Matter) with its learning management system (LMS). By doing so, the LMS sends evaluations that participants complete after the training. Metrics That Matter sends follow-up surveys 60 days later to the participants and their managers for on-the-job feedback. This frees up resources to focus on analyzing the data for continuous improvement.
9. Crawl, walk, run:
The University was acutely aware that it was important to generate quick wins and manage change as opposed to getting 100 percent of its long-term vision accomplished during the first phase of implementation. This allowed the University to put in place 80 percent of the requirements that were marketed to the organization, while at the same time demonstrating value.
10. Ensure your metrics have flexibility:
The measurement process allows the university to view measurement data sorted by learning provider, location, instructor, business unit, learning delivery, class, course, curricula and program. The daily metrics are aggregated within each view of data as each new day’s measurements combine with prior results. This functionality permits the university to view the data in a manner that is highly flexible and accommodating to its diverse needs.
Eaton University considers its measurement process as a necessary function, ensuring quality services are provided to its customers, and believes that these services are tools that improve employees’ job performance. To Eaton University, this process holds it accountable for its role as a value-added partner to the success of Eaton Corp.
Dee Walters is the manager of Eaton University, Eaton Corp.’s global resource for leadership and professional development.
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