Chief Learning Officer - August 2006 - (Page 18)

CO0806.qxd 7/18/06 5:02 PM Page 18 best practices How Much Business Is in Your Business Plan? Josh Bersin E f f e c t i v e business rationalization behind investments. You should Over the years, I've reviewed many planning be prepared to present your results against plan documents for learning organizations of all p l a n s also define periodically during the year. shapes and sizes. Most are internally focused and a n d communicate detail staff resources, budgets, planned technolo- Ideally, the business plan should be built from gy purchases, planned programs and new courses. h o w resources the company's annual planning and budgeting Missing in most is a strong business perspec- process. You should obtain details such as support specific tive the outward view that brings business staffing projections, revenue objectives, new credibility to the learning organization. corporate and product initiatives, sales and production lines-of-business changes and planned business alliances. Your Effective business plans define and communi- plan should demonstrate how performance cate how resources support specific corporate o b j e c t i v e s and consultants and learning programs will support and lines-of-business objectives and set targets set targets for these business goals. for projected impact. The business plan must detail these major areas: projected impact. You'll need to establish priorities, break down resources expended for each unit, identify tar- Strategy: What is your organization's learn- get measurements, and tie specific courses and ing strategy? How does it align with business- programs to objectives. You also should identi- unit objectives and overall corporate strate- fy risks and opportunities. This work will gy? How does learning result in competitive become the operational section of your formal advantage and improved productivity? business plan and will detail your organization's Operations: What budget and staff do you month-to-month expenses and activities for need? What programs are planned, and how the next 18 to 24 months. will they be deployed? How do programs roll The strategic portion of your business plan out over the year? What processes ensure requires input from key members of your com- quality and efficiency? pany's senior executive team the COO, CFO, CIO and vice president of HR, for exam- Alignment and governance: How is your ple. Most likely, the information you'll obtain learning plan aligned with the company's from these interviews will be general. But, even business plan? How do you support key busi- that can help you develop a long-range plan for ness strategies and initiatives? learning. Think strategically and ask yourself Commitments: What measurable commit- some hard questions. Should we be outsourcing ments are you making to the business? Will more? Could I get greater efficiencies with you be delivering 100,000 hours of training? fewer, but more highly skilled, internal Delivering a new program by a certain date? resources? Are we spending technology dollars What measurements will you use to show wisely or should we consolidate? Are there success? legacy investments in content or programs we can revamp or eliminate? Investments: What new investments in dollars August 2006 and staff are needed and why? How do these As you develop the plan, send a draft to business new investments contribute to the bottom line? executives for comments. Give them the oppor- tunity to see that the L&D function is being run It's important to note these areas are interre- I I Chief Learning Officer like a business operation not a university. lated. For instance, a major new on-boarding This will make your plan better and give you program will require financial investments even greater insights into ways to add value. Josh Bersin is the and would be viewed as one of your major principal and founder of commitments. Sound like a lot of work? It is. But the payoff is Bersin & Associates, and huge. A detailed plan gives you the opportuni- A solid business plan also has a future dimension has more than 25 years ty to present the business of learning to the C- a three-to-five-year look ahead. Your plan of experience in corporate team. It gives your organization credibility should show how you'll manage progress over the solutions, training and throughout the enterprise. next several years. This information can help the e-learning. He can be reached Make this your priority for the year. executive management team understand the at 18

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Chief Learning Officer - August 2006

Editor's Letter
Table of Contents
Taking the Lead
Best Practices
Learning Solutions
In Practice - U.S. GAO
In Practice - Army National Guard
CLO Profile
In Practice - PerkinElmer
Case Study
Human Capital
In Practice - Countrywide Financial Corp
In Practice - Siebel
Business Intelligence
Advertiser's Index
Editorial Resources
In Conclusion

Chief Learning Officer - August 2006