Question marks

No time for analysis? Ask questions

The conversion often goes like this:

Manager: I need you to build training for this

Instructional Designer: I need to do an analysis in order to build efficient and effective training

Manager: There is no time, we need it now

Manager: I need you to build training for this

Instructional Designer: I need to do an analysis in order to build efficient and effective training

Manager : There is no time, we need it now

My students often ask me, what do you do when this happens? After interviewing over 25 instructional designers, I’m learning that the solution to this problem is to just ask questions. One of the challenges I see instructional designers having, especially new ones, is using too much instructional design lingo and expecting others to understand it. As instructional designers, we understand our processes, but those asking us to develop training may not. One solution to this ‘no time for analysis’ problem is to not call it an an analysis or needs analysis, rather start by asking questions. The conversation would then go something like this:

Manager: I need you to build training for this

Instructional Designer: OK who is the training for?

Manager: The new staff starting over the summer

Instructional Designer: And what do you need the staff to be able to do?

Manager: A, B, and C but that is all that I know.

Instructional Designer: OK who can I talk to in order to get more information?

Notice how removing that instructional design terminology allowed for the work to be done without as much pushback. Asking the questions highlights to the manager the type of information that is needed in order to develop effective training.

That is one strategy for working around the problem of “we don’t have time for analysis” or “an analysis isn’t needed”.

What strategies do you use when you are told you don’t need to do analysis before designing training?

I'd love to hear your thoughts

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