L&D Strategy Frameworks: Components + Examples

learning and development strategy framework

A learning and development strategy framework is a critical tool for organizations seeking to develop and implement effective employee training and development programs. A framework provides a plan and structured approach for the systems and processes that comprise the overall L&D strategy. 

Without a framework in place, learning leaders will be unclear whether individual training programs are effective, how they could have been developed and delivered differently, and how L&D programs fit into the organization’s overall people, talent, and learning goals. 

More broadly, to determine what is the framework for L&D strategy, learning leaders want to be able to identify the skills and knowledge required by employees to succeed in performing their job roles, secure the organization’s resources to develop programs that meet those goals, and track the success of L&D programs. An L&D strategy roadmap delivers this.

Components of a Successful Learning and Development Strategy Framework

Any framework for a successful learning and development strategy must incorporate or lean on six key components:

1. Alignment with business objectives

The learning and development strategy must be aligned with the overall objectives of the business. L&D must ensure their internal activities map to those objectives and create a framework with a full understanding of where the business is currently and where it is aiming to get to.

Learning leaders must collaborate with the business on how to plan and execute on a learning and development strategy, taking the time to fully assess what will work successfully within their organization—and why. L&D should acquaint themselves with the owners and stakeholders of learning across the organization so that the development and implementation of a strategy can roll out smoothly. 

2. Understanding the target audience

The target audience for the training and development program should be clearly defined, including their roles, skill levels, and learning needs.

First developed by product and marketing teams as a way to guide instructional design decision-making, the concept of a persona has emerged to represent a target audience was. Instructional designers can create personas of learners to help ensure that whatever content they produce is created with an empathetic approach towards the end user.

3. Effective content

The content of the training and development program should be designed to meet the specific needs of the target audience. It should be engaging, relevant, and actionable.

Learner engagement is the tracking and measurement of a learner’s participation in an individual course or a learning program in its entirety. Indeed, executives’ top priority is keeping employees motivated and engaged, notes LinkedIn Learning’s 2023 Workplace Learning Report

This free training request form template is just one of the building blocks you can use to boost employee engagement and get your new training intake system up and running.

4. Strong delivery and implementation

The training and development program should be delivered through a variety of channels, such as online learning, classroom training, and coaching. Implementation should be carefully planned and managed to ensure maximum uptake and impact.

When developing the framework and L&D strategy, learning teams would do well to ask learners what their preferred method of learning delivery is, and then decide the feasibility of that delivery.

5. Measurement and evaluation

The effectiveness of the training and development program should be regularly evaluated through metrics. 

Measurement isn’t simply assessment scores when learners complete a course or training. Measurement can include “internal” measurement of the time and success the L&D team needed to roll out a course, all the way up to the measurement of impact of training across large groups on the organization as a whole.

6. Operationalizing learning activities across the organization

An L&D strategy and its framework should be have operational elements baked in. Silos and inefficiencies are known to cause leaks in time, budget, and resources flowing through L&D processes and disparate technologies. 

By taking a new approach to their structure, processes, workflows, data, and technology, learning teams can use a learning operations model, or LearnOps, to address these inefficiencies and build a framework fully aligned with the learning and development strategy of the business.

Examples of a Learning and Development Strategy Framework

L&D framework examples vary widely, based on the organization’s size and experience or maturity level in rolling out L&D programs. The framework is the plan for the execution of a strategy; as such, frameworks are often based on initial scoping, investigation, and audits to fully understand what resources are at hand and what organizational needs are most important.

Understanding the business’ goals and prioritizing objectives

One important framework, which would help any organization in their strategic planning, would be to first understand the the core business and mapping the organization’s people objectives to those goals.

As a learning and development strategy example, a biotech company that is respected in its industry and well-known for discovering breakthrough therapeutics is most likely not focused on recruiting and developing a sales or customer service organization. This biotech company would most likely instead focus its learning and development methods on ensuring that its scientists, engineers, and development professionals are acquiring the most up-to-date scientific knowledge and research techniques.

Performing a needs assessment and skills analysis

Another important framework is the identification of what skillsets exist and what doesn’t. Simply put, an assessment of the organization’s current strengths and weaknesses as they relate to learning can be an important early step in developing and rolling out and L&D strategy.

General, vague requests for training because “employees don’t know what they need to know” is not a framework. Instead, L&D leaders can create a system in place to capture needs at scale, working with business unit leaders and managers to capture that data as granularly as possible.

Taking an inventory of the resources in place to carry out an L&D strategy

Ideas are great, but without the people and platforms in place to create and deliver, training courses, support materials, and assessments cannot be developed adequately, jeopardizing the ability of the organization to carry out its L&D strategy.

By performing an audit of its own resources, especially the capacity and capabilities of its team members and outsourced consultants, L&D can have a better understanding of the likelihood of success of its programs. 

Learn more about how Cognota’s Capacity Planning module can enable you to assign resources to projects based on workload and availability.

A framework for L&D strategy often differs from an actual learning framework. L&D shouldn’t feel that it needs to conform to a single, “official” model. Such academic learning and development models include the 70-20-10 model, which holds holds that individuals obtain 70% of their knowledge from job-related experiences, 20% from interactions with others, and 10% from formal educational events, according to TrainingIndustry.com

A popular instructional design model, of course, is ADDIE, or Analyze, Design, Develop, Implement, and Evaluate, which has withstood the test of time. 

How to Build a Framework for Your Learning and Development Strategy 

To design an effective learning and development strategy framework, here are some elements to consider incorporating:

Conduct a needs analysis

Conduct a comprehensive needs analysis to identify the skills and knowledge required by employees to perform their job roles effectively. This can be done through surveys, training intake, and interviews.

Identify learning objectives

Based on the needs analysis, identify specific learning objectives that support the organization’s business goals and the corresponding knowledge and skills needs of the workforce.

Select delivery methods

Select the most appropriate delivery methods for the learning and development program. These could include classroom training, e-learning, job shadowing, coaching, and mentoring.

An emerging trend is delivering learning “in the flow of work,” where employees learn at their moment of need as they are going about their daily tasks. An example of this method is when annotations “pop up” in a platform or app prompting the user to learn or experience new features in order to improve their productivity.

Establish and implement metrics

Without metrics, learning and senior leaders cannot know the effectiveness of L&D programs.  Metrics run the gamut, and can include instructor reviews, course completion rates, assessment scores, and even an increase in the organization’s revenues or profitability.

LinkedIn Learning’s 2022 Workplace Learning Report cites measurement as a continuing challenge for learning leaders. As such, any data that can track the end-to-end development and delivery of learning experiences can unlock value. 

Ensure ongoing evaluation and improvement

Continuously evaluate and update the learning and development strategy framework to ensure that it remains relevant and effective over time.

Let LearnOps Software Do the Heavy Lifting 

Building a framework for L&D strategy can be a challenge for L&D teams. To do more with less, and ensure that you are harnessing as many resources as possible, it’s important to have the software in place in order to understand exactly what resources you do have and how efficiently you can develop and deliver courses that truly resonate with your organization’s learners.

L&D teams need the right tools for planning, organization, and collaboration. Without them, it becomes a challenge to maximize team capacity, ensure proper resource utilization, seek efficiencies, and deliver ROI.
With Cognota, you can plan and manage training projects while standardizing L&D processes, ensuring that projects can stay within budget and are delivered on time to learners. Speak with the Cognota team to learn more, or get started for free to see for yourself.

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L&D Strategy Frameworks: Components + Examples