Product Training Development/Requirements Gathering Advice

Written by Eric Moss on 21 March 2018

Being asked to design training content at the end of a product design cycle is a pitfall that many learning professionals can relate to. I've been experiencing this myself recently, and am looking to break the cycle of training being an "Afterthought" in product development, as well as better educate the stakeholders I work with on the training development process. I know instinctively that I need to be looped in early to understand the business process, product functionality, etc., but am having difficulty articulating this to my colleagues who rely on me for training development.

As an example, I've been asked to design a small-scale training for support teams on a new method of ordering equipment that goes live in 8 business days. However, I don't have any information about business process, the technology product wont be finished until 3 days before release, and I haven't even seen a prototype of the technology supporting the new process. My colleague who plays a PM-type role in these projects has been involved in the development process, provides me with high-level info, but not nearly enough for me to do my training development work.

With the above in mind, I'd be eager to hear from other learning professionals on their experience on requirements gathering for product-based training development. Not so much about gathering learner requirements, but specifically understanding the business process and technology piece. My questions are:

1.) What information you see as a priority when performing requirements gathering sessions with stakeholders (meetings, product demos, etc.)

2.) What your personal "guard rails" are as base requirements before you feel confident to begin training development.

3.) How you help stakeholders understand the importance of having the types of information mentioned in #2 of this list.

Thanks in advance for any thoughts folks can provide!

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