One of the biggest challenges facing people in training and learning departments is demonstrating to others that what they’re doing makes a tangible difference to the organization. In some organizations, this is an integral part of the way they operate. In others, such evidence of effectiveness is not so actively sought. What’s not untypical in these cases is that the management of the organization make the assumption that if they’re spending the same as everyone else (typically between one per cent and five per cent of payroll) they’re doing all right. However, this focus on input rather than output has a serious drawback. In the absence of evidence that the resources are being spent wisely, when times are tight the training and development budget is likely to go the way of the sports and social budget or the charity contribution – ‘it’s nice to have if we can afford it, but we’ve got to prioritise…’ On the other hand, organizations that have a strong culture of measurement, such as manufacturing companies, may be in

the habit of always wanting to see hard evidence of the results of their efforts. However, this too has a potential drawback where training and development are concerned. If their emphasis on hard measurement is too strong, they run the risk of measuring only that which is easy to measure in concrete terms rather than what is of most relevance. So, deciding what should be measured and how it should be measured, and finding the right balance between the alternatives available is a matter that requires some serious thought.