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Corporate Training Plan 101: A Step-by-Step Guide for Designing a Winning Training Plan

Creating a winning training plan is essential for ensuring that learners are able to acquire the knowledge and skills they need to succeed. The field of instructional design began during  World War II when America’s war effort demanded a highly effective and methodological approach to training vast numbers of people.

The first model used by Instructional Designers was called Addie. (Analysis, Design, Development, Implementation, and Evaluation). Since then there are many different models that instructional designers used to create a winning training plan.

One of the easiest ones for beginners is called Backwards Planning Design.  This approach has three key steps.

Step 1: Identify desired results

What are the goals and objectives of the program? Are there standards that need to be adhered to? Most importantly, what does the learner need to be able to do, now or apply?

Step 2: Determine assessment evidence

In this phase of the development, you want to be able to answer some key questions

  • What types of assessment can be used to determine knowledge or skill transfer?
  • What measures can be used to determine successful knowledge transfer?
  • How can learners assess their own knowledge and skill?

As you are thinking about assessment evidence you will want to include formative assessment or evaluation methods throughout the training, to check the understanding of the learners and give them feedback on their progress.

Step 3: Plan the learning experience and instruction

In this phase of development, the instructional designer needs to focus on the types of activities that will engage learners in meaningful learning. Ultimately, the learning experience needs to provide learners with opportunities to apply their knowledge.

Those are the steps for the plan. Once the plan is in place you’re ready to start developing the training content. This includes creating the training materials, such as presentations, handouts, and online resources. It is important to use a variety of different media and formats to support different learning styles. Additionally, the content should be tailored to the needs of the learners and should take into account any special needs or accommodations that may be required.

Step 4: You need to select the right delivery method

Truthfully, when you are in the early stages of your career, someone else on your team is probably making that decision. What is important to understand is that each of the delivery methods has its strengths and challenges. Your plan for in-person training cannot simply be used in a virtual environment by making some adaptations to maximize the learning experience in that platform.

Finally, it is important to evaluate the effectiveness of the training plan. This can be done through various methods such as post-training assessments, surveys, and focus groups to gather feedback from learners. This feedback can be used to identify areas for improvement and to make necessary adjustments to the training plan.

By following this step-by-step guide, trainers can design a training plan that is effective and engaging.


Kirkpatrick, D.L. (1994). Evaluating Training Programs: The Four Levels. Berrett-Koehler.
Merriam, S.B. (2009). Qualitative Research: A Guide to Design and Implementation. John Wiley & Sons.
Phillips, J.J. (2003). The ASTD Training and Development Handbook: A Guide to Human Resource Development. McGraw-Hill.

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