(re-posted from Ed Holton’s blog.)
For as long as I have been in the HRD profession ROI has been the “holy grail” of training evaluation. Unfortunately, an effective AND practical method has been elusive. Despite literally decades of promoting it, the fact is ROI is rarely calculated for training investments.
Debate has swirled for years about how best to calculate ROI. Evaluation purists have developed effective methods, but they are mostly impractical for all but the biggest training initiatives. The methods promoted by purists tend to be costly in either time and staff resources, or money for consultants.
On the other side are “quick and dirty” methods which lack validity but are easy to implement. These methods have proved unsatisfying because the results just aren’t credible.
So do we just give up? Is ROI simply unattainable or even ill-advised as some suggest? I say no, we can do it, we should do it, and now we are doing it! (To find out how read on here.)