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State of the Learning BPS Market: Focusing on Performance Objective Training

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NelsonHall recently published its latest market analysis report on learning BPS, which recognizes the evolution of the learning BPS maturity model from traditional training to integrated training, and now to performance training. Here, I take a look at this latest approach to learning BPS.

Through the performance-driven approach, buyers seek one of five main objectives:

  • Strategic transformation
  • Revenues and competency
  • Compliance
  • Cost reduction
  • Learner engagement.

Over the last few years, demand for full end-to-end learning BPS contracts, including content, delivery, administration, and technology services, has remained low, and this trend has continued with respect to deals leveraging the performance training model.

While each of the five performance objectives can include all or a variety of learning functions, there are common learning functions associated with each one. That is, strategic transformation typically includes learning consulting/strategy services; revenues and competency often includes content and delivery services; compliance tends to include content services; cost reduction contains learning administration services; and learner engagement focuses on learning technology services.

NelsonHall expects most learning BPS suppliers to cater to all five training objectives, but each vendor’s strength within each objective will vary and be largely dependent on their heritage. For example, vendors that excel at reducing costs typically have a background that heavily emphasizes the use of offshoring, in addition to heavy investments in RPA.

Another significant impact of the performance training approach will be on Kirkpatrick analytics. Today, the majority of learning BPS contracts leverage Kirkpatrick level 1 learner satisfaction to obtain immediate feedback from a training session, as well as Kirkpatrick level 2 to determine how much training was retained. However, when it comes to Kirkpatrick level 3 (job impact) and level 4 (organizational impact), utilization rates are low. On the surface, the performance-centric approach will help facilitate a connection back to the business, but there will need to be methods in place to measure the effectiveness.

Although not a result of the performance training approach, learning BPS services will become more widespread globally due to digital advances, including virtual training and cloud-based learning technologies.

While the performance training approach is characterized by digital learning, the use of digital modalities will continue to penetrate the entire market and be favored within the integrated training model. Digital formats in high demand include e-learning, virtual training, games, and interactive videos.

In light of the recent increase in digital learning, it is important to note that, although it is declining, utilization of instructor-led training (ILT) in traditional classroom settings remains high, mainly because it facilitates face-to-face engagement, collaboration, networking, and recognition opportunities. With respect to ILT, the focus will be on making ILT more effective by leveraging digital modalities before, during, and after the classroom experience.

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