The Five Ws to Determine the How

Back to Basics: Part 3

“Mom, what’s for breakfast?” “Mom, when is spring break?” “Mom, where are my shoes?” “Mom, why do I have to practice piano?” These are just a few of the 50+ questions my third grader asked me this morning before school. In our Back to the Basics series, we have left the kitchen sink behind and created our blueprint with the High Impact Learning Map (HILM). And now it is time to ask a few questions of our own to determine how we are going to train our learners.

1. Who are we training?

With this question, we want to consider what experience our learners bring. Are they new managers stepping into their first leadership role? Are they experienced team members learning a new system? We can’t expect high learner engagement if we are repeating information they already know or building off knowledge that they don’t have.  

2. What are we training?

Facts and procedures should be approached differently than communication and strategic skills. Looking at the Know and Do columns of our HILM, gives us insight into what we are training. It is also important to remember that many times training programs include a mixture of training needs which might be most effectively addressed in separate modules using different training strategies.

3. Where are our learners located?

Today, we need to consider much more than if learners are centrally located or dispersed across many locations.  How virtually connected are learners? Do they have easy access and familiarity with virtual meeting platforms? Do learners work in multiple time zones or multiple shifts? These answers give us insight into what platforms and mediums will be most effective so that our learners can easily access the training.

4. When does training need to be completed?

While many times leaders and SMEs want training launched yesterday, having a realistic insight into not only when the training needs to be launched but also be completed allows us to better identify what training modalities can be leveraged.

5. Why are we training these learners on this topic?

In deciding how we are going to deliver training, we also need to consider what created the need for this training. Is this training part of a larger certification process? Is this training updating and refining processes or procedures learners are already completing?

Planning the How

Using the HILM and asking the 5W questions, we can determine the best way to deliver the training. Orgwide’s High Level Design Document (HLDD) below is an example of the strategic process of discovering the “how” for hotel managers needing to learn more about direct billing.

Direct Billing Overview
Estimated Duration:
20 minutes

Delivery Method:
Online learning
Key Topics:
  • Types of direct bill accounts and which category current guests fall within
At the conclusion of training, the manager will be able to:
  • Identify the different types of direct bill accounts and which category current guest falls within
  • Describe the process to post and apply and correct payments
  • List different types of direct bill accts.
  • Review process to post, apply and correct payments
  • Describe the process to post and apply and correct payments
Checking-In and Checking-Out a Direct Billing Guest
Estimated Duration:
1 hour]

Delivery Method:
On-the-job training
Key Topics:
  • How to check in a direct billing guest
  • How to check out a direct billing guest
  • How to bill a direct billing guest
  • How to apply a direct billing guest
  • How to reconcile a direct billing guest
At the conclusion of training, the manager will be able to:
  • Demonstrate how to correctly check a direct billing guest in and out
  • Explain the direct billing process
  • Describe the direct billing payment and reconcilement process
  • Review process for handling check-in and out of a direct billing guest including system components
  • SHOW: Watch trainer handle a direct billing guest transaction
  • TRY practicing the process from beginning to end
  • DO: Handle any part of the process with a direct billing guest
  • Job Aid: Direct Billing Guests checklist

Understanding Who, What, Where, When, and Why, ensures that we strategically plan the How of our training program to ensure the learner ultimately achieves success as we defined in the HILM.  In this example, the managers learned the process through eLearning, and then honed their skills with a detailed on-the-job process. 

Now that we have a plan, all that is left to do is… everything! So, the next Back to the Basics will focus on how to most effectively work with Subject Matter Experts.