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A lot of people start by looking for needs. Maybe even doing a needs analysis. There are two problems with this approach. First, every organization is loaded with needs. Just having the list of top needs doesn’t always give you a lot of direction on where to start. Second, you often get what I call the “usually suspects.” Most needs assessments will reveal the need for leadership training, sales training, team building, etc. Not very helpful in picking a starting point.

So here’s what I suggest. Look for project champions. Get to know the leader’s in your organization and try to find those willing to really get behind and support a training initiative. You’ll also find that other leaders are often waiting for these people to go first before they jump in. Then working with the project champion try to build a business case for addressing the project champion’s most important issue.

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Plan B

One of the things that takes projects off track is that doing things the way we’d like to sometimes isn’t possible.  For example, we’d like everyone to come in for a two day workshop.  With all the schedule demands it might be months before that happens.  So what’s plan B?  Is there something that will work, that won’t be significantly different?  Can you do the same thing in short web conferences?  Can you send out materials for people to read so that you can get going on something?  You might even need a plan C or D.  Keeping things going might be more important than exactly what you wan to do.

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