Getting to the Bottom of ROI: What to Consider First?

I talked last week about what to do before you venture down the path of ROI, which can be summarized by:
          Define the Return (What does success look like?)
          Clarify Reporting Expectations (What does the leader/sponsor expect to see?)
          Doing the Work Early (This is easier to do before a program launches or as early on as possible.)

Next week, I’ll share some high-level ways to think about demonstrating a return.  Before that though, it’s important to understand the key factors which might impact the level of rigor available to you:

Data Availability.  This is probably the most significant barrier that organizations face for a number of reasons.  Whether it’s data ownership, data quality, system constraints, organizational constraints – it’s not always easy to get the non-L&D data.  It’s best to know as far in advance as possible so you can adjust your measurement plan accordingly.

Resources.  This takes time!  To do this right, make sure that you have a resource dedicated to it’s success.  If resources are limited, consider a less rigorous approach, or something outsourced to an internal partner or vendor.  Demonstrating ROI isn’t as successful when managed off the side of someone’s desk, so whichever method you end up choosing, make sure your resources can support it.

Capabilities.  The ROI Institute has a certification for a reason.  The most rigorous ways to look at ROI often involve extensive understanding of measurement and survey design, and in some cases, skills in advanced statistical techniques.  Remember not to overpromise to your stakeholders or find a vendor partner like Performitiv to help supplement capabilities.

There’s so much on this topic to get into, but I hope this is giving you some new things to think about.  As I’ve mentioned before, feedback is always welcomed, so don’t hesitate to reach out at

Be Well and Happy Measuring!

Chris LeBrun
Director, Professional Services

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