I want to ask

  • What useful metrics the community has used to demonstrate value of L&D initiatives/interventions to the business?
  • How they have been able to quantify impact, and to drive investments in L&D?
  • Also, did you come across any unintended consequences.

Examples or thoughts gratefully received. I'm currently undergoing and exercise to review some KPIs in an attempt to demonstrate some unintended consequences of specific KPIs, and ascertain how they might be improved over time.

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Absolutely happy to share Alex.  I see most of the industry applying the Kirkpatrick/Phillips five levels of learning evaluation where levels 4 (business impact is demonstrated) and 5 (ROI is measured).  The more an organization practices measurement at these higher levels, the more I tend to see them having an easier time justifying continued or increased investments.  In terms of the process, the Kirkpatrick Partners team has a fantastic approach for level 4 and the ROI Institute provides certification in level 5.  I am also seeing an increase in the Center for Talent Reporting's TDRP framework which emphasizes outcome measures within is key reporting statements.   In terms of unintended consequences, I would say that many L&D teams don't realize in advance how time and data intensive the pursuit of level 4 and 5 measurement is.  For this reason, the Phillips team at the ROI Institute recommends about 5% of the learning offerings be measured at that level. Automation here is key to address the time and data collection issue, and KnowledgeAdvisors offers a software solution called "Metrics that Matter."  Many of our clients at Skillsoft measure levels 4 and 5 and I am happy to share more details with you if it would be helpful. 

Thanks Kieran. This is really useful. We recognise that our current measurement is immature, so we are starting around Kirkpatrick levels 1 & 2. You make an interesting point around the time intensive nature of rigourous measurement. Its good have realistic expectations. Thanks again. 

Hi Alex - you can benchmark for free and see what KPIs and measurements are being used from a free personalised report (if you complete the benchmark study by 17th August - otherwise £300)

This report provides you with a direct comparison of your results against those of your peers and the top learning companies from the Towards Maturity Benchmark study. You will find comparisons against the following areas

12 Key Performance Indicators
 5 Take up Indicators
21 effective practice indicators including your overall Towards Maturity Index and a new Alignment and Engagement Index

The Benchmark http://towardsmaturity.org/static/survey/ considers how organisations are e-enabling their learning strategies to meet changing business skills needs and also reviews changes in use of technology, drivers and results, barriers and the implementation practices that directly correlate to results. 

This isn't a sales pitch - it's free to do! It will take you about 45 minutes.

Good Luck!

Hi Marnie. I usually complete this survey but for some reason. I don't know why I've been avoiding participating in this years survey?  Although this is a great benchmark report...I'm really looking for lessons learned. What we would have done had we known type of thing. Thank you for your feedback.

Hi Alex,

No problem at all.

That's precisely why the Benchmark and the report is so good because the Performance and Practice Indicators and KPI's new this year tell you where you are and how you compares you to others who are top performers. So you can see the lessons and practices to be learned. We are currently offering a 30 minute complimentary follow up call to help you with your report and point you to the resources that can specifically help you to address what has been highlighted. If you want to try it out, I can get you into the Benchmark centre today and get you your report. Let me know if you do - Good luck!  marnie@towardsmaturity.org

Hi Marnie. Ok. Can I do this tomorrow. I'll send you a dm. Thanks

Hi Alex,

To be honest, you can use almost ANY metric/KPI that links with your organisation however you need to be very aware of perverse consequences - this is when metrics ad KPIs deliver the adverse of what you need.

Take a look at:  http://www.jonathankettleborough.com/measuring-moments-that-matter/ and then post some details of the precise issues you're looking to measure - or contact me directly and I'll do all I can to help you further.

All the best.


Hi Johnathon,

Fantastic post.

Here are some of the things we are looking to measure:

The following KPIs are proposed:

  1. Training days per person
  2. Training satisfaction
  3. Examination/assessment scores
  4. Training spend per person
  5. New courses developed
  6. Technical authorisations held
  7. TL&D headcount

The 2 key metrics will be No. 1 and 6.

Kind Regards,




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