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11 Questions to Ask Before Creating a Training

These are questions applying the  "SMART" goal-setting paradigm for training analysis.

1. Is this workshop the best solution?

Is having a workshop the most effective means of resolving the issue and worthy of the effort?

You may want to reconsider investing in a workshop session if your objectives fall into any of the categories below and check-in with DevEd if you’re not sure:

  • Are you teaching instead of creating documentation?
  • Are you training rather than investing in the usability of a specific product/tool?
  • Is the audience niche or extremely limited?
  • Are you newly familiar with the content but not necessarily an expert?
  • Will facilitating this content introduce new vendors, languages, frameworks, or other interactions into your company ecosystem, and does it align with your current solutions?

2. What is the learning objective of the workshop?

Have you clearly defined the workshop goals and learning outcomes for participants?

A learning objective states what the learner will be able to do upon completion of your workshop.

  • What is the organizational context which is driving the need for the program?
  • In one sentence, what is the learning objective of your workshop?
  • Are the objectives useful, things developers would do in real life?
  • Is there a way to prove if your learners accomplished the learning objective?

3. What will be the impact on the company if this program is successful?

Is there a way to measure that impact?


  • Increased morale measured by surveys
  • Decreased support questions measured by slack messages
  • Increased productivity measured by sprint task completion

4. How does this workshop align with the company’s business objectives and strategy?

Have stakeholders been informed, and are they aligned?

Identifying training’s role within broader business objectives will reinforce buy-in from various stakeholders and empower participants to reach personal and organizational goals.

Addressing your learners’/stakeholders’ needs is critical to avoid rework and postponing the training delivery date. By incorporating each stakeholder’s input, you can ensure your training aligns with existing initiatives.

5. Who is your audience?

The organizer has identified the target market for the workshop.

Which stunning colleagues will benefit from your training?

  • What do they want to learn?  Feel free to ask them.  
  • Don’t forget that we don’t know what we don’t know, so sometimes asking us what we want to learn can inadvertently leave gaps.

6. How much demand is there for your workshop?

Is the target market interested in the workshop, and have they been surveyed for feedback on workshop content?

Try creating a  placeholder course in your event registration system to gauge interest in your topic.  We have also had training organizers gather interest and feedback on training content by posting slack messages with google surveys in channels matching their target audience.

7. What is the skill level of your target audience?

Have you considered the audience skill-level, workshop prerequisites, and resources to help get them up-to-speed?

What are their skill levels? Remember, you are an expert in your area, and you may have expertise bias. (The curse of being a subject-matter-expert is it can be challenging to think about problems from the perspective of lesser-informed people)

What prerequisites will this group need before attending the session?

8. Does your audience have biases?

Have you identified any misconceptions around the workshop topic, and how do you plan to address any biases?

  • Does your audience have any misconceptions or biases about your topic that you can address in the workshop?
  • Has this ever been tried before? If not, why? If yes, what happened?
  • Does the audience have motivation gaps that may make them hesitant to attend or accept the training? Consider these scenarios and how you might address them.
  • A learner does not buy into the outcome of the training.
  • The end-goal does not make sense.
  • A learner has anxiety or concern about the change.
  • A learner is distracted by other pressing items.
  • A learner does not understand the importance of their participation.

9. Is this a training or a presentation?

Teaching is a step beyond presenting and includes proving understanding by your participants.

Are you hoping to present information, or are you hoping to teach information?  Presenting is more one-way but may include FAQs with attendees.  Teaching means you measure the success of your workshop by proving knowledge transfer and understanding by your participants.  If you are simply presenting, you can ignore the sections of this guide that do not pertain to you.

10.What is your timeline?

The organizer has a realistic timeline and can allocate the resources necessary to meet their milestones.

I recommend at least 3-4 weeks to build a course from scratch. A one-hour workshop may take 20 hours to prepare for the first time, but don’t let this deter you because it is time well spent, and you will be providing a positive impact.

11. How do you feel about public speaking?

If the organizer is not confident in public speaking, then the first step may be quickly developing this skill.

We know that many people dread public speaking, which can be a barrier to volunteering to offer workshops.  Communication skills are crucial to being successful. Facilitating workshops are a great way to overcome your fear and build your confidence.

Ways to assist nervous speakers:

  • Cap your workshops and keep them small until they are ready to talk to a large group.
  • Recommend tools and templates to record your training so you can perfect every slide and compile it into a polished video.
  • Work with your internal learning & development team for formal Public Speaking training.
  • Speeko is a fantastic mobile app that allows you to practice speaking in private. It gives you feedback about the number of filler words you use, your intonation, and speed.

ReactionThe degree to which participants find the training favorable, engaging and relevant to...

Evaluation Checklist

Evaluation should occur throughout the process allowing you to refine your training based...


Ideal Location & SetupEnsure your location is well-lit without significant noise or distractions,...

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