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Create a Learning and Development Strategy

Transform your learning and development function from reactive to strategic.

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  • Veronica Ambrosini, Talent Management & Organizational Design Expert
  • Jan-Willem Bouwmeester, Group Manager Learning & Development, Maser of Science, Royal De Heus Group
  • Siobhan Calderbank, Director of Learning & Development, Intelex Technologies
  • David Hayden, L&D Consultant, CIPD
  • Bill Goggin, Director, Adult Education, St. Francis Xavier University
  • Stephanie Kerr, Director of Organization Effectiveness, Harley Davidson Motor Company
  • Lisha van Leeuwen, Leadership and Team Excellence Leader, Roche
  • Brett VanderHoek, Manager, Talent, Tolko Industries
  • Dr. Iris Ware, Chief Learning Officer, City of Detroit
  • Linda White, Vice President of Global Learning & Development (retired), Scotia Bank

Several anonymous contributors were also interviewed.

Your Challenge

  • Organizational leaders remain unsatisfied with the performance of their current L&D functions.
  • Employees are leaving organizations because they are not receiving the training and development that they were promised when they were hired.

Our Advice

Critical Insight

  • L&D can’t be all things to all people. It needs to focus on proactively identifying and developing the critical learning needs that will enable the organization to deliver on their strategic objectives.

Impact and Result

  • Highly effective HR departments create programs that are deeply aligned with the strategic needs of their organizations. L&D departments need to do the same.
  • Involve key stakeholders from the beginning and perform a comprehensive needs analysis to understand the type of support from L&D that would be most valuable.
  • Create an L&D framework that details a vision, objectives, primary learning needs, employee groups, core delivery methods, measurement, and governance to ensure that your L&D function has a clearly articulated purpose and roadmap for the future.

Research & Tools

2. Define the L&D framework

Identify the primary learning needs for priority employee groups in order to determine delivery method(s) and key accountabilities that will form the core of a governance model.

3. Create an action plan

Address gaps between the L&D framework and current state that will produce the greatest impact.

Guided Implementations

This guided implementation is a four call advisory process.

Guided Implementation #1 - Conduct a Needs Analysis

Call #1 - Identify project steering committee and discuss needs analysis.
Call #2 - Review results of needs analysis.

Guided Implementation #2 - Define the L&D Framework

Call #1 - Discuss elements of framework and implications of needs analysis.

Guided Implementation #3 - Create an Action Plan

Call #1 - Review action plan to verify timelines and identify related McLean tools.

Learning & Development Strategy

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Course Information

  • Title: Learning & Development Strategy
  • Number of Course Modules: 5
  • Estimated Completion Time: 1.5 hours

Learning Outcome

Explain the process of creating a Learning & Development strategy, with a focus on creating and implementing strategic principles that will guide current and future learning initiatives.

Learning Objectives

By the end of this course, learners will be able to:

  • Describe the value a strategically aligned learning function brings to an organization.
  • Analyze their own organization to identify learning gaps and needs.
  • Explain the different considerations that guide the creation of L&D strategic principles.
  • Describe the critical steps involved in implementing an L&D strategy.
HRPA Certification Pre-Approved Logo

1 CPD hour per course.

SHRM Certification Logo

Each course is valid for 1 PDC for the SHRM-CP℠ or SHRM-SCP℠.

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The use of this seal confirms that this activity has met HR Certification Institute’s® (HRCI®) criteria for recertification credit pre-approval.

Course Modules

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Module 1

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Module 2

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Module 3

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Module 4

Onsite Workshop

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Onsite workshops offer an easy way to accelerate your project. If you are unable to do the project yourself, and a Guided Implementation isn't enough, we offer low-cost onsite delivery of our project workshops. We take you through every phase of your project and ensure that you have a roadmap in place to complete your project successfully.

Module 1: Conduct a Needs Analysis

The Purpose

  • Ascertain a vision, objectives, and strategic metrics for L&D.

Key Benefits Achieved

  • A defined L&D strategy project vision




Clarify the strategic direction of the organization.

  • Organizational strategy clarified

Conduct a SWOT analysis.

  • SWOT analysis conducted

Identify insights for learning.

  • Major themes and critical issues identified

Create a vision for L&D.

  • L&D vision set

Define L&D objectives and identify strategic metrics.

  • L&D objectives and strategic metrics established

Module 2: Define the L&D Framework

The Purpose

  • Identify the primary learning needs.
  • Identify the core delivery method(s).
  • Create a standardized measurement approach.
  • Identify key accountabilities to form the core of a governance model.

Key Benefits Achieved

  • An L&D framework that clearly identifies the desired future state of the learning function




Identify the primary learning needs.


Prioritize the primary learning needs.

  • Primary learning needs determined

Identify employee groups and create learner profiles.

  • Learner profiles created

Select core delivery methods.

  • Core delivery methods chosen

Outline a measurement approach for standardized evaluation.

  • Measurement approach for standardized evaluation outlined

Create a governance map.

  • Governance map built

Module 3: Create an Action Plan

The Purpose

  • Identify gaps between the current state and desired L&D framework.
  • Prioritize gaps that will have the most impact.
  • Create an action plan to address the priority gaps.

Key Benefits Achieved

  • Gaps in the L&D framework are addressed with an impactful strategy and action plan




Examine integration with other HR practices.

  • Integration with other HR practices investigated

Identify gaps in L&D portfolio.

  • Gaps in L&D portfolio identified

Examine learning infrastructure.

  • Learning infrastructure examined

Assess L&D capability.

  • L&D capability assessed

Prioritize gaps.

  • Gaps prioritized

Create an action plan.

  • Action plan created