This post includes questions to consider during the up-front definition phase of an enterprise initiative for leadership development program. It is better to agree on the means of evaluation at the outset.

Evaluation plan

  • To what degree do evaluation measures align with the needs assessment?
  • Does the plan define the talent tracking needed?


This section defines metrics and success indicators needed for an LDP.

  • Have you considered the measure of “Quality of development discussions with managers” as a qualitative measure?
  • Have you considered the measure of “Inclusion of diversity of the individuals among the top talent”?
  • Are there particular formats of metrics that executives want, such as so called at a glance charts?
  • If improved profits is a measure linking your leadership development efforts to business strategies in order to increase profits, what is the time horizon to allow the operational results to accumulate (e.g. 6-9 months)?
  • Consider intentionally using less emphasis on participant satisfaction for an LDP metric.
    • Participant Satisfaction should be less of a concern from a leadership development perspective because the training and feedback tends to actually decrease an employee’s satisfaction in the short term because it reveals areas they need to improve.
    • If Executive satisfaction is used, it should only be for how the LDP is impacting leaders junior to them. When they are the participants, this metric should not apply.

Determining ROI for LDP intervention

  • How does ROI help the organization see the impact of the LDP?
  • How have you communicated the difficulty in isolating the effects of an LDP?
  • How can you put a dollar value on the change in performance of the participants?
  • What is the number of participants who go through an activity?
  • How job-related is a specific activity?
  • What kind of change can leaders expect as a result of implementation?
  • What percentage of the overall learning and development budget is intended for the return-on-investment process?
  • What is the payback period?

Internal Rate of Return

  • What is the IRR hurdle?
  • Does the ROI exceed the IRR hurdle?

Cost Benefit Analysis

  • Direct Costs?
  • Indirect Costs?

Mechanisms for gathering metrics

  • Are the mechanisms in place to capture quantifiable data?
  • What needs to be done to put that in place?
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KW Lanham



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