Unlocking Efficiency and Value: The Power of Learning Operations

  • Learning Operations
  • By Todd Mumford
  • Published on December 11, 2023

In the fast-paced world of talent development, the efficient and strategic management of learning operations can make all the difference in achieving organizational goals. Building upon the latest research of Robyn A. Defelice and the ATD, this blog post delves into the crucial role of learning operations in the development of training programs. We explore how gathering and analyzing operational data can validate the efforts of learning and development (L&D) teams and drive resource allocation decisions. With a focus on the concept of Learning Operations, we highlight key findings and provide real-world case studies that emphasize the value of data-driven approaches.

Efficiency and Development Time:

The research reveals that instructor-led training generally takes less time to produce than e-learning. However, the development time for each training product can vary significantly depending on factors such as the level of engagement and the designers' familiarity with the content. The data emphasizes the importance of collecting operational data specific to an organization to understand the context and adapt estimates accordingly.

Factors Affecting Efficiency:

The study also sheds light on the factors that impact the efficiency of training development. Standardized processes and procedures, an agile team structure, and leadership support are identified as key efficiency drivers. On the other hand, limited resources, lack of subject matter expert availability, and scope creep are identified as barriers to development. By understanding these influences, organizations can identify areas for improvement and implement strategies to optimize their learning operations.

The Value of Standardization:

One of the case studies presented in this blog post focuses on the value of standardization in learning operations. By establishing standardized templates and processes, organizations can streamline their training development efforts. Bethany Shean, Vice President of Education Services for Home Builders Institute, found that having a common language and defined activities led to process improvement and more efficient training development. Standardization reduces bottlenecks, increases efficiency, and improves collaboration with vendors, partners, and internal stakeholders.

Navigating Limited Resources:

The case study of Allana Bowman, a training and development specialist for Pharmacy Data Management, highlights the challenges of limited resources. Being the sole member of the L&D department, Bowman faces constant demands from stakeholders. However, by collecting data on project timelines and resource allocation, she effectively manages stakeholders' expectations and justifies the need for additional support. Data-driven conversations enable better decision-making and prioritize responsibilities in line with the organization's goals.

Unlocking Leadership Support:

The role of leadership support in driving efficiency and development time is another crucial aspect highlighted in this blog post. Juan Naranjo, a senior manager of design and development for a North American media company, discovered the significant impact of leadership backing on training development. By leveraging internal expertise and upskilling their team, Naranjo's department achieved substantial cost savings while delivering high-quality solutions. The use of operational data helped him illustrate the potential return on net value to gain support for a new vendor strategy.


Learning operations play a vital role in the success of L&D functions within organizations. By collecting and analyzing operational data, L&D professionals can identify bottlenecks, improve efficiencies, and demonstrate the value-add of their function. Standardization, resource management, and leadership support are critical factors that contribute to efficient training development. By incorporating data-driven practices and positioning L&D as a strategic business function, organizations can achieve better outcomes and drive continuous improvement in their talent development initiatives. Embracing the concept of Learning Operations is key to unlocking efficiency, effectiveness, and organizational success.