Communication of the results is a critical step in the ROI process. It is also important to remember to customize communication according to the needs of the recipient. This particular study required three different forms of reporting. Figure 9-3 outlines the medium and the target audience for communicating of the ROI results from this study.

Figure 9-3. Communication Plan for Evaluation Reporting

Communication Approach

Recipient of Communication

Detailed report of the ROI study

• Project sponsor

• Project team

Executive summary

• Executive team

• Program participants

Summary of findings

• Future participants

• Future managers


The process of designing and evaluating an ROI study is not all smooth sailing. In fact, there are several areas to highlight as lessons learned in the hope that other ROI practitioners can learn and avoid unnecessary work in their projects:

1. Get early executive support. The HR or learning group often feels ownership of employee development processes and is hesitant to let them be developed independently. Initial barriers occurred because of putting the project ahead of collaboration. Early partnership and consensus building

is critical to the success of the project. Without the early and intermittent involvement of key business executives, the project is doomed to failure.

2. Partner with the financial analyst within the client organization. This partnership provides the ROI practitioner with a couple of advantages: First, it helps establish credibility from the CFO organization early in the project, and second, it helps the ROI practitioner learn about the preferred method of depreciation.

3. It is helpful if the project team is cross-functional. Early credibility suffered during this project because it was initially seen as another HR initiative. Create a project team that comprises the right mix of functional representatives and skills to complete the study in a timely and credible manner.

4. Enlist an expert in the ROI process. Whether internal or external, these skills are a must for developing a credible ROI study. Without such expertise, confidence levels could weaken.


1. What steps would you take to ensure executive support in your ROI project?

2. What accounting approach does your company take when calculating the costs of assets during the years a company intends to use the assets?

3. Would you have shown the results in terms of annualized benefits from a single year or multiple-year results?

4. How could you ensure that you had the right mix of team members (skills and function) on your project team?

5. Are there other impact measures that you would have included in this study?

6. What would you have done differently in this study?


Lizette Zuniga, PhD, presently serves as vice president of ROI implementation for the ROI Institute. With more than 10 years of professional experience, Zuniga has expertise in leadership and organizational development, learning and development, survey design, and ROI. She facilitates certification courses for ASTD in Measuring & Evaluating Learning and ROI Skill Building. She also serves as faculty on the United Nations System Staff College. Zuniga holds an MS degree in psychology from Georgia State University, and a PhD in leadership and HRD from Barry University. She is certified in the ROI Methodology and has authored and co-authored several articles and books about the application of the ROI Methodology. She can be reached at This email address is being protected from spam bots, you need Javascript enabled to view it

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