Problem solving - HRDQ-U

What Caused It? Connecting Programs to Results



Sales of the latest handheld devices have increased 50% over the last quarter leading senior executives ask, “What caused it?” Employee turnover declined 20% in the past nine months. Senior executives ask, “What caused it?” Compliance discrepancies have decreased 40%. Executives ask, “What caused it?” This simple question, “What caused it?” is not an unfair question for senior executives to ask. Our ability to isolate the effects of programs and projects positions us to answer this important question in a credible way. Our inability to answer this question opens the door to let others answer it for us.

Isolating the effects of a program is not about isolating programs from other activities going on within the organization. In fact, by isolating the effects of your program, you’re positioning yourself as a better business partner. You can credibly explain how you know the investments in programs are driving the results you claim. Isolating the effects of a program is key in providing evidence that programs drive improvement in business measures. Knowing how to connect programs to results is a must if talent development professionals are to demonstrate the impact and ROI of their projects.

Attendees will learn

  • To describe the importance of isolating the effects of programs.
  • To apply at least three techniques to isolate the effects of programs.
  • To determine when to use each of the techniques covered in this session.


Dr. Patti Phillips, Ph.D., CEO of ROI Institute, Inc., is a renowned leader in measurement and evaluation. Patti helps organizations implement the ROI Methodology®️ in more than 70 countries around the world.

Since 1997, Patti has been a driving force in the global adoption of the ROI Methodology and the use of measurement and evaluation to drive organization change. Her work as an educator, researcher, consultant, and coach supports practitioners as they develop their own expertise in an effort to help organizations and communities thrive. Her work spans private sector, public sector, nonprofit, and nongovernmental organizations.

Patti serves as a member of the Board of Trustees of the United Nations Institute for Training and Research (UNITAR). She serves as chair of the Institute for Corporate Productivity (i4cp) People Analytics Board; Principal Research Fellow for The Conference Board; board chair of the Center for Talent Reporting (CTR); and is an Association for Talent Development (ATD) Certification Institute Fellow. She also serves on the faculty of the UN System Staff College in Turin, Italy.

Patti has authored or edited more than 75 books on the subject of measurement, evaluation, analytics, and ROI. Her work has been featured on CNBC, Euronews, and in more than a dozen business journals.


What Caused It? Connecting Programs to Results
ROI of Learning

Training professionals everywhere are feeling pressure to prove the value and impact which their training initiatives can bring to the organization. Without a proven return on investment (ROI) of learning, management buy-in and training budgets are in jeopardy. HRDQstore provides a range of tools for helping you learn how to calculate ROI for your learning initiatives. Learn more at

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