By Jack Phillips, PhD, Chairman, ROI Institute

Imagine a request to measure the ROI of business coaching–a very soft-skilled process at the very least. Well, that is what happened at a large hotel chain. Faced with intense price competition, the need to improve profits and operational efficiency, retain key staff, and satisfy customers, top executives asked for this level of accountability. Yes, the top executives knew coaching was valuable and would help executives meet very ambitious goals. At the same time, coaching was very expensive and has been used in the past by several executives with no clear measure of success. Fortunately, the request was made before the project was implemented, allowing the individual responsible for coaching to make some adjustments along the way to ensure proper business focus was achieved and data collection was built into the process. A session, ROI In Action: An Integrated Case Study, at the ISPI conference in Toronto will examine this challenge and show how this task was accomplished using the ROI Methodology.

The ROI methodology is a logical process used to capture five levels of outcome data including the financial ROI. Along with a logic model, the methodology has very conservative standards to generate CEO and CFO friendly data. Designed to show value of all types of projects and programs, the ROI Methodology is now used by over 4,000 organizations in 58 countries. It is ideal for all types of performance improvement projects. To ensure each study is developed consistently and conservatively, operating standards, known as the 12 guiding principles, are followed.

My 90-minute session will show how the methodology is used to capture five levels of data: reaction, learning, application, impact, and ROI. The impact data not converted to money are considered to be intangibles, a sixth type of data, providing a balanced profile of success. As the case unfolds, data will be presented and the audience will respond with specific actions. The course of action taken will be presented along with the rationale for it. Ultimately, the audience will calculate the ROI.

This is an excellent application of interactive learning to see how the ROI is developed step-by-step. The presentation will start with a summary of the situation where coaching is offered as an opportunity to help executives achieve some very critical business performance goals. The participating executives select coaching on a volunteer basis and are allowed to identify critical measures to improve their respective functions, but only if the improvement can be accomplished with the assistance of the coach. The audience will assume the role of the individual conducting the ROI study and address the different phases from planning, data collection, analysis, and reporting results. At the end, participants clearly see how a soft project, such as business coaching, can be evaluated at the ROI level using a very credible and repeatable approach.

To learn more on this topic from Jack, register today for THE Performance Improvement Conference at

About the Author
As a world-renowned expert on measurement and evaluation, Jack J. Phillips, PhD, is chairman of the ROI Institute. Through the Institute, Phillips provides consulting services for Fortune 500 companies and major global organizations. The author or editor of more than 50 books, he has conducted workshops and presented at conferences in 44 countries. His most recent books include ROI for Technology Projects: Measuring and Delivering Value (Butterworth-Heinemann, 2008); Return on Investment in Meetings and Events: Tools and Techniques to Measure the Success of all Types of Meetings and Events (Butterworth-Heinemann, 2008); Show Me the Money: How to Determine ROI in People, Projects, and Programs (Berrett-Koehler, 2007); The Value of Learning (Pfeiffer, 2007); How to Build a Successful Consulting Practice (McGraw-Hill, 2006). His expertise in measurement and evaluation is based on extensive research and more than 27 years of corporate experience in five industries. Phillips has served as training and development manager at two Fortune 500 firms, senior HR officer at two firms, president of a regional federal savings bank, and a professor of management at a major state university.