Training Needs Assessment: A Systematic Approach

Joan Strohauer Department of Education

“Remember, training is not what is ultimately important… performance is.”
Marc Rosenberg

Did you know...
“Not more than 6-10 % of expenditures in training actually result in transfer to the job.”
Broad and Newstrom

Key Skill Asking questions… Asking the RIGHT questions! ??? .

In the “Real World” You cannot afford to not do a frontend analysis Something is better than nothing Do the best you can Need to have a theoretical base Key skill: Focus your questions .

.Needs Assessment Definition A needs assessment is the process of identifying performance requirements and the "gap" between what performance is required and what presently exists.

occupational determine if training individual is the solution. analyze performance. and characteristics of trainees .Macro vs. Micro Macro  aligned with strategic goals  three levels Micro  initiated by performance problems or change organizational  assessment done to clarify problem.


Why ISD? On the job performance GAP Classroom or other type of training or intervention .

Analyze  What is the problem?  Is it a training problem?  What skills and knowledge should be included in the training program?  Who needs to be trained?  Problem Analysis  Performance Analysis  Task/Competency Analysis  Learner Analysis .

What is Problem and Performance Analysis?  Clearly defining the problem or opportunity  A formal procedure used to analyze defined needs to determine their causes and identify appropriate solutions. P. 28 .

Identify training vs. Determine the importance Is it worth solving? 3.P. Select the best (most cost-effective) solutions . non-training solutions 5. Define the problem? 2. Determine the cause(s) 4. 32 Robert Mager 1.

ACTUAL PERFORMANCE (Actuals) = POSSIBLE TRAINING NEED .P. 31 Step 1: Define the problem Describe Discrepancy DESIRED PERFORMANCE (Optimals) .

34 Step 2: Is it important?  Why is it important?  What if you did nothing?  How big is it? (Quantify if possible)  Who cares?  “Is the cost of the discrepancy high enough that it seems worth pursuing a solution?” .P.

IGNORE REJOICE ..If the answer is no….

Step 3: Determine Cause(s) Is it a problem of skill or a problem of will? I don’t I don’t wanna! wanna! I don’t know how. .

it is a skill deficiency Arrange Formal Training no Used to do it? yes Arrange Practice no Used often? yes Arrange Feedback .Yes.

Other questions Change the Job Arrange onthe-job training Simpler way? Transfer or terminate Potential ? .

If a skill deficiency..  Provide training  Provide practice  Provide feedback  Simplify the task  Develop a job aid  OJT  Transfer  Terminate .

Performance punishing? Remove Punishment Non-performance rewarded? Arrange Positive Consequences Arrange consequences Does performance matter? . it is a problem of will..P.. 37 Yes.

..And one last question. Obstacles? Remove Obstacles .

Step 4: To train or not to train?  First determine cause(s)  Only then look at possible solutions  Seek integrated solution systems that get to the root of the problem Calculate cost Select best solution(s) P. 39 Implement .

To solve a performance issue  Training may not be the answer  Training may not be the only answer . 39 Cause  If  If  If  If  If  If Solution skill or knowledge……… lack feedback……………... discuss job environment…………change environment potential……………………change personnel .P. consequences unclear expectations…. measure. standards not motivated…………….

40 If training is the answer….  Formal training  Self study  Technology based  Job related/workplace approaches .P.

42 .on to task or competency analysis! P.Outcomes of Problem and Performance Analysis More complete picture of problem Is it training? Is it training plus… Make solid recommendations If is training or job aid….

supervision  Professional jobs  Career pathing  Leadership development .Task/Competency Analysis “What do learners need to learn?” Task Analysis  For more skill oriented jobs  When need consistent set of training requirements Competency Analysis  Soft skills training such as mgmt.

Steps in Task Analysis  Break job into major functions  Break functions into major tasks  Break tasks into steps  Identify training outcomes .

Task Analysis Interviews  Managers  Best performers  Job incumbents  Subject matter experts .

Competency Analysis What are competencies? Enduring characteristics of a person that result in superior on-the-job performance Areas of personal capability that enable employees to successfully perform their jobs by achieving outcomes or successfully performing tasks .

. behavior. skills.What is a competency model? Identifies the competencies necessary for each job as well as the knowledge. and personality characteristics underlying each competency.

What do you want to know?  General characteristics  Specific knowledge and skill  Learning styles  Special needs P. 61 .

Information is Used in Three Important Ways  To help determine where to begin the content of the training program  To determine how to present the content  To get buy-in .

Methods for collecting data Data gathering is cornerstone of any needs assessment project Can be time consuming .

Data Collection Methods Interviews Surveys/ Questionnaires Focus Groups Observation Existing Data .

What are at least 4 methods of collecting data? What is the key skill one must use in conducting an effective needs analysis? .Final Exam Why do we bother with needs analysis? Where does TNA fit in the ISD process? T or F: Training is the solution to most performance problems.

“If you think training is expensive.” .try ignorance.

Thank You! .

Sign up to vote on this title
UsefulNot useful