How many times have you been ambushed with this scenario: “We need a new workshop on so-and-so for the March POA meeting!” or, “We need a new training piece on such-and-such competitor!” or, “We need to jazz up Day 1 of New Hire Training!”
Now, maybe you do need something along those lines, or maybe not. But a knee-jerk suggestion isn’t the same as a needs assessment, is it?
Here are 5 elements, some or all of which may be woven into a training needs assessment:
– User analysis: who are those that are to receive the training, and what is their current level of knowledge/development?
– Work analysis: what are the tasks to be performed, and how will the training address that?
– Context analysis: what the business needs being addressed by the training?
– Content analysis: what are the materials being used, for training and for the job at hand?
– Constraint analysis: what limiters (time, budget, personnel, technology, political roadblocks) will necessarily shape how an intervention can be developed and deployed?
Assuming that the need is, in fact, a training need (might it be a coaching/performance support need?), then it becomes a question of designing the intervention based on the gaps identified, deciding on the best development course for the intervention, and determining the cost/benefit of that training intervention.
Bad training can occur through “reactive mode” interventions – doing something because somebody said we need to do something. You stand a far better chance of success by doing a needs assessment before coming up with a training solution (shameless plug – I can work with you on this task as a consultant, as well as help identify ideal suppliers).