Imagine a situation: you step out of the house; you have a bag on your shoulder filled with food and water and some books. You start walking towards south. Then you turn north, and then you board a bus. You meet a friend in the bus and you exchange greetings. Your friend asked you where you want to get down. You were not sure. Well, your friend got down in the next stop and you follow her. You look around. What do you find? Have you reached where you wanted to reach? Hey, wait, you had not decided where you wanted to go in the first place!!
Training Needs Analysis, or TNA, as it is popularly known is “where you want to go” in the above story. It is the goal that you wish to accomplish with a training program. Without a goal, any training program whatsoever is like walking without any direction with an intention to reach nowhere. Define the end. Period.
Q: Is it necessary?
Q: Who needs to do it?
A: Anyone and everyone who has identified a performance gap and considering training a possible solution to addressing the gap. Before planning/organising/conducting a training session in a school/college/organization, small or big, small budget or big budget, TNA is a must.
Q: What is Performance Gap?
A: Performance Gap = Expected Performance – Actual Performance.
Q: Can performance be measured?
A: Yes. Performance metrics have to be decided upon in terms of numbers.
Performance is a result of: Motivation(M) + KSA(Knowledge, Skills & Attitudes) + Environment
Q: How to conduct TNA?A: There are some steps that need to be followed.
- Identify the performance gap.
- TNA should be conducted on three basic metrics:
a. Ogranizational Analysis
b. Operational Analysis
c. Person Analysis
- After an in-depth search has been conducted, think of the possible solutions and list them down.
- Only when lacunae have been identified can a best possible solution be decided. The best possible solution is based on constraints pertaining to budget, time, and resources.
Some things you need to keep in mind before you start a TNA on your own:
- You may not be able to conduct a TNA properly because you see the people every day.
- Not always will the result of TNA point you towards a training program.
- Not every problem can be solved through training workshops
Q: My budgets are small. Can I still do something about the performance gap?
A: We are optimists. We believe every problem has a solution.
Q: Can I conduct TNA on my own, or have someone internally do it?
A: Yes, you can, but the chances of the results being clouded by their opinion (since they are already a part of the environment) will be high and hence the purpose of a TNA gets defied.
1. Effective Training – Systems, Strategies and Practices. Blanchard, P.Nick, Thacker, James W. & Ram, V.Anand, Pearson, 4th Edition