Does your business have objectives to achieve and need to identify the training and development required to achieve them? Read on to learn about and download an article by Sarah Cook of the Stairway Consultancy about an exercise called Learning Needs Analysis (LNA). 

LNA should take place at the beginning of the learning cycle. Information gathered in this phase, should shape what learning is required at organisational (strategic), departmental (operational) or individual level. Its focus is to identify performance gaps related to skills, knowledge and behaviour, and develop objectives and interventions to address these. 

Organisational LNA

Typically these identify the development needed to support the business strategy, objectives and KPIs and are typically conducted with senior managers. Wider factors that could impact the business are also considered (political, economic, socio-cultural, technological) and the competitive strategy of the business (strengths, weaknesses, opportunites and threats). Learn more about PEST and SWOT analysis here

Likely questions asked are:

> What factors external to the organization will affect the organisation's capability requirements in the longer term?
> What learning and development is required and what are the expected outcomes?

Departmental LNA

Often driven by the above, departmental LNA identifies training development needs across a department or functional area of the business, linked to business outcomes.

Typical discussions are:

> What business issues need resolving and what objectives are needed to achieve this?
Is the problem related to skills, knowledge or behaviour, or a combination of these?
> How can the effectiveness of the training be evaluated?

Individual LNA

Typically involving line managers, individual LNA identifies what skills, knowledge or behaviour is needed to achieve departmental and therefore business objectives.

Useful questions are:

> What are the future business priorities and how might these affect the role you play?
> What skills, knowledge or behaviours may you need to demonstrate or acquire to meet these needs?



Article by Sarah Cook of the Stairway Consultancy. Specialists in Leadership, Customer Services, Team Building and Personal Effectiveness.