Beginner’s Series: In-depth Training Needs Analysis at 3 Levels – Part 3

Beginner's Series: In-depth Training Needs Analysis at 3 Levels

An in-depth Training Needs Analysis (TNA) examines training needs on three levels, i.e. organizational, tasks, and individual. This analysis provides a way to design training programs that benefit both organizations and employees. I discussed the benefits of Training Needs Analysis in the earlier blog of this beginner’s Series: Six Sizzling Benefits of Training Needs Analysis – Part 2. Now, let’s come to three levels in Training Needs Analysis.  They are inter-linked and ensure a balanced analysis that takes care of the big picture as well as the specific training needs of individual employees. So let’s check them in detail.

The three levels of TNA

1. Organizational analysis

Training Needs Analysis at the organizational level identifies gaps between employees’ actual performance and their maximum potential to attain organizational objectives. This analysis begins with a review of the company’s strategies and operational plans. For this, organizational objectives, efficiency indices, and other factors are analyzed. If a strategic planning process is not in place, you need to conduct a SWOT analysis, i.e. Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats of your organization. Involving employees in key roles will help you to do this better. At this level, you will identify where in the organization training is to be emphasized.

Organizational analysis considers how employee training can help attain organizational goals and where in the organization, training is needed. This analysis finds out the knowledge, skills, and abilities workforce will need for the future, as the organization and the tasks of its personnel evolve and change over time.

For example, let’s take an insurance company – organizational analysis identifies the gap between the number of claims actually processed and how those numbers can be maximized to a certain extent or percent.

Task analysis

Task analysis is a process of identifying the purpose of a job and its component parts, and specifying what must be learned in order for there to be effective work performance.[1]


The nature of the tasks to be performed on the job, and the Knowledge, Skills, and Abilities (KSAs) needed to do those tasks are analyzed in this level. This is also known as operations analysis. So task analysis checks the knowledge and skill needs for each specific job task and correlates these requirements to the workforce’s actual knowledge and skills. The gaps revealed in this analysis will give you the training needs.

Analyzing job descriptions will provide insights on the required competencies to perform the task or job. The gaps between actual performance and required competencies indicate the need for training. Task analysis answers the question of what is the training needed and where it is required.

Let’s take the same example of the insurance company – Task analysis identifies what should be done to increase the number of claims, such as qualified claims, claims assigned, claims logged in/acknowledged, claim confirmation process, and other jobs.

Individual Analysis

In Individual or person analysis, you can identify who needs to be trained and what training is needed. This helps examine individual performance and training needs.

It analyzes employee performance and compares it with defined standards, to find out the training needs of each individual.

Continuing with the same example – Person analysis verifies what Knowledge, Skills and Abilities (KSAs) each employee must gain, i.e. claim analysis skills, interpreting policies, estimating the extent of loss, calculating the cost of restoration, and other things.

To summarize, here is what each level entails:

Level of Analysis Description
Organizational Analysis Analyzes organization-wide goals and issues to find out where training is needed
Task/Operations Analysis Examines jobs/tasks actually performed and the KSAs employees need to attain organization objectives
Individual/Person Analysis Analyzes the actual knowledge, skills, and current performance of each employee to determine who needs training in which area

All three levels in a Training Needs Analysis are inter-related and serve in achieving an organization’s business objectives. Organizational, Task, and Person analyses are conducted using various data collection techniques. These three levels of analysis help measure the overall need of training, competencies required to perform jobs/tasks, and the cognitive abilities required at a personal level. In a way, these three levels help you focus on individual training needs without overlooking the organizational training big picture.

Next Steps: I will share Six Simple Steps to Conduct Training Needs Analysis in my next blog as a part of this beginner’s Series. So, stay tuned.

Instructional Design 101: A Handy Reference Guide to E-learning Designers