I interviewed the stakeholders first, inquired about the existing performance gaps and a brief on the concurrent competencies of the employees in their respective departments. This helped me get an overview of how they'd like a training intervention to help them bridge the existing knowledge and skill gaps. Also, it helped me understand the attributes that they'd like their respective employees to display to support the the strategic organizational objectives. There was pertinent focus on understanding the urgency and importance of addressing the training needs.
After having understood the voice of the stakeholders, I then conducted a few FGDs with a mixed bunch of employees from the middle management level. The gap-analysis questions asked to them included, but were not limited to, the following questions:
1. What are the key components of the work being performed in your department?
2. What skills and knowledge are required by employees in your department at various hierarchical levers to perform the work ?
3. How do you measures successful performance of the work?
4. What percentage of your people perform at the required levels?
5. Which roles require specific technical/professional training and what is it?
6. In what areas do staff under-perform in your department?
7. Have the causes of under-performance been identified? If Yes, how? If not, what actions can be taken to identify the causes of under performance?
The impact analysis of the ongoing training programs in the organization was also on the agenda.
Each session took nearly a couple of hours. There were some FGDs that had to be extended to a few sessions as the participants were asked to share the requisite data.
I then prepared a questionnaire to gather the target audience response and understand their perception of the existing gaps in terms of the importance and urgency of the training programs in the areas identified through interviews and the FGDs.
I must say it was a fruitful exercise, although it took almost two months time to identify the real needs and to analyze them.
This exercise made the content designing process much effective and efficient than I had expected.