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24% Higher Profit Margins Start with a Training Needs Assessment

Posted By Lyndsey Zajac, Monday, October 3, 2016
Updated: Monday, October 3, 2016



By Mary Rasmussen
Worldwide Product Marketing Manager
Hewlett Packard Enterprise



The foundation for an amazing IT organization is business alignment, and achieving alignment year after year remains one of the biggest business challenges. The CIO and IT organization are critical contributors to a successful business strategy as IT performance is often the most significant competitive advantage in today’s digital world.  Aligning IT with the business starts at the strategy level to ensure a common understanding of business goals, priorities and desired outcomes.  Alignment also demands a review of the technical capabilities and limitations of the enterprise to identify changes that may be required to support the goals.  New architecture, new software and modernization of processes tend to dominate the state of the enterprise discussions, but reviewing the people resources is equally important. Competent staffing both for technical and business areas is essential for accelerated and quality delivery, and so training and education is strategic to business alignment.

Industry analyst IDC reports that 80% of IT managers believe that training is critical to project success.  IDC also published other remarkable 2016 metrics on the impact of training and certification including that companies who have comprehensive training show 24% higher profit margins. Many organizations take an ad-hoc rather than a comprehensive strategic approach to training which can lead to diminished business results. Failure to include training and education in the strategic plan exposes the business to:


  • Budget risk as costs for training and education are a "best guess” not based on a complete analysis
  • Early consumption of the organization’s training budget by non-mission critical, lower priority projects leaving the needs of higher priority projects unmet
  • Schedule delays and lack of calendar alignment due to the failure to account for adequate preparation and training time
  • Slower delivery and lower quality driven by skills gaps and the "forgetting curve”


For the best business outcomes, training and education should be included in the strategy discussions.  A great place to start is with a Training Needs Assessment (TNA). Performing a Training Needs Assessment (TNA) is instrumental to achieving and maintaining alignment with the organization strategy.   In a nutshell, the TNA will allow you to get the right training, to the right audience, at the right time based on the business strategy.



A TNA is a systematic approach to identifying the education needs to best meet your organizational objectives and budget.  The basic steps of a training needs assessment include:

  • Identifying key organizational objectives
  • Identifying organizational priorities
  • Setting performance goals (and identifying metrics for evaluation)
  • Identifying possible obstacles and mitigation
  • Structuring enablement methods
  • Identifying skill gaps
  • Identifying relevant content required
  • Developing an enablement program plan that aligns with business timelines, budget and culture

The level of effort for each of these steps may vary widely based on the business objectives. For example, an organization undergoing a transformation like DevOps may have very different content and training requirements as compared to an organization that is upgrading their service management solution. 

Build the Skills Now to Succeed in 2017

Is your organization currently planning for 2017?   What is your confidence level that your team has the skills to succeed? There is no better time than now to perform a training needs assessment to ensure your team is ready to execute at its best in 2017.  For more information on conducting a training needs assessment, please contact your regional HPE Software Education Business representative (AMS, APJ, EMEA) to see how we can help you meet your goals. For more information on HPE Software Education visit our website at


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