Training Needs Assessment - We Don't Know What We Don't Know

Blog Post created by EdRoyston Employee on Jun 16, 2018

I have recently completed a Training Needs Assessment with a UK MSP customer. They are a long term CA customer in the AgileOps space and have not only upgraded their existing CA toolset in one of their environment but we are guiding them through the process of upgrading in another one of their external customer-facing environments.


Some of the new technologies that they are looking into include:

  • SDN and new data center builds - in particular with a Cisco ACI platform
  • SD-WAN and re-modelling their WAN infrastructure


However, with the use of new technologies means questions get raised about what can be done with the existing toolset and, in particular, questions on how their staff perform their daily/weekly tasks. This is where the TNA comes into play.


There are two main parts to the TNA:

  1. Product Usage Interviews
    1. Current role and usage of the CA IM solution
  2. Product Competency Analysis
    1. Assessing SSE team members in their knowledge of the CA IM solution through online assessment


The main comment that was expressed by the customer throughout the assessment is that:

We don't know what we don't know

This sentiment is a common one for customers that have been left with software products that they may use regularly (this was demonstrated in both stages of the TNA process) but don't know enough about toolset capabilities.


There are several ways that this situation can be addressed:

  1. Engaging with CA through Staff Augmentation
    1. This is something that we would probably not want to do as there is potentially no end deliverables/outcomes for this process and the business value comes into play.
  2. Leveraging CA Support - or better yet - CA AMS
    1. Luckily with this customer they do have an existing AMS with our Prague team. They are enthusiastic users of the process in place but it could be done better.
    2. How about creating a backlog of tasks that CA trained/supported individuals can work through? This is a concept that we are trying to drive with AMS though one needs to check up on the contract as to the limits around this.
    3. Using AMS can also be a way of leveraging Good Practices with tasks performed.
  3. CA Education courses and CA PA
    1. The competency analysis directly maps staff capabilities to knowledge gaps.
    2. Training can be provided through instructor led (useful for this customer since "they don't have the time to do anything"), web-based self-paced and subscription models.


We shall see within the next weeks as to how the customer will take onboard our recommendations.


On top of all this, this sort of exercise is valuable not only as a follow-up activity with customers, to be performed about 3-6 months after a Services engagement (after the CA IM toolset has had a chance to "bed in" with users), but also a way of opening up new opportunities with the customer. In this case we are looking into both cavna and cabi jasperreports opportunities.