Case Studies iconCase Study: Management Consulting

A Comprehensive, Detailed Training Needs Analysis

Client profile

Our client is the world’s leading provider of market intelligence to the pharmaceutical and healthcare industries. With a presence in more than 100 countries, they offer a variety of solutions to help clients understand the marketplace, improve marketing effectiveness and optimize sales productivity. With consulting and services divisions that grew rapidly by acquisition as well as organically, our client focuses its efforts on portfolio optimization, product and commercialization strategy, co-marketing/co-branding decision analysis, sales force optimization, and more.

Client Objective

The client needed to revisit and revise the existing consulting training curriculum to ensure that it would continue to meet the needs of the many, diverse consulting practices that emerged through rapid company growth.

Barriers – Getting in the Way

The existing training curriculum was meeting the development needs of some but not all consulting practices. And though the content and delivery were consistently rated excellent, time out of the office for consultants and analysts was becoming a burden because of mounting internal pressure to exceed revenue targets. Some additional challenges faced by the client to meet the training needs were:

  • Leaders had indicated that each practice had unique needs for training due to different business models that the existing curriculum did not address
  • Training department did not have deep insight into consultant training needs across the practices
  • Class attendance in current courses was dropping
  • While business needs of some internal clients had changed since the curriculum’s inception four years earlier, consulting foundational courses had not

Project Objective:

In this situation, there were two key objectives.

Primary Objective: Conduct a training needs analysis to determine what revisions, additions, and improvements should be made to the existing consulting training curriculum and develop recommendations for development and delivery, content, and timing.

Secondary Objective: The training department desired to identify urgent practice skill development needs and identify/develop solutions to meet those needs to improve business performance. They wanted to leverage the “revise and revisit” (training needs analysis) activities to demonstrate that they were forward thinking, responsive and timely in providing skill development that could quickly and positively impact business objectives.

Services Delivered

To help the client meet the project objective, the following services were successfully delivered.

Phase 1: Data Collection

  • Prepared interview guides and conducted interviews with analysts, consultants and leaders who represented 10 distinct specialty areas and international geographies

Phase 2: Analysis, Synthesis and Prioritization

  • Reviewed historical course evaluations
  • Developed and summarized prioritized list of training requirements
  • Identified current and potential existing course assets based on prioritized requirements

Phase 3: Developed Recommendations and Proposed a Development/Delivery Plan

  • Developed Recommendations for long-term and current year development and delivery
  • Facilitated client review meetings which involved participation of our client’s internal customers and consulting leaders
  • Completed development & delivery plan/schedule (analysis, prioritization, options, recommendations)

Project Outcomes / Business Outcomes

The client received an evidence-based development and delivery plan as well as a clear picture of the relevance and reusability of their existing training assets. This enabled the client to make credible, well-informed and even strategic decisions about the current and future skill development of their employees.

  • Overall class enrollment increased due to increased awareness of existing training assets. This awareness was created through the TNA interviews and intentional creation of ongoing dialogue between our client sponsors and their internal customers.
  • High priority, quick performance-return training solutions to enable consulting practices to realize employee performance quickly were identified for all practices.
  • Every represented country implemented at least one high priority training initiative in the current fiscal year and upon assessing positive performance impact on business outcomes, all countries scheduled follow-on training for the following fiscal year.
  • Top priority, cross-practice training solutions were identified, agreed upon and deemed high value by consulting leaders. In addition, those which required very low to medium investment and most of which could be completed under the current budget were identified.
  • Practice-specific skill development solutions that offered high value business impact were identified and most were implemented in the current year.
  • Practice-specific training needs which required very low to low investment were identified and most were implemented in the current or following year.
  • All but one practice elected to implement at least one training solution before the current year ended.

Additional Services Delivered

Subsequent to the TNA, P31:

  • Was engaged to develop and deliver several of the recommended training interventions
  • Identified and facilitated access to relevant 3rd party training sources for lower costs or more efficient, targeted training solutions


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