Catapult your LMS from Ordinary to Awesome with a Skills Gap Analysis Tool

Sophie Doust /

Employee learning and L&D KPIs are becoming increasingly significant drivers influencing top-level decision making. It is more vital than ever before, that your business is armed with the right learning delivery platform.  Not just any LMS either, one with tools that deliver comprehensive information, to inform your business decisions and learning strategy.  In this climate of life-long learning, employee learning journeys are fast becoming the critical differentiator between medium and high performing companies and identifying where those journeys need to take every individual is the challenge.

One such LMS tool, to take you to a new level of business advantage is a Skills Analysis Tool (SAT). A SAT puts the control of your learning strategy firmly back in your hands, by simultaneously giving a highly detailed breakdown of your work forces’ current skills and identifying any gaps where learning is required.  From complex change implementation to training provision and succession planning, business processes become simpler and sleeker with the level of detail a SAT can provide. Learners benefit too; by increased clarity in their roles and future career paths, they make for more motivated and loyal employees.

Here are two of our clients’ experiences with SAT’s and how they approached using them to realise their business’ potential.

Royal Bank of Scotland logo

We saw an opportunity to employee a SAT to deliver an in-depth skills analysis in a change management situation, resulting in improved business performance, consistency and flexibility.


We faced a complex task of analysing and capturing the existing skill set of a specific workforce that were based across several geographical locations, one of which was new to the business. 

Our challenge was not only to capture the detail of all skills held but to close any gaps that were identified through training and/or recruitment. 

The overall driver of this project was to build business capability in these site locations. We needed to ensure the right skills were in all the right locations, to become more flexible and improve our ability to deliver projects in all locations.


It became clear from ongoing talks with our LMS provider (Digits) that a Skills Analysis Tool was a simple functionality (an add-on to our LMS) that could be the answer to our problem.

The first step in our process was to analyse the “how and why” of existing roles present in the workforce, within the areas in question.  We set up a taskforce team to break down job descriptions.  We needed to understand the specific core and then granular skill level detail, to give clarity to what the business needed from each of these roles and why.

Our next step was then to map all employees, within the areas in question, against these detailed descriptors – to gauge their individual skill levels and in doing so, highlight any gaps.  This allowed the identification of training and resource needs, mapped to the LMS content library.  The SAT also delivered reporting functionality which meant geographic reporting, showing us the skills spread currently in existence. 

This level of detail and mapping had never been possible with internal systems before, and was a real breakthrough for the Bank.  So much so, the use of our LMS Skills Analysis Tool within RBS is a resounding success and is in the process of being rolled out to wider areas within the Bank.

By focusing attention on standards and accreditation through developing and delivering the knowledge, skills, approach and experience of our people, using the Skills Analysis Tool we will work hard to build a deep understanding of our staff, customers and our businesses to make a real difference by doing what we do best…Leading Change.

Alan Thomson, Change Team, Royal Bank of Scotland

Kingfisher logo

We transformed part of the Kingfisher business to create a new, unified Offer & Supply Chain organisation across the global group companies (B&Q, Screwfix, Castorama, Brico Dépôt, Koçtas).  

To do this, we moved a lot of people into new roles and made a commitment to them to set them up for success.  As part of this we needed a user-friendly interface, which provided a technical solution to aid the development goals we had for our colleagues.


We wanted to work with our colleagues to create personal development plans and help them to transition and perform successfully. Therefore, we created the Development Check-in, which formed part of everyone’s induction.  The Development Check-in, personalised to their area and language, consists of two parts, an online self-rated survey that helps colleagues to identify their strengths and areas of development relevant to their new role, and a 1-1 development conversation with their leader / line manager to agree strengths and development areas, and to create a personal development plan together. We wanted a technical solution to enable our colleagues to compare their current capability with that required for their new roles, and quickly identify where they have strengths and where they may need support.


The SAT tool enabled us to quickly and easily automate the survey part of the Development Check-in, to give it a professional feel and to give our colleagues instant results. 

We needed something that would automatically compare a colleague’s self-ratings to a benchmark level of capability required for their new roles, and to highlight any strengths or gaps in a simple way.  We also wanted a tool that would generate a report and drop the relevant results into the right places. The tool needed to could cope with the large number of new roles we had, and the number of associated functional competencies. We’d already spoken to a number of providers and were unable to find a cost-effective solution that would do what we needed, in the timeframe that we were working to.

Digits built our tool incredibly quickly and it just works. The vast majority of colleagues who moved role as part of this transformation, have now completed their Development Check-in and are working with their leaders on their development plans.  This was an important first step for us as it helped people feel supported in a time of significant change. There have been only minor hitches in getting it working, mostly due to people forgetting passwords! I also now have access to an overall report that lets me look across the whole of the Offer & Supply Chain organisation and understand where we have strengths and where we have capability gaps.  This is very useful in building our Learning strategy for 2017 as my team and I will be able to target our efforts where we know they are most needed.

Carolyn Gazzard, Head of Learning & Talent, Offer & Supply Chain, Kingfisher Plc

I think you’ll agree, SAT’s can prove an invaluable virtual member of any L&D/Change team. They deliver detailed analysis and a truly insightful look at your employee skill set. Whilst focussing on the gaps and weaknesses, the challenge lies in, making sure you don’t forget the strengths of your employees, celebrate them and the capabilities you currently hold.

About the author

Colin Bull, Managing Director.

Digits has, for over 23 years strived to innovate and find ingenious technical solutions to client requirements within the eLearning industry, whilst ensuring the simplicity of the user experience is not compromised. We are determined to deliver the best value quality solutions to meet our clients’ needs. Our integrity in our work and our wealth of experience and talent in our field, gives us the conviction to stand by what we do. Based on these values, our reliability and our customers’ trust in us, we have forged long lasting relationships, which has been vital to our success and growth. We always aim for our solutions to be ‘Brilliantly Simple’!

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