Development Needs Analysis

The Development Needs Analysis (DNA) service offered by Cambridge Network‘s Learning Collaboration, in conjunction with Boundless Solutions, is aimed at organisations of up to 50 employees, typically without a dedicated HR/Learning and Development (L&D) role. Other Cambridge Network members can also benefit from this service if they feel it would be a useful addition to their internal functions.


The purpose of the DNA is to enable you to conduct a comprehensive review of the skills, talent and capabilities required now and in the future to achieve the strategic aims of your organisation.

As part of the review, recommendations will be made to identify how to close the gap between the current reality and the required level of knowledge and expertise to maximise individual and organisational effectiveness.   

You will gain a clearer understanding of your L&D needs and a strategic approach to allocating L&D budget to target most critical areas of development. In addition, future capability needs will be explored by focusing on short-term and longer-term goals.  This will result in more engaged employees, as you align development needs with key strategic aims.


The steps outlined below are an indication of the process involved.  If required, we can adapt this based on the needs of your organisation; however it is recommended that we do not miss any steps.  

We aim to:

  • Understand the organisational context (internal and external) of your company, and your longer-term business strategy and priorities for the next 12 months
  • Understand your current approach to L&D (e.g. annual appraisal, level of budget etc.)
  • Identify the skills, knowledge, capabilities and behaviours required to meet your priorities and achieve your strategy
  • Evaluate existing skills, knowledge, capabilities and behaviours at organisational, team and individual level
  • Recommend suitable L&D options to close the gap(s) identified
  • Implement actions as required
  • Evaluate the impact of L&D action - at individual and organisational level
  • Analyse ongoing L&D needs and the organisational capabilities which may be required - incorporated as part of your normal business cycle of strategic review

We achieve this through:

  1. Questionnaire: You will be asked to complete a pre-meeting questionnaire to provide some background context to your organisation. 
  2. DNA session: The answers provided will be explored further during the DNA session (duration of up to 3.5 hours). 
  3. Report and recommendations: Following the session, a report will be compiled based on the topics explored and recommendations will be made to help close the gap between the current reality and the skills, knowledge, capabilities and behaviours needed to realise the business strategy.
  4. Follow-up: When you have reviewed the report, you decide what action to take based on recommendations made.  Cambridge Network will follow up after three months to check progress and offer a follow up call (either with Elpie or a member of Learning Collaboration).  Further follow ups will take place after six months and 12 months, if desired.

Find out more

Please contact Ali Wilson ( if you have any queries or are interested in discussing the service. Ali will then arrange a mutually convenient time for the DNA meeting with Elpie Bannister of Boundless Solutions.

About Boundless Solutions

Elspeth (Elpie) Bannister of Boundless Solutions has direct experience of how competitive advantage can be gained through building resilience in a high‐engagement, high‐trust culture. Working to identify and achieve companies’ desired outcomes, Elpie designs and delivers meaningful solutions that align people with strategy to develop companies person by person. The result is change that has a positive, lasting impact.

Elpie has worked as a senior leader across hi‐tech, legal, telecoms and retail banking sectors for 20 years. While at ARM, she spent over 10 years enabling the company population to grow fivefold while maintaining its values‐driven culture.

With a BA in Human Resources, Chartered MCIPD qualification, a Diploma in Organisation Development and accreditation in a range of psychometric profiling tools, Elpie has expertise in Talent Management, Leadership Development, Learning and Development, Mergers and Acquisitions, Employee Engagement and Organisation Development. Elpie now trades as Boundless Solutions with Cambridge Network’s Learning Collaboration.