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Developing Human Capital: Using Analytics to Plan and Optimize Your Learning and Development Investments by Gene Pease, Barbara Beresford, Lew Walker

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CaseStudyHard Evidence Using Advanced Analytics: Valuing Training at Defense Acquisition University

BACKGROUND

Defense Acquisition University (DAU) supports the Defense Acquisition Workforce of the U.S. Department of Defense (DoD) by providing training to more than 150,000 civilian and military employees in the fields of acquisition, technology, and logistics. As the stewards of a $216.7 million budget, the leaders of DAU wanted to ensure they were accountable for those tax dollars by maximizing the effectiveness of their learning investments.

In the past, DAU had commissioned a number of studies employing survey and qualitative data to examine the impact of its training investments. These prior studies had indicated a positive impact on acquisition outcomes. The leaders of DAU were ready to take the next step in their measurement journey and find quantitative proof of training’s impact. They partnered with Capital Analytics (now Vestrics) to design a quantitative impact measurement model as a proof of concept (PoC).

The proof of concept would serve as a model for future impact measurement. Specifically, the proof of concept measured the effectiveness of DAU’s learning programs in terms of job impact, acquisition outcomes, and contributions to the Better Buying Power (BBP) initiative. BBP is the DoD’s mandate to “do more without more.” It includes “the implementation of best practices to strengthen the Defense Department’s buying power, improve industry productivity, and provide ...

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