Case Study 5

Management Training Programmes - Cray Research


Based in Minneapolis, Minnesota, Cray Research designs and builds Supercomputers. These massively powerful machines are supplied to organisations such as NASA, Ford, Ferrari,  scientific & technical companies, National Governments and Pharmaceutical companies, among others.

As with many specialist scientific organisations that grow quickly, a significant number of managers are from a technical background and have had very little training in people management. 
Staff turnover was high, role clarity was poor and levels of performance were varied.


DDA Consulting carried out an initial managers Training Needs Analysis and used the results to design a programme of training for managers that included one, two or three day modules covering:
  • Leadership skills
  • Management fundamentals
  • Influencing skills
  • Managing performance
  • Coaching skills
  • Meetings skills
  • Interviewing
  • Staff development
These programmes were offered to all managers on a voluntary basis. Preparatory and follow up discussions between attendees and their managers were made a condition of attending.


Feedback from those attending the programmes was extremely positive, with delegates emphasising the applicability of the training to their day to day work as managers, while also highlighting the immediate and lasting benefits of applying the learning.

The impact on some key measures was also evident – staff turnover decreasing over a two year period from 16% to 7%, and grievances related to manager’s performance reducing drastically.

Feedback from the managers of those attending the programmes of training emphasised the increasing confidence of delegates when handling difficult situations, such as addressing poor performance and bringing about a significant change in working practices.

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