Responses on Human Performance Technology and Performance Improvement (1710 words)

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Question

Respond to a series of prompts on HPT:

1. On an airplane, you find yourself sitting next to an executive whose goodwill is important to you either as a client or as a senior leader of your company. The executive asks, “You said that you are a performance improvement consultant. What exactly does one do?” You have less than 3 minutes (3 short paragraphs) to explain the HPT/HPI processes you use to get results and tie everything back to that executive’s business.

5. Explain what a “gap analysis” is, including how gaps are defined and measured. Be sure to address how gap analysis related to needs, requirements, design, project scoping, evaluation, and evaluation planning.

4. What is the relationship between a cause analysis and a requirements definition (often a document)? How does one impact the other? How does information flow between the two? Also explain what a “cause analysis” is including what information is needed before starting the cause analysis, what information would be gathered during the analysis and what decisions would be made based on that analysis. Then, explain what requirements are and how they will be used.

3. Due to a down-turn in the economy, your company has been experiencing financial losses in revenue. You have been asked to put together a team that will find 3-5 low-cost or no-cost ways to resource costs by 25% for your company’s main product line. You are being given less 6 weeks to identify and test these cost-cutting measures. If they work in a pilot, you and your team guide the organization through the changes, if not your team will be “redeployed”. With no margin for error, you feel that it is imperative that evaluation be “right” from the beginning. Identify the evaluations and key decisions that need to be made in each of the next six weeks. (Reminder: this isn’t about designing the solutions but the plan to get to solutions.)

2. Because of your great efficiency and expertise in performance improvement, you have been reassigned to a project that is behind schedule due to the loss of several key staff members. Before taking any action, what information are you going to ferret out about the project and how will you use it to get the project back on track?

Discussion. Review and reflect on what you learned in the past 8 weeks. What is the most practical and easily applied lesson you learned? What was the hardest to grasp? Why? What else do you need to know about Measurement and Assessment Strategies?

Solution Preview

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Human Performance Technology is concerned with the performance of people in organizations – and therein lies an infinity of potential to identify challenges, solve problems, and realize opportunities, with all the attendant implications for an organization’s bottom line. While “human performance technology” may sound “woolly”, the discipline is systematic and rigorous – a fruitful way to think of the field is as similar to but far more broadly applicable than the Six Sigma approach to quality management.
HPT consists of systematically, comprehensively, and rigorously executing four fundamental sets of processes: “(1) performance, gap, and cause analysis; (2) intervention selection, design, and development; (3) intervention implementation and change; and (4) evaluation” (p. 712). Essentially, HPT systematizes the natural approach to all problems: determine how far we are from where we want to be and then determine the reasons for that gap; then carefully decide and design how to go about closing the gap; implement this chosen solution; and, finally, evaluate the solution’s effectiveness and adjust as needed.
Ultimately, the key mission of HPT—a mission of intrinsic...

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