In my Human Performance Theory class, we have to turn in Executive Summaries (ES) and mindmaps for selected readings each week. Since I know so many people who are experts on performance, I thought I’d share what I am doing on this blog.
OK, I’m doing this for selfish reasons – I know my PLE is very experienced, and also most of you are not shy about correcting a misguided grad student’s ideas (I love you guys for that!!!). I’m hoping to generate discussion that goes beyond the theory I’m learning to real world practical application. Several of my classmates read this blog, so you’d be helping out the next generation of Instructional Designers!
Our official book for the course is an ASTD Press book: HPI Essentials which is a compilation of articles edited by George M. Piskurich. Our first ES/mindmap assignment is based on Chapter One: What is HPI? What makes you a Performance Consultant? How Can You Tell if You Already Are One? by Ethan S. Sanders.
Week 1 HPT Homework
Here’s a link to my mind map: Chapter1 MindMap
Here’s my ES:
This week’s reading was from Chapter One in the HPI Essentials book. The chapter explains the three principles of HPI and describes the type of individual best suited to be an HPI practitioner.
Human Performance Improvement (HPI) is the practice of identifying business gaps between an expected performance outcome and the actual performance outcome, and then identifying and managing the application of interventions that will resolve the root cause of the problem and improve organizational performance. The steps in the HPI module include Business Analysis, Performance Analysis, Cause Analysis, Intervention Selection, Intervention Implementation, and Evaluation of Results.
One key to a successful implementation of an HPI intervention is to focus first on the results that an organization expects to observe. Results, or performance, are what drive key business objectives. Sometimes individual behavior can be a cause of a performance gap, but often times there are other contributing factors. If the individual behavior is addressed with a training intervention but the other contributing factors are ignored, the performance gap will never be closed and key business initiatives will continue to fail. By starting with an evaluation of the desired business objective, all factors required to meet the stated business objective can be identified.
HPI is successful because the concept of systems thinking is built into the model. It is important to acknowledge that there are more indicators of performance than human behavior. There is an organizational level of performance which includes how the business is performing in the marketplace. Organizational performance also includes how the business has been set up operationally. How do the individual departments interact with each other, what is the formal hierarchy for communication, what are the value networks that dictate the informal communications? Process level performance is how the work actually gets done throughout the organization. What are the inputs and outputs required to enable the successful completion of the business objective? What are the Service Level Agreements (SLAs) between the individual departments? What are the underpinning contracts between a department and an outside vendor that may affect how the work flow? Finally, the job level is important because the work is performed by people. Have the right people to do the job been hired or promoted? Have the correct performance goals been set for these individuals?
An HPI practitioner is someone who enjoys the challenge of being in the midst of change. An HPI practitioner has to help an organization solve problems, deal with broken systems and disillusioned workers, and be determined to cut through all of the drama to find the root cause of the performance problem.