Diagnosing
Performance Problems

Module Goal and Objectives

The goal of this module is to introduce you to the tools and models which guide the analysis and diagnosis of performance problems. At the end of this module you will be able to:

Performance Outcomes

You will complete the following as part of this module:

Module Map

UNDER CONSTRUCTION

Overview

Thomas Gilbert's - Engineering Performance With or Without Training

Consequence Analysis

Seeing Systems

Joe Harless' - An Ounce of Analysis

Intervening at Different Levels in Organizations

Analysis of Human Performance Problems

Robert Mager's - Analyzing Performance Problems

The Politics of Intervening in Organizations

"Without analysis, there is no Human Performance Technology."

--Allison Rossett

Overview

The ability to accurately analyze performance problems is the single most important and value-added skill of the performance technologist. This module will provide you an introduction to a variety of both diagnostic and prescriptive tools for conducting a performance audit. By the end of this module, you will be able to select, plan for, and conduct a performance audit; accurately assess the causes of performance problems; and suggest possible types of appropriate interventions as solutions.

Since this module is somewhat complex, I am providing you an advanced organizer of the module components:

In order to build your skills as a performance analyst, you must first be able to view performance and related problems as part of a SYSTEM. In fact, all performance occurs within and is affected by a multitude of interrelated systems. Seeing systems, then, is the first step toward effective analysis.

Analysis of Human Performance Problems (Stolovitch, Chapter 7) provides a nice overview of the purpose of analysis and introduces you to some of the methods for conducting a performance audit. This chapter will help define terms, introduce you to causes of performance problems, and overview tools for conducting an analysis and collecting information.

The next two sections introduce you to two gentlemen who have been called the founders of HPT and that laid much of the groundwork for performance analysis models and approaches: Thomas Gilbert and Joe Harless. Reviewing their works will give you a sense of history on the field, and will allow you to see trends that have influenced contemporary tools and approaches, such as the Mager Model for Analyzing Performance Problems.

Mager's Analyzing Performance Problems is a popular, contemporary performance diagnostic tool which is presented as a decision tree. We will apply this tool to a variety of performance problems, particularly in the Forum and in the Dyad Activity. I suggest you become very familiar with the tool, as we will refer to it often. This section also walks you through a complete hypertext example of the tool in action.

Consequence Analysis is a prescriptive tool which should be used if the results of the Mager Analysis reveals a potential problem related to consequences of behavior. This section provides an excellent example of the tool in action.

The final two sections help us identify potential sources for solutions (Intervening at Different Levels in Organizations, Stolovitch Chapter 4) and launches our discussion surrounding the logistics, pragmatics, and Politics of Intervening in Organizations (Stolovitch Chapter 6).

You can navigate these sections in any way that is comfortable to you.

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Seeing Systems

The first skill a performance technologist must master in order to engage in performance analysis is the ability to look at any phenomenon and see it as a system. Recall that Performance Technology as a field is rooted in systems theory, and its methods have been called systemic in nature (Review Stolovitch, Chapter 2). A system is a group of interrelated elements forming an entity, usually operating toward a purpose or goal (Stolovitch, p. 15). Analysis begins with a basic understanding of how systems are constructed and operate.

There are four basic tenets of a system:

Geary Rummler, and others, have suggested that organizations are, indeed, living and adaptive systems (Review Stolovitch, Chapter 3). Rummler calls the organization an ECOSYSTEM. The diagram below may help your understanding of organizations as systems, and set you on the path toward looking at performance phenomena and SEEING SYSTEMS.

Note that in organizations, each HUMAN is a system with its own subsystems (e.g., learning system, motivation system). In turn, each HUMAN is part of system EXCHANGES with other systems (e.g., people or teams) and has a relationship with a SUPRASYSTEM (e.g., team or unit). Again, in turn, the team has a relationship with its SUPRASYSTEM (e.g, the function) which has a relationship with its SUPRASYSTEM (e.g., the unit), and so on through a multitude of SUPRASYSTEM relationships (e.g., department, business unit, company, community, society, global economy, etc.).

 

The key to seeing systems is to realize, then, that each performance discrepancy (and later each performance intervention) that occurs in a system does not occur discretely and without impact on the system as a whole. Performance analysis entails a systematic approach to locating and describing gaps in performance that are barriers to the whole system's health, growth, and livelihood.

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HPT Forum

I'd like you to start thinking about performance in your own organization. Select an organization to consider in answering questions throughout this and future modules. The organization can be your current workplace. Or it can be a not-for-profit organization that you volunteer for. It can be a school, a library, a church, a governmental office, a corporation, etc.

Your first step in considering this organization is to look at it and SEE ITS SYSTEMS. Briefly describe your organization's systems, subsystems, and suprasystems. What is YOUR relationship within the system? Post your description in the Diagnosing Performance Problems Forum.

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Analysis of Human Performance Problems Stolovitch and Keeps

Chapter 7

Reading Highlights

Allison Rossett, in Analysis of Human Performance Problems, notes four themes that appear consistently in the works of leaders (Gilbert, Harless, Mager, and Runnler) in the field of Human Performance Technology:

Watch for some of the following highlights in your reading:

  1. Investigating performance problems
  2. Analyzing Performance Problems
  1. Communicating and Influencing the Organization
  1. What is analysis paralysis? (see p. 108).

 

Performance Audits

The steps that Rossett describe as Investigating Performance Problems, including collecting information on optimal performance, actual performance, and the feelings of key people involved in the problem are also referred to as the PERFORMANCE AUDIT.

The first concept of the performance audit is that there is a difference or gap between a CURRENT STATE and an OPTIMAL STATE. In order to fully analyze the gap, there must be specific data collected regarding these two factors.

Gilbert (1978) is credited for devising a procedure for conducting a performance audit. His procedure entails seven steps:

  1. Identify accomplishments (what the system is currently accomplishing).
  2. Identify requirements (what the system needs to have done).
  3. Identify exemplar performance (what the realistic potential is).
  4. Measure exemplar performance (optimal state).
  5. Measure typical performance (current state).
  6. Compute the potential for improving performance (the discrepancy or gap between exemplary and typical performance).
  7. Translate this potential into stakes (e.g., savings or other value that can be expected from an improvement or closing of the gap.)

Notice that these steps require specific data to be collected on measures of performance. In many cases, this information is not defined nor documented except perhaps in job descriptions and performance reviews (and then it may reflect unobservable, unmeasurable factors such as "good worker" or "pleasant"). Direct observation and thorough data collection is required in order to define requirements and measure performance of exemplars and current performers. In some cases, analysis of exemplars may even take you outside of the current organization (such as a Benchmarking study).

An intervention to analyze and define performance measures required to accomplish an organization's mission can serve both as analysis and as intervention, since this effort would contribute to communicating clear standards and expectations for future performance and could eliminate future performance gaps. (We will have more on measuring performance and establishing performance standards in Organization Level Interventions and Implementing and Evaluating Performance Interventions.)

A performance intervention, therefore, is something introduced to the system intended to close or bridge the performance gap.

Don't forget to mind map your understanding of the concepts presented in this chapter, and post it to your student page.

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HPT Forum

You now have a concept of performance discrepancies and how to investigage gaps in performance. But what are some typical factors that impact human performance? Here is a quick activity that may help provide at least one vantage point on understanding the variables of human performance in organizations. Knowing some of these variables is important to being able to discern cause and solution to performance problems.

Answer the following question about your own performance in your selected organization:

Improvement in which one of the following six areas would enable you to do your job better?

  1. Clear performance expectations and relevant feedback about the adequacy of your performance.
  2. Tools, resources, and materials to achieve your performance goals.
  3. Adequate pay and non-pay incentives made contingent upon your performance.
  4. Systematically designed training that matches the requirements of your job.
  5. A match between your skills and the requirements of your job.
  6. Assurance of job security and social acceptance.

Select ONE of the above and share your answer in the Diagnosing Performance Problems Forum.

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"The absence of performance support factors in the work environment
is the single greatest block to exemplar performance."

--Thomas Gilbert

Gilbert's - Engineering Performance With or Without Training Pathfinders

Chapter 3

Reading Highlights

Watch for the following highlights in your reading of Thomas Gilbert's major contributions to HPT analysis:

  1. What is an exemplar performer? What are measures of exemplar performance?

 

  1. What is the distinction between behavior and accomplishment? (see p. 59)

 

  1. What contribution do the BEHAVIORAL ENGINEERING MODEL and the PROBE model make to performance analysis? How are these two models distinct from each other?

 

The Behavioral Engineering Model

The six factors you selected from the last activity above match up to Thomas F. Gilbert's Behavior Engineering Model (see the table below). This model provides a structure, or vantage point, for understanding the variables that affect human performance in organizations. It can be called a descriptive analysis tool, but has been used as the basis for many prescriptive tools including those developed by Geary Rummler and Robert Mager.

 

Information

Instrumentation

Motivation

Environ-
ment
1. Data
  • Relevant and frequent feedback about the adequacy of performance
  • Descriptions of what is expected of performance
  • Clear and relevant guides to adequate performance
2. Instruments
  • Tools and materials of work designed scientifically to match human factors
3. Incentives
  • Adequate financial incentives made contingent upon performance
  • Nonmonetary incentives made available
  • Career-development opportunities
  • People 4. Knowledge & Skills
    • Scientifically designed training that matches the requirements of exemplary performance
    • Placement
    5. Capacity
  • Flexible scheduling of performance to match peak capacity
  • Prosthesis
  • Physical shaping
  • Adaptation
  • Selection
  • 6. Motives
  • Assessment of people's motives to work
  • Recruitment of people to match the realities of the situation
  • Using this model as a basis, Dean conducted this same activity with approximately 1000 participants seeking the answer to "Where's my biggest performance block?" Over two-thirds of participants chose the environmental factors of information, resources and incentives as areas needing improvement. Why then, do most organizations and their leaders automatically assume that factors within their people must be changed without considering changes required of the environment?

     

    Thomas Gilbert - The Father of Performance Technology

    Thomas Gilbert has been called the "Father of Performance Technology". He began as a student of B.F. Skinner at Harvard University. Early in his career he called himself a behavioral engineer. Later, as his work began to diverge from the path taken by programmed instruction, he called himself a performance engineer. He is the author of Human Competence (1978) which is in re-prints with special biography information and forewords, and is currently available from ISPI. A special double issue of Performance Improvement was devoted to Thomas Gilbert in the July/August 1998 issue (Volume 37/Number 6) if you would like to read more about the man and his accomplishments.

    Gilbert created a framework for looking at the various factors that affect human performance. He distinguished clearly between factors in the environment, such as information, resources and incentives, and factors in the person, such as knowledge and skills, capacity and motives. Keep in mind in future modules that Gilbert attributed most performance discrepancies to environmental factors.

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    HPT Forum

    Gilbert first postulated his behavioral engineering model in 1978. Yet, even with so much change occuring in organizations since 1978, it is still a solid foundation for our understanding of human performance variables. Why do you think his model has stood the test of time? Please post your response to Diagnosing Performance Problems Forum.

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    "Front end analysis is about all the smart questions a trainer
    or manager or consultant asks before doing anything."

    --Joe Harless

    Harless' - An Ounce of Analysis Pathfinders

    Chapter 6

    Reading Highlights

    In An Ounce of Analysis, David Ripley highlights the key features of Joe Harless' Performance Improvement Process (PIP). This model outlines a systematic process for the planning and implementation of performance improvement efforts and brings us closer to a PRESCRIPTIVE model for conducting a performance analysis or audit.

    Watch for some of the following highlights in your reading:

    1. Front-end analysis was first used in 1969 to describe the process of asking questions which examine the rationale of training. What are some of Harless' basic principles of front-end analysis? (see p. 94)

     

    1. Harless' PIP analysis process can be applied to either an existing performance gap or the requirements of a new performance (e.g., introduction of a new tool, job, role, or process).

     

    1. Harless categorizes interventions are into four main areas. How does this compare to Gilbert's six factors?

     

    1. Why does Harless emphasize continuous monitoring?

     

    Joe Harless and the Systematizing of Performance Technology

    You can begin to see the path of influence behavioral psychology had on the early days of Human Performance Technology when you realize that first, Gilbert was a student of B.F. Skinner's, and second, that Joe Harless was a student of Thomas Gilbert's! It is also interesting to note that Joe Harless chose to spend his career "in the trenches" rather than in the world of academe of his mentors. As such, Joe Harless' works represent a pragmatism grounded in his direct consulting experiences. Joe Harless and his PIP process also represent a clear attempt at building a systematic approach to performance analysis.

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    "The danger in leaping from apparent problem to apparent solution is that large
    amounts of time and money can be spent in throwing training
    at a problem that training cannot solve."

    --Robert Mager

    Analyzing Performance Problems Robert F. Mager
    Peter Pipe

    Reading Highlights

    In the introduction to Analyzing Performance Problems, Mager and Pipe note that:

    People don't perform as expected for many reasons:

    Only careful and systematic analysis can identify the true cause of a performance discrepancy. Too often, hasty conclusions are made about the source of a performance discrepancy, and most often these conclusions suggest that the cause is either "they don't know how" (give them training) or "they can't" (replace them) or "they really outta wanna" (motivate or micro-manange them). Mager's model is based on a thorough, process of elimination type, analysis that saves these conclusions as a LAST resort rather than a FIRST conclusion.

    The Mager Performance Analysis Flow Diagram (see p. 5) is most appropriately applied to problems that occur at the Job/Performer Level of performance. It focuses on the common factors that may affect individual performance (see above and on p. 3). Keep this in mind as you read his book and follow his explanations/examples on how to apply the Analysis Flow Diagram to diagnosing performance problems.

    Watch for some of the following highlights in your reading:

    1. What is a performance discrepancy? Why does Mager prefer the term discrepancy? (see p. 3)

     

    1. How do you determine whether a problem is "worth pursuing"? (see Chapter 2)

     

    1. What do the four "fast fix" questions and solutions have in common? What parallels do you see here to the models of Gilbert and Harless? (see Chapter 3)

     

    1. What does Mager mean by looking for consequences that are "right-side up?" (see summary on p. 59)
      The next reading section on
      Consequence Analysis provides a tool the performance technologist can use to conduct a deeper, detailed analysis of the consequences of performance if the Mager analysis reveals a possible problem in this area.

     

    1. What are Mager's key questions for assessing whether the problem entails a skill deficiency? (see Chapters 7, 8 and 9)

     

    1. In Chapter 11, Mager outlines a variety of obstacles to performance. Are there additional obstacles you have observed in your work setting that could be added to these examples?

     

    A Sample Analysis

    When you've completed your reading of Analyzing Performance Problems, test your understanding of the Performance Analysis Flow Diagram by walking through our sample performance problem in The Example of the Back Order Blues.

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    HPT Forum

    Now that you have read all of Mager's examples and have applied the Performance Analysis Flow Diagram to our own Back Order Blues example, let's see if you can use the model to analyze a new performance problem. The problem is described below. Answer the questions from the Performance Analysis Flow Diagram posted in the Diagnosing Performance Problems Forum to conduct your analysis and suggest a cause to this problem.

    Students at a large university are notified that it is unlawful to copy materials on copiers unless it is
    authorized or fair educational use. Notifications are even posted on the copiers themselves.
    Nonetheless, students continue to make copyright infringements.

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    "People behave in ways that maximize positive consequences."

    --The Law of Effect

    Consequence Analysis
    A systematic process for analyzing consequences

    A Mager Performance Analysis may result in the identification of consequences - either inappropriate or ineffective - as a possible cause of a performance discrepancy. When this is the case, a more detailed analysis of consequences is required. The following material is based on Analyzing Consequences for Improving Organizational Performance by Mark G. Brown. This two-part article appeared in the Performance and Instruction Journal beginning in August, 1989.

    The Consequence Analysis Tool is Based on Gilbert's Behavior Engineering Model

    Gilbert's Behavior Engineering Model differentiates between the Environmental and the People factors that impact human performance. It was Gilbert’s position that a lack of environmental supports, rather than human factors, most often contributes to workers not achieving exemplary performance.

    Brown's interpretation of the Behavior Engineering Model appears below. Consequence Analysis focuses on the third cell of this model, Consequences (which Gilbert lables as Incentives).

     

    Information

    Instrumentation

    Motivation

    Environ-
    ment
    Data
    • Objectives

    • Expectations

    • Feedback

    Resources
  • Tools & Equipment

  • Time, Money, People

  • Rules & Procedures

  • Work Environment

  • Organization Structure

  • Consequences
    • Incentives

    • Penalties, Punishments

    • Social Rewards

    • Recognition

    People Knowledge & Skills
    • Prerequisites
    • Technical K & S
    • Managerial K & S
    • Knowledge of Company and Industry
    • Analytical K & S
    Capacity
  • Physical
  • Emotional
  • Intellectual
  • Motives & Needs
  • Motivation
  • Reasons for Working
  • Rewards & Preferences
  • Hierarchy of Needs
  • Career Goals
  • Analyzing Consequences

    Analyzing consequences is a four-step procedure:

    1. List consequences for desired and undesired behavior
    2. Rate consequences as positive or negative
    3. Rate impact, timing, probability & magnitude of each consequence
    4. Total ratings and analyze balance of consequences

    1. List Consequences for Desired & Undesired Behaviors

    A listing of consequences for desired and undesired behavior might look something like the table below.

    This example focuses on the performance of call center representatives within the customer service organization of the manufacturer of a technical product. The call center representatives are the first point of contact for all customer service calls. They forwards calls they cannot resolve to the technical support representatives. All customer data is to be entered into a central database used to track vital customer information.

    It has come to the attention of upper management that the address is not being entered into the database by the call center representatives 30% of the time (undesired behavior). It is the expectation of management that this information be entered into the database at all times (desired behavior).

    Consequences for desired behavior
    call center representatives enter
    address into database at all times

    Consequences for undesired behavior
    call center representatives do not
    enter the address

    • increased call time
    • longer hold time
    • fewer calls taken during a day
    • volume of calls in queue increases
    • getting correct spelling of street and city names frustrating
    • managers don't pester call center analysts as to why call screens are not complete
  • technical support representatives complain
  • decreased call time
  • decreased hold time
  • increase in number of calls per day by call center analyst
  • managers want to know why database information is not complete
  • 2. Rate Each Consequence and Positive (+) or Negative (-).

    Determining whether a consequence is positive or negative should be based on the performer’s point of view.

    However, simply tallying up the number of positive and negative consequences for the desired and undesired behaviors will not necessarily indicate which behavior will most likely occur. One very powerful positive or negative consequence can outweigh ten weak consequences. You must weigh each consequence on several factors.

    3. Rate the Impact, Timing, Probability and Magnitude of each Consequence.

    Each of the consequences listed for both the desired and undesired behavior should next be rated on several dimensions:
    (See the table below for an example of these ratings as applied to the call center example.)

    Impact: Who is affected? Is the performer personally impacted by the consequence or indirectly impacted? The more direct the impact of the consequence, the more powerful that consequence will be.

    Timing: How soon after the behavior does the consequence occur? The more immediate the consequence if felt, the more powerful that consequence will be.

    Probability: How likely is it that this consequence will occur? Does the consequence occur every time or erratically? If the likelihood of the consequence occuring is certain or high, the more powerful the consequence will be.

    Magnitude: How powerful is the consequence likely to be in controlling behavior? How does the performer perceive the weight or power of the consequence?

    These dimensions are summarized in the table below:

    Rating

    Impact

    Timing

    Probability

    Magnitude

    10

    1

    Personal

    Organizational

    Immediate

    Delayed

    Certain

    Remote

    Powerful

    Weak

    3.a. Rating the Impact

    The scale below indicates how you might rate a consequence on the basis of impact:

    Rating

    Impact

    10
    9
    8
    7
    6
    5
    4
    3
    2
    1

    Employee
    Family
    Work Group
    Department
    Division or Unit
    Location
    Company
    Industry
    Community
    Society

    3.b. Rating the Timing

    Timing is rated on a 1 to 10 scale. A rating of 1 indicates that the consequence occurs in the distant future; a rating of 10 indicates that the consequence is immediate.

    3.c. Rating the Probability

    Probability is also rated on a 1 to 10 scale. A rating of 1 indicates that the chance of the consequence occurring is remote; a rating of 10 indicates that the consequence is certain to occur.

    3.d. Rating the Magnitude

    Magnitude is a measure of how powerful a consequence is in controlling behavior. Magnitude is rated on a 1 to 10 scale. A rating of 1 indicates a weak consequence, having little effect on behavior; a rating of 10 indicates a powerful consequence. Magnitude is twice as important as any other dimension in controlling behavior.

    Following is an example of how you might score the desired and undesired consequences of the call center example:

    Consequences for desired behavior

    +/-

    Impact

    Timing

    Prob-
    ability

    Mag-
    nitude

    Weight X2

    Total Mag-
    nitude

    Total Score

    increased call time - 9 8 9  9 2 18 -44
    longer hold time - 10 10 8 10 2 20 -48
    fewer calls taken during a day - 8 6 7 6 2 12 -33
    volume of calls in queue increases - 9 10 7 9 2 18 -44
    getting correct spelling of street and city names frustrating - 3 7 3 3 2 6 -19
    managers don't pester call center representatives as to why call screens are not complete + 1 1 3 1 2 2 7
    TOTAL                 -181

     

    Consequences for undesired behavior

    +/-

    Impact

    Timing

    Prob-
    ability

    Mag-
    nitude

    Weight X2

    Total Mag-
    nitude

    Total Score

    technical support representatives complain - 3 4 2 1 2 2 -11
    decreased call time + 10 10 9 10 2 20 49
    decreased hold time + 10 10 9 10 2 20 49
    increase in number of calls per day by call center representative + 9 9 9 10 2 20 47
    managers want to know why database information is not complete - 4 4 5 4 2 8 -21
    TOTAL                 113

    4. Total Ratings and Analyze Balance of Consequences

    As the totals indicate, there are positive consequences for the undesired behavior - not entering the address into the database (113). The consequences for entering the address were negative (-181). It is clear from this analysis why call center representatives chose not to enter the customer's address.

    This analysis indicates that an intervention is required which either creates additional positive consequences for the desired behavior, eliminates negative consequences for the desired behaviors, or removes positive consequences for the undesired behavior.

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    HPT Forum

    Let's try a mini consequence analysis on something that may be a shared example for all of us...laundry!

    Here is the desired behavior of my family members:

    To place their dirty laundry in the laundry room and sort the laundry according to color and type (towels, colored clothes, jeans, white clothes, permanent press clothes).

    Here is the current and undesired behavior of my family members:

    To leave clothes in their hampers or in piles in their rooms for me to sort through on laundry day.

    What do you think the consequences are for my family members for the desired and undesired behaviors? Suggest both positive and negative consequences for the desired and undesired behaviors in the Diagnosing Performance Problems Forum. Make sure you label each suggestion as a positive (+) or negative (-) consequence. After we have several consequences listed, I will construct a scored table of your suggestions and share it with you.

    Thanks for your help!

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    Note: The next two chapters begin our transition from Analysis to the Design of Interventions.

    Intervening at Different Levels in Organizations Stolovitch and Keeps
    Chapter 4

    Reading Highlights

    Kenneth Silber, in Intervening at Different Levels in Organizations, ties together the work of a number of HPT researchers as they describe the possible levels of intervention available to the performance technologist.

    Silber has integrated the variety of intervention types into a three-dimensional model of Level of Intervention of HPT (see pp. 60-63). The level of intervention varies by:

    Watch for some of the following highlights in your reading:

    1. According to Silber's model of intervention, how many variations of HPT projects are possible? What do you think is the most common point of entry for HPT specialists? Why?

     

    1. What are the common types of intervention? (see pp. 61-62)

     

    Categories of Performance Interventions

    Silber provides just two categories of performance interventions in his chapter: isolated performance solutions and total performance solutions. These can be further categorized by solution or intervention type. Here is a fairly Exhaustive List of Performance Intervention categories and examples.

    This course divides its consideration of performance interventions into the three levels identified by Rummler and Brache: Organization Level Interventions, Process Level Interventions and Job/Performer Level Interventions.

    Don't forget to mind map your understanding of the concepts presented in this chapter, and post it to your student page.

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    HPT Forum

    Silber uses three dimensions for classifying HPT projects: Size of the Client System where intervention will be applied, Part of the HPT Process the specialist will engage in, and the Type of Intervention. So, for example, the project I was involved with to help re-define performance measures and competencies for a business line of a major corporation might be classified as:

    a. Affecting One unit of an organization,
    b. Engaging in Problem analysis and solution design,
    c. And resulting in a Total performance solution.

    Provide an example of a training or PT project you have been a part of. Can you classify it according to Silber's three dimensions? Provide your example and classification in the Diagnosing Performance Problems Forum.

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    The Politics of Intervening in Organizations Stolovitch and Keeps

    Chapter 6

    Reading Highlights

    John Duncan and Esther Powers, in The Politics of Intervening in Organizations, delve into the elements of politics which affect the efforts of the performance technologist. Power bases include expertise, political access, tradition, credibility and stature. Healthy politics engender debate and conflict, and the open resolution of issues. Dysfunctional politics force dissension and decision making behind the scenes. Consensus is defined and identified as a critical means for promoting mutual growth and informed, participative decision making.

    Also discussed is the role of HPT in facilitating change within an organization. HP consultants must understand the change process, the natural resistance to change, the stages through which individuals progress in dealing with change, and the roles necessary for managing change.

    Watch for some of the following highlights in your reading:

    1. What myths must HPT consultants dispel, for themselves and the organizations in which they work? (see p. 81)

     

    1. What are the stages of change (see p. 82)?

     

    1. What roles are necessary to manage a change effort?

     

    Don't forget to mind map your understanding of the concepts presented in this chapter, and post it to your student page.

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    HPT Forum

    This chapter provides a nice introduction to change managment and describes HPT consultants as agents of change. How does this point of view affect the practice of HPT? Specifically, what additional tasks and behaviors should be a part of each HPT project so the changes caused by our interventions are effectively managed? Post your ideas in the Diagnosing Performance Problems Forum

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    END OF MODULE

    RETURN TO COURSE MAP OR

    CONTINUE TO ORGANIZATION LEVEL INTERVENTIONS