Performance support tools, tactics, and trends

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  • 2Performance Improvement, vol. 47, no. 10, November/December 20082008 International Society for Performance ImprovementPublished online in Wiley InterScience ( DOI: 10.1002/pfi.20033



    Holly Burkett, CPT

    IN OUR OPENING FEATURE, Roger Chevalier urges human performance technology (HPT) profes-sionals to provide managers with human performance technology models and tools that will help themget better at identifying and removing barriers to effective performance. While most managers andsupervisors do their best to identify performance gaps and their underlying causes, performance tech-nologists who can enhance managers existing tools for resolving tactical performance problems canthen be free to work on more strategic performance issues. This article illustrates how a structured jobaid, based upon updated and industry-specific versions of Thomas Gilberts Behavior EngineeringModel, allows managers and supervisors to systemically identify performance deficiencies and their rootcauses. Although managers are the target audience for the new job aid, performance consultants mayalso find it to be a useful tool.

    Managers need tools for gap and cause analysis, but HPT professionals need tools for communicat-ing quantitative data to groups who are responsible for making data-driven decisions. In our second fea-ture, Diane Converse and Carol Weaver describe a process by which HPT practitioners can strategicallyplan how data are organized, distributed, and presented to stakeholders. Successful performanceimprovement projects are heavily dependent upon the appropriate use of reliable, evidence-based data.Any performance improvement professional tasked with assisting a group to effectively process informa-tion about quantitative data can use the strategies described in this article to strengthen their orga-nizations decision-making skills.

    Sonja Irlbeck follows with an article describing how best practices in online teaching and learning wereimplemented and institutionalized at Capella University. The process of literature review, engaging faculty,and securing corporate commitment emphasize the need to manage performance improvement and rein-force desired changes on an ongoing basis to maintain success. HPT professionals seeking to introduce andstandardize best practices in their organization can benefit from the lessons highlighted here.

    Next, Jason Siniscalchi, Edward Beale, and Ashley Fortuna describe how the importance-performanceanalysis (IPA) process can help HPT professionals gain timely, meaningful, and usable feedback toimprove decision making about course development and instruction. As an evaluation tool, IPA graphi-cally depicts the gap between a current perceived state or condition and a future expected outcome.Through a case study highlighting the Leadership Development Center at the United States Coast GuardAcademy, the authors provide examples and suggestions to help practitioners integrate the IPA withKirkpatricks four-level evaluation framework.

    Steven Kelly, M. Mari Novak, and Anna Cermkov then reflect on the characteristics of the past three5-year cycles of business activity in Slovakia. These are viewed in the context of introducing the use ofperformance improvement approaches within a changing political and economic climate. Although thefocus here is on Slovakia, the authors observations hold for most of the post communist countriesrecently joining the European Union (EU) and can be applied to most small- and medium-sized (SME)service start-ups. As Slovakia grows into an even stronger player in the European economic arena, thereis great potential for HPT professionals who may wish to help the EU build a competitive edge throughresults-oriented, value-added performance models.

    Naresh Kumar, Raduan Rose, and Subramaniam close this issue with an article exploring the relation-ships between cultural intelligence (CQ), emotional intelligence (EQ), and social intelligence (SQ). Theauthors attempt to fill a void in the current literature by establishing the theoretical and empirical con-nection among these constructs. Having a holistic view on the interrelationship among various forms of intelligences adds HPT value by providing practitioners with valuable direction and tools in terms ofemployee selection, placement, training, and development, particularly in terms of international assign-ments. Increased understanding in this area can also guide instructional designers who are interested inincorporating SQ, EQ, or CQ intelligences in training modules. In addition, implications from this arti-cle could induce more focused research on how these intelligences influence individual performance vari-ations or outcomes.

    As we close out the year with the last issue of 2008, we hope the collective HPT models, tools, andstrategies described throughout the year have helped you in your continued efforts to provide perfor-mance support for the clients and organizations you serve. We look forward to publishing your stories,challenges, lessons learned, and best practices in 2009.


    Matt Peters, PresidentDarlene Van Tiem, President-electJeanne Farrington, Past PresidentTimm Esque, DirectorMary Norris Thomas, DirectorPaul Cook, DirectorDavid Hartt, DirectorSteven Kelly, DirectorApril Syring Davis, Executive Director

    PERFORMANCE IMPROVEMENTEDITORIAL GROUPApril Syring Davis, PublisherHolly Burkett, EditorJohn Y. Chen, Publications Manager

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