“If training isn’t the answer, what is the right fix?”
In the 4/22/14 blog entitled, Is this still training?, I blogged about closing performance gaps with the right solutions. Refer to that post for more details. Ideally, the right solution is one that closes the performance gap AND makes a worthy impact on the business objectives.
So, what is worthy performance?
Thomas Gilbert described it as engineering worthy performance in his ground breaking book, Human Competence: engineering worthy performance. It’s when the cost of doing the task is less than the value of the results generated. When they are the same or greater, we have a performance gap. See eBook, “Triggering the Shift to Performance Improvement”.
HPI Solutions is like opening up Pandora’s Box
One component of the HPI methodology includes a Performance Analysis. PA recognizes that performance occurs within organizational systems. Very often the recommended HPI solution(s) involves integration of linkages outside of the initiating department but within those same “organizational and quality systems” in order to ensure sustainable performance improvement. Otherwise you have a fragment of the solution with high expectations for solving “the problem”.
This requires cooperation of others. How solid are these relationships? Would a request to fix someone else’s system go over well? Or would you be accused of starting a turf battle? HPI projects have the potential of opening up unsettling issues similar to Pandora’s Box. Image, perception, pending promotions, can all be impacted by what the Performance Analysis reveals; including the fear of losing one’s job. And yet, this very opportunity to engineer worthy performance is what makes these projects so valuable for impactful results.
When borrowing a best practice from another department can backfire
If having one department of qualified operators is good, then why not duplicate the best practice? Hmm, sounds reasonable enough, right? This is exactly what one manager thought after a department re-organization. So, she set out to cut-n-paste curricula from manufacturing operators and use for her staff of technicians. But after months of reminding, little progress was made towards completion of the “cross-training requirements”. A performance cause analysis was conducted and revealed a few surprises. In an effort to expedite the cross-training program and hit the ground running, decisions about what to include in the cross training curriculum was done without input of the technicians.
In the HPIS C. impact story, “I’ve Been Re-org’d. What’s in it for me?” learn more about those surprises and how this HPI Project was refocused on wellness and motivation as the right fix instead of completing borrowed training curricula.
Isn’t this just another way of saying training needs analysis?
No, the emphasis during a PA is on recognizing the drivers and barriers to performance first. The method gathers multiple perspectives on the problem. What’s included? Read “Performance analysis: the lean approach to solving performance problems”. – VB.