Analysis of Performance Requirements Is the Only Route to Content Authenticity

You want Transfer? Then get Real. Real Authentic! 

Too many Learning/Training Conferences don’t have sessions on Analysis. I know – I scan the titles and descriptions of all the marketing literature/postings. Too many publications don’t address Analysis either. It seems to be becoming a lost art and skill. I’ve been tracking this for over a decade. Analysis must not be cool anymore. I think too many in the past screwed it up for those who followed – but that’s another story/post.

Analysis is always the 2nd Phase in any of my Instructional and Performance Improvement methodology-sets/processes. It is done in a matter of days versus weeks or months by using collaborative group process methods with a group of Master Performers and other Subject Matter Experts as required. Here it sits in the 2nd Phase of the 4-Phases of a typical CAD – Curriculum Architecture Design effort…

The Analysis data anchors all of my Instructional designs – from the terminal learning objectives of the real-world performance objectives – to the design focused on authentic application exercises for practice with reinforcing or corrective feedback – and providing the informations and demonstrations needed for successful applications in the Learning and then on the job.

MCD 6 Phases

In an Enterprise Learning Context – it’s all about the authenticity of the applications practice with feedback. And that would require conducting analysis of the real performance first – before conducting other appropriate actions – long before any Instructional Design leads to development and deployment.

The Analysis efforts and data insures that the learning objectives, and the content, and the definitions, and the demonstrations, and the application exercises – even if a Jeopardy Game –  are authentic –  have a chance at transfer.

You want transfer? Try “getting real” first. Real Authentic About Performance on the Job.

Don’t sit around back at the shop and make up the learning objectives. Get input for the people already doing the job at a level of mastery – as the benchmarks. And – don’t stop with what people need to know. Focus on what people need to do. In an Enterprise Learning Context.

Analysis starts off with the Target Audiences – the primary, secondary and tertiary. Segmenting them as to who to focus on – who to less focus on – and who to ignore – is critical. I know – I have been burned and I have learned.

From there one can focus on the right Performance. And that starts off – not with lists of Tasks – gag me – but with an understanding of the major segments of the job – something that I call AoPs – Areas of Performance. You call it whatever you need to in your context.

Here is an example from the mid-1980s for a Sales Rep. Not all sales jobs are represented by this model – my client’s at the time were however. This was created with a group of their Master Performers – so the end product carried some weight with everyone else. Something I also learned – by being burned – way back in the day.

The goal of the AoP step is to segment the entirety of the Performance – and eliminate any gaps and overlaps – and create a framework for the detailed analysis. That framework allows for cleaner and more logical way to capture and organize data. Our approach has unique and shared data, and learning content, organized first by performers/learners and their performance Tasks – and then by Topic.

So it all begins and ends with Process Performance. Objectives and Measurement by Area of Performance.

Here is another example – adapted from real work I did in the 1980s. This was for a “convenience store manager (and assistant manager) training effort.

Once the AoPs are established and “bought into” by the Analysis Team – and not the Analyst (how would they know?) the detailed analysis can begin. But not before.

When I deliver workshops and coaching sessions for clients – which I have been doing since the mid-1980s – I have the Learners/Performers practice initially on their past Summer Jobs – from their youth – when the job they had might have been pretty simple. It’s a Kid Job – the first time you got paid for doing something other than around the house for the parental units.

Then I have them conduct analysis on someone else’s Summer Job. And after that we get into more a complex Simulation Exercise – depending on the length of the session.

Here is an example from one of my own Summer Jobs – which was actually a year-round job – 7/365 – or 366 – if you will. Click on it – or any of these graphics – to enlarge.

And here are some details in the form of a Performance Model chart on one of those AoPs…

Can you see in the example above what the terminal performance objectives might be? Can you construct your 3-part behavioral learning objectives from them? Of course what’s missing are the enabling Knowledge/Skills from that level of analysis. Those would then become the enabling objectives – or whatever you call that next tier. Those would be articulated in Performance terms too – not using Bloom’s Taxonomy and those magic words.

I was trained in this – in 1979 – to write learning objectives in Performance Terms – and to always be focused on terminal Performance – for development for success in Level 2 and 3. You see – in this approach you know what those performance needs and context are exactly – as you conduct the analysis and later the design effort – all tied back to Performance on the job.

Which requires analysis of the same.

The trick might be later in determining the measurement mechanisms required – if they are not already in place – and typically they are not.  The measurement of L4 impact is probably always inexact – as the Performance analysis is more likely to identify more than one key contributing factor for the Results. I was taught in 1979 that L4 Results – was the Return On Investment – ROI. How else would a business person measure it?

That Summer Job/Kid Job that I have others use for their initial development – for was delivering papers for The South Bend Tribune in LaPorte Indiana during 6th and 7th grade – 7 days a week – 365 days a year – to 72 customers.

I had to ride my bike across town to the office/warehouse to first collect and then roll and bag my papers, then ride across town to The Route, and the deliver 72 papers – afternoon by 5 pm on weekdays and Saturdays but on Sunday mornings by 7 am – by tossing – or carefully placing for those few who had requested it – that predictably thin to thick stack of newsprint – from that big town to the east.

Here I am below – tool in hand – doing some shade tree mechanics on my most important working tool – The Enabler – the bike – and obviously getting ready for a ball game afterwards. Work before play.

I did deliver papers with that uniform on if my schedule was tight in weekend days those two summers. It also increased the tips on collection day – Fridays – as I recall. I guess I learned early to dress for success.

My analysis methods are covered in my new book: Analysis of Performance Competence Requirements – The book covers both Instructional Analysis as well as Analysis for Performance Improvement (beyond Instruction) needed if one wishes to accomplish both…

The book is available as both a paperback and as a Kindle – see more about that book – and the others in my new (in 2011) 6-Pack – here.

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One comment on “Analysis of Performance Requirements Is the Only Route to Content Authenticity

  1. I’ve come to the realization (or more accurately, the opinion) that people don’t do this good work because:
    * They have never been taught or trained the specifics and don’t know how
    * If they have been exposed, it took too much effort to think through it and seemed too difficult
    * If they tried it, it’d take too long (not knowing how to do it well) and projects would be killed before they were halfway through
    * They have no idea how to justify it or sell it to executives
    * It’s much easier to just do what the boss wants

    Frustrating, isn’t it?

    I just wrote the below words as a reply elsewhere to someone’s comment lamenting a recent-advertised stats that 50% of sales reps miss quota. Some of the miss (in previous discussion) was being blamed on poor sales training.

    I wrote: “What really puzzles me is that since I’ve been in the training profession (circa 1991, if you only count since I’ve had the word “training” in my title or function), there have been pockets of people who truly know how to drive organizational performance, and plenty of people writing about it. I get so frustrated that these practices simply haven’t become mainstream. Anyone want to create a huge social media movement to address this? I ponder it all the time but am not clear on the sustainable business model to make it pay.”

    If it’s any consolation, Guy, I consider you one of those “pockets of people” who gets it and who has been sharing detailed content openly for quite some time. I lost track of you for awhile (meaning your content; we never “met” until recently), but am seriously glad for the reconnection.

    Mike

    Like

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