What Attributes and Values Do Humans Bring to the Process?

This graphic became very familiar to me in 1981 – the Ishikawa Diagram. It was a staple of the VR – Variability Reduction movement – the moniker preceding the TQM – Total Quality Management movement.  Now that movement has morphed into Lean-Six Sigma – as everyone runs from the sins of TQM – which were most often a PQM in TQM clothing. PQM was Partial Quality Management. Partial, incomplete and doomed to failure – unless one just got lucky.

That was then. I don’t know if there is a new standard for the Ishikawa Diagram – and its non-PC language (Men).

It was used to guide the assessment of the adequacy of the enablers (my words).

And if the enablers were deficient – one would look upstream to the suppliers of these enablers to determine why this was an issue.

My own model for the equivalent follows.

To bring a Paper Process to life – there are two key ingredients in my EPPI – Enterprise Process Performance Improvement – methods: Human Assets and (non-Human) Environmental Assets.

If your Process isn’t just on paper – where you are in a Greenfield state and what doesn’t exist needs to be brought to life – you have an existing situation to assess. A real situation to assess.

Assuming that your Process has indeed been designed to meet the “balanced requirements” of all Stakeholders – you need to determine the adequacy (or not) of the Human Assets and the Environmental Assets.

Another graphic…

In this post we’re focusing on the Human Assets. In EPPI, those Human assets are framed in 5 categories – and are:

  • Awareness, Knowledge, Skill
  • Physical attributes
  • Intellectual attributes
  • Psychological attributes
  • Personal Values

Humans sometimes need to bring/have specifics enablers in their repertoire per these 5 categories – and sometimes not.


Here are a few “made up” examples for Sky Caps – one of my standard Case Companies for demonstrating my methods in my workshops and coaching sessions) – at a “made up” airport…working for a “made up” company: AAA – Always Airborne Airlines – where the inside joke among employees is: “we’ll never let you down” …

Awareness, Knowledge, Skill of

  • Awareness of the physical layout and location of other organization offices (restrooms, airport shops, food services, etc., etc.)
  • Knowledge of Enterprise Policies, laws, and process steps (children flying alone, hazardous materials, notifying security, etc.)
  • Skills in the use of tools and interpersonal skills (Bag Check-In system, dealing with irate customers)
  • Etc.
  • Etc.

Physical attributes

  • Ability to hear and communicate with customers
  • Ability to enter data into a computer system
  • Ability to lift heavy objects (safely) at time
  • Etc.
  • Etc.

Intellectual attributes

  • Creative problem solving
  • Etc.
  • Etc.

Psychological attributes

  • Ability to deal with rude, obnoxious customers in a courteous manner
  • Ability to deal with monotony (doing routine, repetitive work)
  • Ability to detect over anxious customers
  • Alertness for situations indicating potential problems
  • Etc.
  • Etc.

Personal Values

  • Customer Service/Customer Treatment
  • Safety
  • Etc.
  • Etc.

Human Assets Enabler Matrices

I use matrices to capture (and report out for reviews) for the items that fall within these categories. They are captured by systematically deriving them using the Performance Models that define both ideal Performance as exhibited by current state Master Performers – and current state gaps (and probable causes) typical of non-Master Performers.

Here is the Matrices for Knowledge and Skills…

Human Asset Requirements – that enable Process Performance – is where the requirements for the human assets are determined via a systematic review of the documented mastery performance outputs and tasks.

Where Can You Learn More?

This has been published many times – going back to the first two articles articulating these methods in September and November of 1984…

CAD – Training Mag – 1984 – 6 page PDF – the first publication about Curriculum Architecture Design via a Group Process – published in Training Magazine in September 1984. Original manuscript (30 pages) – How to Build a Training Structure That Won’t Keep Burning Down.

Models and Matrices- NSPI PIJ -1984 – 5 page PDF – the first publication of the performance and enabler analysis methods for ISD, from NSPI’s (ISPI’s) Performance & Instruction Journal, November 1984.

Additionally – you can read about it here in ISPI’s PerformanceXpress monthly e-newsletter from a few years ago:

Project Proven Tools and Techniques for ISD:
The Enabling K/S Matrices

by Guy W. Wallace, CPT, Representative of the Instructional Systems (IS) ProComm

And finally – you can read about this in my 2011 book: Analysis of Performance Competence Requirements

For information about the book – and for ordering – please go here.

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