Learn/Perform Mixtape

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For performance consulting, you need to identify the business needs, performance issues/needs, and work environment and capability needs. (AOE 1. Performance Improvement; Sub section 1.3. Business, Performance, and Gap Analysis)

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Show Notes

AOE 1. Performance Improvement; Sub section 1.3. Business, Performance, and Gap Analysis
This episodes learning objectives for Performance Analysis:
  • Describe how to use performance analysis to identify an organizational issue/need
  • List several factors that affect an organization that should be considered during an external analysis
  • Describe how goal analysis relates to the project scope
  • List four measurement criteria that show whether objectives were met
  • Describe constraints analysis, and list five limiting factors
  • Describe the importance of cultural analysis in performance improvement
  • List five components in a gap analysis
  • Describe the concept of workflow analysis and the elements involved in this analysis
  • Describe resource analysis
  • List five tools to identify a performance gap and describe how to apply them
  • Explain the purpose of a resource analysis

Business Analysis
consists of 3 main tasks:
  1. Identifying the critical goals for the appropriate business unit* that  can be easy if the organization has a clear focus and distinct priorities;
  2. Clarifying that these are the appropriate goals, which sometimes becomes an issue as leaders or organizations need to change targets, may claim allegiance to goals that aren’t realistic or appropriate, or may not be able to agree on organizational goals (or might be actively pursuing contradictory policies); and
  3. Determining how/if these goals are specific and measurable; this  may require refining objectives so that evaluation and measurement are possible.
During the business analysis phase, talent development professionals gather information related on a series of issues. E.g. external/internal factors impacting business goals; rationale for these goals; trends and forces in the industry; and relevant strategies to reach their goals.  The business analysis has these three phases:
  1. Entry: discussion of the perceived problem; focus on the strategic priorities of the organization and not any request to deliver specific solutions
  2. Data collection: information-gathering such as executive interviews, document reviews (annual reports, strategic plans, etc.), surveys, or focus groups; competitors might know external forces or those in the industry
  3. Commitment: with data, you return to the client to get clarification and agreement** on what the deliverables will be based on the evidence gathered; this data will be the basis for evaluating the results of the performance improvement effort and to establish the priorities and goals
Performance Analysis: “the goal of performance analysis is to measure the gap between the desired and actual performance” (Rossett, 1992); for talent development professionals conducting this analysis, your job is to determine what initiatives or combination of initiatives will close that gap to have the actual performance level reach the desired performance level. These performance improvement initiatives are more effective as you work in partnership and collaborate with stakeholders across the organization — this helps break down barriers and fully understand the issues and potential outcomes e.g. front line workers responsibilities and executive leadership suggestion/thoughts all matter;  BONUS READ: Performance Analysis in Instructional Design 

Project Scope should include answers to these three questions:
  1. What should performance look like?
  2. What operational results should the organization achieve?
  3. Who are the stakeholders and other interested people, including management, team leaders, and individual contributors?
Measurement Criteria & Desired Performance Outcomes
ATD Human Performance Improvement (HPI) model uses two types of evaluation: formative and summative. Both use quantitative analysis (measurable data or the quantities of particular items present in a situation or event) and qualitative analysis (non-measurable data like individual opinions, behaviors, and attributes of the org, reputation, etc.) to support measurement and results. 

The formative evaluation purpose (Brinkerhoff, 1998) are to:
  • Determine if the real root cause has been identified (we’ll talk about on the next episode)
  • Determine if the initiatives are properly designed and selected
  • Ensure that the client’s and the stakeholders’ expectations are being met
  • Check to see if the initiative is working
  • Identify lessons learned for the next performance improvement project

The summative evaluation measures:
  • The initiatives effect on the business goals and performance goals
  • The costs for the initiative
  • Expectations of the stakeholders and participants
  • Return on investment (ROI) — that’s the ratio of benefit or profit received from a given investment to the cost of the investment itself; cost-benefit ratio
Constraints Analysis: identifies what factors might limit the potential project; barriers to consider, e.g. budget, time, scheduling, space, resources availability, competing priorities in the organization

Cultural Analysis: you can complete a culture audit — an assessment to examine current practices, programs, and processes and identify how culturally appropriate they may be for multicultural or global audiences; you can look at corporate histories, documents, data, internal/external studies, sources of information on finances, etc. Find the beliefs and values through research methods, e.g. interviews, surveys, focus groups, direct observation, etc.; READ: Basics of Culture Audits via TD.org

High-performing cultures in organizations typically encourage intrinsic motivation; flexible work environments; results-oriented; inclusive; collaborations and partnerships; values talent; encourages creativity/play; promotes trustworthiness; enables transitions; build knowledge; reinforces participation and engagement.

Performance gap analysis
:  is a profess that measures, describes, and compares what employees currently accomplish and what is required in the future; it should define these 3 factors: 
  1. Driving and restraining forcesKurt Lewin (father of organization development) coined this term as part of his force field analysis, designed to assess two types of forces related to introducing change within an organization — driving: those that help implement change; and restraining: those that prevent the change; explained further
  2. Current state vs. desired state: need to understand the discrepancy between actual and preferred performance levels by asking these questions -- clarifying: why?; specific: who, what, how?; listen for what people say about what isn’t being done; determine who the customer is and what the customer wants; learn more here
  3. Methods for change: change will happen either through the HPI cycle or with evaluation of the issues/needs in the organization; The course of change in an organization and its effect on people are influenced by (Russell & Russell, 1998): 1) Change and the forces for change introduce disruptions that can significantly diminish both the organization's and the performers’ capacities to envision a clear and positive future; and 2) the path of change is unpredictable. Ultimately, for change management plans to be successful, you have to establish the need for change, involve people, and sustain commitment.
BONUS READS: Performance Gap Analysis; Choosing Strategies for Change via HBR 
BONUS TOOL: Gap Analysis SWOT Template; 5 Change Management Tools & Techniques

Workflow Analysis
: is a process for how people, materials, methods, machines, and the environment combine to add value to a produce or service; workflow or process analysis looks at how the work is completed, individual roles and responsibilities in this process; and all resources and systems used.

Analysis tools:
  • Block diagram- drawing of a system in parts or functions are represented by geometric shapes (squares, rectangles, etc.) connected by lines that show the relationships of each part to one another; HOW TO: Create a block diagram in Visio or SmartDraw
  • Flowchart - a visual representation of the process steps using standards symbols connected by arrows that show the flow of the process from step to step; HOW TO: Use Draw.io in Google docs with set templates
  • Affinity diagrams - used to organize a large number of ideas/brainstormed concepts into logical groups based on a natural relationship among ideas; helps with decision-making; HOW TO: Easy Guide to Affinity Diagrams with Editable Templates
  • Interrelationship digraph - similar to affinity diagrams; charts the cause-and-effect relationships among groups of ideas; a network diagram; HOW TO: 7 M tool options
  • Interviews - 1:1 questions and discussions for researching what is going; HOW TO: Research, Interviews, and Asking Good Questions (from my blog)
  • Focus groups - group of people brought together for inquiry; HOW TO: Conducting a Focus Group
  • Surveys and questionnaires - paper or digital option to seek out data from a wider group of people in the organization; you may be able to collect “soft data” (opinions, attitudes, belief), but there could be cause for reliability for achieving consistent results from a measurement over time and face validity, subjective views of what is being asked; HOW TO: Questionnaire vs. Survey
External Analysis: to take inventory of the economic, social, political/legislative, workforce, technological, and competitive factors that might influence the way an organization functions and forces them to evaluate or even realign their goals and priorities.

Resources Analysis: to identify the available resources in the organization that can be used to determine a performance gap or to help with designing a potential performance improvement solution. 

What is Learn/Perform Mixtape?

The Learn/Perform Mixtape is a podcast of my study notes as I prepare for the Certified Professional in Learning and Performance (CPLP). More at: https://techknowtools.com/learnperform-mixtape/