by Rob Foshay, PhD, CPT


Many of the instructional design practices
we know and love are based on a solid foundation of behavioral psychology. They are tried and true—we know they work, and we know how to build training with them. But our understanding of how learning occurs has grown considerably in recent years, and as a result, we have been able to gain new insights on questions such as, “how do experts’ thought processes differ from those of novices?” and “how can we help learners to build memory structures which facilitate problem-solving?”

These insights give us some important new strategies for training. One of the most important revolves around the distinction between well- and ill-structured problem solving. Every time you do a task analysis, you are probably mapping well-structured procedures: these are the skills you can flowchart. But, it turns out that these procedures are not representative of the way expert engineers, designers, creative types, and even managers think about their jobs. These people use well-structured procedures, but they use them in the service of inventing a solution for a problem they have not seen before. That is ill-structured problem solving, in which the conditions, the actions, and the desired outcomes are not necessarily specified at the beginning of problem solving. Ill-structured problem solving is what is needed for far transfer, or the ability to solve a somewhat similar problem in an entirely new context. It is the ultimate goal of much training—yet our familiar, tried-and-true design practices don’t tell us much about the distinction, or how to teach ill-structured problem solving.

Cognitive psychology to the rescue! By adding some new instructional design principles to our practice, based on cognitive psychology, we can deal much more effectively with training for ill-structured problem solving. We know some things about how to teach the mental models which the learner modifies and manipulates to solve the problems. We also know some things about how to teach ill-structured problem solving, when there is no single right answer (though there may be lots of wrong ones). And, we know some things about how to build learners’ understanding from the novice level to the expert level—more than repetitive practice is needed. We even have a better understanding of what the learner is telling you when he or she makes a mistake (simply having the learner try again wastes an important instructional opportunity). 

So, what are the benefits? More efficient, more transferable training—and perhaps, reduced need for retraining when something in the content changes; deeper understanding; and, new ways to build expertise in the work force, especially for jobs that involve judgment and problem solving.

Rob Foshay, CPT, is a former member of the ISPI Board of Directors. He is Vice President for Instructional Design and Quality Assurance for PLATO Learning, Inc. Rob is a frequent presenter at ISPI conferences and has contributed articles and book chapters to many Society publications. His experience includes more than 25 years in e-learning, as well as academic faculty positions. Rob may be reached at rfoshay@plato.com.

 
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Rob Foshay, Ken Silber, and Mike Stelnicki will be doing a presentation, Troubleshooting: Teaching it Cognitive Style, based on their new book, at ISPI’s Fall Conference. Register today!



by Carol Haig, CPT and Roger Addison, CPT


This month our guest is Rodger Stotz, CPT
, and vice-president/managing consultant at Maritz, Inc. He may be reached at rodger.stotz@maritz.com. Maritz is a global provider of integrated performance improvement, corporate travel management, and marketing research. For the next two to three years, Rodger makes three predictions rooted in the general re-assessment of values and priorities that organizations and their employees have engaged in since 9/11.

Top Three Predictions
First, Rodger envisions the need for leaders to take an increasingly macro-level view of the purpose and values of their organizations. They will look beyond financial health and profitability to determine what their organizations stand for, and how they can best contribute to society. Second, the continued connection between the employees’ experience and their customers’ experience will become more pronounced as organizations see the value in this relationship and explore ways to maximize it. Third, measurement and analysis will encompass both hard and soft performance results, seeking key performance indicators and intangibles such as added value beyond financial measures.

Impact of These Predictions
In the aftermath of the tech bubble, Enron, and other corporate scandals, the workforce has become increasingly sensitive to the ethical underpinnings of their employers. They want to know how their organizations serve the greater community. In the boardroom, leading-edge executives are not only defining the purpose of their organization and articulating supporting values, but also ensuring these values are real. In interviews, job candidates are asking how corporate values are being lived, and how they are impacting the communities the organizations serve. Some organizations, for example, focus on charitable activities related to their purpose and values, typically aligning with a single cause or issue as part of their branding. One such firm is Avon, a cosmetics company that is positioned as “The Company for Women” and aligns itself with women’s health.

Organizations are carefully examining the connection between the employee experience and the customer experience. Northwestern University has established the Forum for People, Performance, Management and Measurement to study this phenomenon, also referred to as the service/profit chain. They are investigating how employee behavior influences customer behavior, and how organizations can maximize this relationship for improved results. In most organizations, the human resource (HR) and marketing areas are siloed and frequently work at cross-purposes because they do not share strategies or information. When these groups are more closely aligned with data exchange, joint strategic planning, and shared communication, early research in the UK suggests improved bottom-line results (Explanations from the Marketing/HR Dyad for Market Competitiveness by J. Chimhanzi and R.E. Morgan, The University of Wales, Aberystwyth, UK).

Organizations are increasingly interested in measurement and analysis. While ROI (return on investment) remains a focus, VOI (value of investment) is of growing interest as a way to measure intangibles or soft results. The increased desire for data seems to stem from the combination of continuing poor results and ever increasing competitiveness in business, and the reintroduction of the quality challenge, where all processes, procedures, and business actions are scrutinized for continuous improvement. The Forum, mentioned earlier, has just launched a study on internal initiatives, and their impact on business results. They are using live organizational data, which should provide valuable information to organizations seeking to learn more about their own results.

How Organizations Will Be Different
Organizations already look different due to the decrease in hierarchies and the increase in span of control. Employees work in dispersed locations or telecommute. If organizational purpose and value are clearly established and communicated to employees, then they can draw on these values daily to keep their organization’s financial success in perspective with its values. We see this in effective branding, which further defines an organization and ties it to its values. For Southwest Airlines, for example, a key value is freedom: freedom for customers to fly, freedom for employees to be themselves within the established company structure.

As organizations make the connection between HR and marketing, HR will become better at making the organization inviting to job candidates and more skilled at demonstrating how the purpose and values impact employees, customers, and the community. In effect, employees will be treated as HR’s internal customers. In turn, marketing will become more sensitive to the fact that workers will be required to deliver on promises the organization has made to customers. HR will help bring systems thinking to marketing.

The VOI will be applied at all organizational levels: to the work processes, the workers’ performance, and the organization’s overall performance. This “value” perspective is broader than just finances or ROI because it looks at both leading and lagging measures of performance and value added. Because much of the value of today’s organizations is not found on the balance sheet, much of what we need to be measuring is beyond the financials—people, processes, and performance—areas of focus for HPT!

Implications for HPT Work
The leaders of organizations are making it a priority to be aware of trends, research, and data affecting their operations and those in related fields, knowing that so many diverse elements impact daily business.

We, as HPT practitioners, are challenged to help grow the use of HPT by making our systems thinking and variety of tools available wherever they may apply in our organizations. We must expand our range from the traditional transactional roles we take in training and HR and show how performance improvement models and techniques can be used to support organizational strategies and improve results. We must take our mental models and translate them to make what we know and do accessible to our clients.

This focus on “intangible measures,” the employee/customer experience, and ensuring that the organization’s purpose and values are embedded in the culture are changing how Maritz views itself and its services. One example of this is Rodger’s effort to explore a VCI, or value creation index, to capture how HPT creates value for an organization.

If we look carefully at Rodger’s predictions, we see that ISPI’s Standards of Performance Technology—focus on results, partner with others, add value at all organizational levels—will have a strong and positive impact on the organizations we serve.

If you have any predictions about the future of HPT that you feel would be of interest to the PerformanceXpress readership, please contact Carol Haig, CPT, at carolhaig@earthlink.net or Roger Addison, CPT, at roger@ispi.org.

 


  



by Pierre Mourier


Hi, my name is Joe, and I just returned from ISPI’s Annual Conference in Boston. What a fantastic time I had. All the exciting new things I learned, all the new people I met. I was able to rub shoulders with the best in our profession, and through these meetings, I was able to re-affirm my strong belief that performance improvement in organizations is a systemic endeavor. There are no silver bullets. Developing and implementing training programs in isolation cannot work. Implementing process interventions won’t work unless several other key performance levers are moved.

You know, it was so exciting for me to again be with people who think like I think, know what I know, and believe what I believe.

But now I am back at work at “GIGA-Corp.” The first thing I had to attend to, of course, was all the email. Hey, no big deal, but let me ask you a question? Do you feel like I do? Is that familiar feeling of frustration beginning to raise its ugly head?

How is it that what seems so logical when talked about at the Conference is so difficult to implement when we get back in our corporate environments? Maybe I am alone in this, but somehow I don’t think so. Hey, look at the realities. No matter where you turn in the literature regarding implementation of change, failure rates of 70% or more are quoted. Just think about the meaning of that number for a moment. The members of ISPI are all change agents and deeply involved in change. Yet 70%-75% of the efforts we (maybe ISPI members have a higher success rate than everyone else) engage in fail. While most of us know what it takes to effect lasting, performance-related change in our organizations, this is the result. How frustrating!

We know it is not enough to train people. We must also enable these people with a performance system in which they are afforded the opportunity to exhibit and be rewarded for exhibiting newly learned skills. There must be an alignment on expectations in the organization. People must have the tools to perform as expected and the consequences of performance must be aligned with the same expectations (you get what you reward). I know this; you know this. But…

Here is my problem. I don’t feel executives in our organizations are willing to truly recognize, or at least behave in a manner, that is consistent with a systemic vision of change.

Help me! Why is this? Are we, the Performance Technologists, special? No! Are our executives dumb? No! Well, what is it then? I think it is a failure on our part in getting the right amount of respect! Respect that translates into executive behavior. For example, when we suggest something, executives listen and do as we ask.

I don’t think executives in our organizations respect our opinions. They still think of us as trainers. We earn respect at the tactical level by doing what is expected of us so that we can earn a seat at the strategic level where we can do what really needs to be done.

So, here is my call to ISPI and other members of our profession. Help us get the respect we deserve. How can ISPI do this? I think we are on our way. The Certification program definitely helps, but we need more. I have a few ideas, but I would love to start a Society-wide dialogue on this topic. Therefore, I challenge you to respond. What are your thoughts? Am I right about this need? Am I alone?

You can send your comments to JOECPT@stractics.com. I will then summarize the remarks for a future article in PerformanceXpress. If this challenge generates enough discussion, we will research another venue for continuing the dialogue.

Pierre Mourier is the Founder and President of Stractics Group, Inc., a management consulting firm with offices in New York and Hong Kong, dedicated to helping clients achieve measurable performance improvements in areas such as customer satisfaction, productivity, quality, and cycle-time. He is the co-author with Martin Smith of the award-winning book, Conquering Organizational Change: How to Succeed Where Most Companies Fail (CEP Press, 2001), and his latest book Conquering Performance Optimization will be published in 2004. Pierre is a Board Member of ISPI for 2003-2005.

NOTE: While Pierre Mourier was recently elected to be a member of the ISPI Board of Directors, the opinion above is entirely his own and does not represent the opinion of the Board and is not written to be regarded as such.

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Here is my problem. I don’t feel executives in our organizations are willing to truly recognize, or at least behave in a manner, that is consistent with a systemic vision of change.



by Guy W. Wallace, CPT


As the incoming president of ISPI, I want to share with you some highlights from the Annual Spring Conference just held in April, introduce you to the new Board of Directors, and give you a “heads up” regarding what I see as the Board’s foci for the next year.

The attendance at the conference in Boston was up 15% over last year—great news in these trying economic times! I typically ask attendees at the Conference about their experience as the event progresses, and this year the feedback was almost always exceptional. Kudos to the presenters, to Michelle Halprin and her team (more than 150 volunteers help “make this happen”), and also to the entire ISPI staff for their continued superior performance!

Mark your calendar to attend ISPI’s Fall Conference in Chicago, September 17-20, focused on Performance-Based Instructional Systems Design, the ISPI Europe Conference in Paris, September 25-27, or the program being planned for Capetown, South Africa, October 9-10. And, I hope to see you presenting and/or attending ISPI’s 2004 Annual Performance Improvement Conference & Exposition in Tampa, April 19-23, 2004. Make your plans to submit, present, or attend now.

New Board members Barbara Gough, Pierre Mourier, Jim Pershing, and incoming President-elect Don Tosti joined Board holdovers Clare Carey, Jeanne Farrington, Executive Director Rick Battaglia, and me on stage during the Annual Conference’s Closing Banquet, and then the next day for a quick, one-day Board of Directors meeting intended to get us all introduced to each other and orient the new members to the Director’s “job.”

We had already learned during the Conference that Barbara Gough was the 2003 recipient of ISPI’s Distinguished Service Award, and Don Tosti was the recipient of the Gilbert Award. In addition, we learned that Pierre Mourier, a Dane who has also lived in the Philippines, South Africa, Thailand, and Italy to name a few, speaks seven languages including Swahili. It came in handy when working as a pilot giving Safari tours by air. Jim Pershing has a passion for the research orientation and technology of HPT, and as the recent editor of Performance Improvement journal read more than 1,700 articles during his four-year term.

Don presented several models to help orient the entire Board to our challenge of staying “strategic versus tactical” as we explore the needs and alternatives in moving our professional home forward to better meeting the needs of our current and future members.

Clare helped us revisit and recalibrate our Board Norms, and Jeanne structured a mini-agenda and process for each topic on our agenda. Rick is our living memory and connection to the good work and intentions of past Boards. He is also responsible for all the objectives the Board establishes each year that do not get directed to our Committees and Task Forces.

What follows? Four three-day Board meetings and a final one-day meeting just before the Tampa Conference. As I see it, the focus of each of those three-day meetings is: Strategic Planning for the near-term future, followed by future Committee/Task Force/Staff Alignment, followed by future Budget Alignment, followed by Lessons Learned and Planning for Continuous Improvement.

There are, of course, many other agenda items that will be brought to our attention. We will address those in light of our strategic focus and current resource capacity. This year remains an Austerity Year. We will move forward and put our limited resources into CPT marketing and supporting our chapters and our non-North American growth initiatives. Currently, four members of the ISPI Board of Directors have their CPT.

The Board will also oversee the completion of Phase 3 and 4 of a Presidential Initiative Task Force started last year to Clarify the HPT Value Proposition. The initial focus is not on marketing statements, but is on the very definition of HPT using “technology domains” or “divisions” to frame HPT’s components. We will build on our past and catch up to the evolution that has taken place as we have moved in the past 41 years from Programmed Instruction to Performance-based Instruction to a more holistic set of concepts, models, methods, tools, and techniques that produce measured results that add value.

The complete story behind this initiative is told on the pages of the February 2003 issue of Performance Improvement journal, available on our Society’s website. Click here to review the issue.

And, if you haven’t already read ISPI’s 2002 Year in Review, you might want to download a copy today. It is a great reflection on our accomplishments over the past year.

Please feel free to share your questions, comments, or concerns with me or any other member of the Board of Directors. We are here to serve the membership. Cheers!

 


  



The United States Agency for International Development
(USAID) will be advertising a Request for Applications for a five year $150 million global reproductive health/family planning (RH/FP) service delivery cooperative agreement called ACQUIRE. The objectives of this activity are to increase access to RH/FP services; improve performance of service delivery providers; and strengthen the environment for RH/FP service delivery. New partnerships among organizations are encouraged. For more information about USAID global health programs, visit http://www.usaid.gov/pop_health. Interested parties may view the RFA at www.Fedgrants.gov in early May.

 

 


by Mark Munley, CPT


Every month your colleagues will discuss their “tools of the trade.” Our focus will be on providing interesting and useful job aids that will help you be a more effective practitioner of performance technology. For additional job aids and other useful information, visit ISPI’s 99 Seconds Online.

This month I talked with Mark Wood (MW). Mark is a consultant, speaker, and writer specializing in organizational effectiveness, leadership, culture, and compensation. Based in the San Francisco Bay Area, he may be reached at markwoodonline@earthlink.net.

MM: What is the Job Aid for Distilling Multiple, Disparate Issues?

MW: I use it as a tool for finding common denominators among multiple issues that do not seem to be or look related to one another.         

MM: Who might be interested in using this tool?

MW: People who are the primary facilitators of a discussion around trying to understand the essence or root cause of a situation.

MM: When do you employ the Job Aid for Distilling Multiple, Disparate Issues?

MW: As you conduct your analysis you find a lot of things are broken. The questions often become how to decide what issues need to be worked. How do we get at the root cause or causes of multiple issues? What is the connection that exists between the issues being examined? Instead of four initiatives or four action plans, perhaps there is one that will address multiple issues.

MM: How do you use it?

MW: I use this tool after my initial effort at situation assessment. I have uncovered the key issues that need some attention. So, this isn’t the first thing I do.

To give you an example, I used this recently on a project where the client asked me to assess their organizational effectiveness. After my initial analysis, I found five major themes all seemingly unrelated and all might take major efforts in terms of time and resources to correct. This job aid allows for a way to filter the information about these five issues in such a way that you get at the root cause. It helps you see what a unified solution might look like. By arraying the issues in the columns as they are laid out and then looking across the columns, root causes become evident. This is the key to using this job aid—when looking across the issues similarities present themselves. These then become the centerpiece for further action. In this particular project, it became clear that two root causes could be worked that would address the multiple issues identified earlier.

MM: What is the benefit of using this tool to you and the client?

MW: I think it is the same for both parties—to clarify the essence of the problem and therefore to clarify what your priorities are to move forward. It takes something that looks too multifaceted to solve and allows the client to see that action around one or two initiatives could solve more than one issue. It becomes a tool to clarify and manage the scope of a project. When working with the client, it enables us to set clear expectations on what should actually be delivered.

MM: Why do you like this tool?

MW: I like it because I prefer root cause analysis. A lot of approaches deal only with the symptoms. It allows a more systemic approach to a multifaceted problem.

MM: Finally, why is there air?

MW: Why not?

Click here to download a PDF file of the Job Aid for Distilling Multiple, Disparate Issues discussed above by Mark and Mark.

Mark Munley, CPT, is an associate partner with Performance Design Lab. He brings management and consulting experience in the analysis, design, and implementation of organization performance systems. He may be reached at MarkMunleyOnLine@attbi.com.

 

 


by Bob Bodine, CPT, 2004 Conference Chair

 


Many of you are still unpacking
handouts, organizing business cards, and following up with emails from contacts you made during the 2003 International Performance Improvement Conference & Exposition, April 10-15, in Boston, MA. The conference was a great success by many measures, and the 2003 Conference Committee is to be applauded. It was energizing to see old friends, make new friends, and participate in great sessions. Everyone came away with ideas about how to impact performance and how to make the conference even better. 

Now that you are back at your desks, it is not too soon to begin thinking about participating in next year’s conference. You can submit your ideas, and present at the premier performance improvement event of the year! Prepare a proposal by the September 15, 2003 deadline, and you could be on your way to presenting at ISPI’s 2004 International Performance Improvement Conference & Exposition, April 19-23, in Tampa, FL. The theme of the conference is Partnering for Performance. You can download the submission guidelines and a sample proposal, handout, and performance tool by visiting: www.ispi.org. Click on “Conferences Plus” for conference descriptions and Tampa accommodation information. 

 

 


by Carl Binder


At the recent ISPI Annual Conference in Boston, Timm Esque and I offered a joint presentation called Results Measurement: Building It in from the Start. At the core of the session was a framework that we discovered we have in common—I inherited it from Ogden Lindsley and Timm developed it under the influence of Bill Daniels. It says there are three steps to managing or improving performance: 1) Define goals and expectations in measurable terms, 2) Begin measuring (counting) to monitor progress toward goals, and put measurement processes and data in the hands of the performer(s), and 3) Engage performers in using ongoing measurement to make decisions and to allocate resources to better achieve goals.

We share the view that this process should be at the heart of performance improvement, not an add-on. As in a scientific experiment or in navigation, the process of direct and continuous measurement is inherent, providing feedback to performers that allows them to adjust their efforts to achieve goals.

This framework is deceptively simple because it is not always easy to decide what to count or how to gather the data. But in principle it cuts right through a lot of the complications that often surround measurement and evaluation and which, as Shrock and Geis (1999) wrote, make evaluation “the most widely misunderstood, avoided, and feared activity in the practice of HPT” (page 185).

An interesting aspect of this model is the imperative to put measurement in the hands of performers. It establishes measurement and data-based decision-making as an intrinsic part of work, a built-in feedback loop that is significantly more powerful than direction from above via command-and-control management.

Some years ago, Lindsley demonstrated that when performers measure, chart the data, and participate in decision-making, performance improvement happens about twice as fast, on average, as when others gather the data and make decisions for the performers. This finding certainly stands to reason. When performers own both their goals and progress toward them, they’ll be highly motivated to make decisions and execute changes more likely to improve their own progress than when they’re simply told to do so, left out of the loop until the end.

An additional point in our presentation, one that was confirmed by comments from the audience, is that there are significant potential benefits of using a standard and widely applicable graphic format for presenting measured results (Lindsley, 1999). I mentioned Lindsley’s original rationale for designing standard charts (examples of which I have mentioned and illustrated in earlier editions of this column). He found that when people shared transparencies of charts they made themselves—each unique in their dimensions and labels—it took 5 to 10 times as long to describe and present each chart as when they used a standard, universally applicable chart that depicts trends, levels, and ratios with standard graphic angles and distances. When I described this improvement in data-sharing efficiency at our presentation, several audience members explained with frustration that they are currently encountering the same problem at their companies in “Balanced Scorecard meetings.” They said that because everyone makes their own stretch-to-fill charts with Excel, the process of describing each chart and then communicating results eats up a lot of time. Significant time savings (by a factor of 5 to 10) might be the most compelling argument of all for considering use of Lindsley’s (1997) standardized charting system.

Next month, we’ll share more charts that illustrate the potential for accelerating communication of performance improvement results.

References
Daniels, W.R. (1995). Breakthrough Performance: Managing for Speed and Flexibility. Mill Valley, CA: ACT Publishing.

Esque, T.J. (2002). Making an Impact: Building a Top-performing Organization from the Bottom Up. Atlanta, GA: CEP Press.

Lindsley, O.R. (1999). From training evaluation to performance tracking. In H.D. Stolovitch and E.J. Keeps (eds.). Handbook of Human Performance Technology, Second edition. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass/Pfeiffer, 210-236.

Lindsley, O.R. (1997). Precise instructional design: Guidelines from precision teaching. In C.R. Dills and A.J. Romiszowski (eds.), Instructional development paradigms. Englewood Cliffs, NJ: Educational Technology Publications, 537-554.

Shrock, S.A. and Geis, G.L. (1999). Evaluation. In H.D. Stolovitch and E.J. Keeps (eds.). Handbook of Human Performance Technology, Second edition. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass/Pfeiffer, 185-209.

Dr. Carl Binder is a Senior Partner at Binder Riha Associates, a consulting firm that helps clients improve processes, performance, and behavior to deliver valuable results. His easy-to-remember email address is CarlBinder@aol.com, and his company’s website is www.Binder-Riha.com.

 


   


by Bob Walsh


How often do you do everything you planned to do in a day? If your answer is, “Not often!” maybe it is time to adopt Task Management in addition to Time Management.

Task Management is an entirely different approach to getting things done than Time Management. It is based on the fact that appointments and tasks are not the same thing, and can’t be managed with the same tools.

Task Management Tool #1 is your Master List of things to do. It can be a notebook, set of index cards, or a word processing document. Its key characteristic is that it’s the one and only place you list your tasks to do; business and personal, major and minor.

Keep your entries short. A short description (“Revise marketing intro”), where it fits in your life (“Marketing”), how important it is to you (“A+”), and your gut time estimate (“1 hr.”). If a task has a deadline, add it, but the shorter the entry, the better.

When you finally corral the last task into your Master List, don’t be surprised you breathe a big sigh of relief and then feel dismayed seeing the hundreds of things you need to do down in black and white. Now its time to for Task Management Tool #2: My Current List.

Re-read your Master List. On another pad, sheet, or computer file, start a list called My Current List, writing down tasks you can and should get done now. In each and every case, also write down your time estimate for that task. This is important.

When you get 8 hours worth of tasks on your Current List, stop. Have other tasks that are more important to add? Make substitutions. Your goal is a Current List you can actually finish in a day.

Whether we like it or not, we can only get 8 hours of work done in 8 hours. And that is if everything goes perfectly, which it probably won’t. By keeping your Current List short, you keep it real and you make it possible to successfully finish it. This is the power of Task Management.

Now, go to work and get your Current List done. As new items pop up, add them to your Master List, or if you absolutely must, substitute them into your Current List.

When you cross the last item on your Current List off, give yourself a well-deserved pat on the back, go back to your Master List, and create another doable Current List, based on your priorities now.

The form your lists take isn’t as important as the functions they provide, so you can use whatever materials you have at hand.

Try managing your tasks with a Master List and serial Current Lists for a week. Compare how much you get done, and how you feel about it. You will find that these simple task management tools work, and work well.

Bob Walsh is Managing Partner of Safari Software, Inc., a custom software development firm in Northern California. You can download their free MasterList-XL Standard Version task management application by clicking “Organized with MasterList”. The program requires Microsoft Excel™ for Windows 2000 or XP. Bob may be reached at bobw@safarisoftware.com.

 


 

Whether we like it or not, we can only get 8 hours of work done in 8 hours. And that is if everything goes perfectly, which it probably won’t.



by Todd Packer


Congratulations
on a successful ISPI Annual Conference in Boston! Performance technologists from all over the world shared ideas and information on the latest trends in leadership. We returned renewed to the “I-Spy” lab where we strive to connect our readership through relevant, interesting, and useful websites for performance technologists. Each month, we take readers to off-the-beaten-path sites that help them find similar thinkers, resources, work, new ideas, and sometimes just plain old fun.

Quick recap: Every month, three sites, one theme. While far from comprehensive, hopefully these sites will spark readers to look further and expand views about human performance technology (HPT). Please keep in mind that any listing is for informational purposes only and does not indicate an endorsement either by the International Society for Performance Improvement or me.

These are the general categories I use for the sites featured:

  1. E-Klatch: Links to professional associations, research, and resources that can help refine and expand our views of HPT through connections with other professionals and current trends
  2. HPT@work: Links to job listings, career development, volunteer opportunities, and other resources for applying your individual skills
  3. I-Candy: Links to sites that are thought provoking, enjoyable, and refreshing to help manage the stresses and identify new ideas for HPT

The theme for this month’s column is “Go international!” Are you inter-, multi-, or transnational, that is? We all contend with the international phenomenon of, well, internationalism. (If you’re growing weary of that word, pick your own from Theasaurus.com. Let’s pay a quick visit to some places across the globe that may be of interest. And, if you would like to connect with other members of ISPI interested in international issues, send me an email! Pets are welcome, too.

E-Klatch
Just in case you did not get your fill of conference fun at ISPI in Boston, here are a few conferences coming up that may be of interest:

HPT@work
If you are seeking work opportunities in countries around the world, scan the comprehensive International Job Opportunities listed at The Riley Guide. So whether you want to be a Music IT Trainer in Singapore (found at JobStreet.com, Singapore) or a general Trainer in Dublin North, Ireland (found at RealJobs.ie), you will find a variety of possibilities here. Also check out the general Riley Guide site for a variety of links to job listings, career search aids, and employment trend information for diverse groups.

I-Candy
Having difficulty understanding your Icelandic puppy’s “voff,” your Turkish
hen’s “gut-gut-gudak”, or your Thai gecko’s “took-gae took-gae (high tone on first syllable, mid tone on second)”? Pay a visit to Sounds of the World’s Animals, sponsored by the Faculty of Languages and Linguistics at Georgetown University, to learn how different animals sound in different languages. Apparently, the zebra has no listing. I would think that the world-wise readers of I-Spy could come up with some hip zebra lingo. This site was found in a comprehensive list of Multi-Language Resources from the University of Wisconsin-Madison and compiled by Lauren Rosen.

Until next time, this busy-bee will still buzz (Bengali: bhonbhon, Estonian: summ-summ) the global hive of the Internet, gathering more digital honey for the June PerformanceXpress!

When he is not Internet trawling for ISPI, Todd Packer can be found improving business, non-profit, and individual performance through research, training, and innovation coaching as Principal Consultant of Todd Packer and Associates based in Cleveland, Ohio. He may be reached at tp@toddpacker.com.

 


  



by Guy W. Wallace, CPT


A training and development function can organize its internal view of its many processes into a framework of three types of systems (collections of processes): leadership, core, and support.

If everything is a process, it can easily become a muddled mess without a good organizing scheme. The systems model that I present is intended to help you better identify, clarify, and differentiate the critical few from the important many.

The training and development (T&D) systems view model helps in:

  • Mapping both the “as is” and “could be” T&D system’s processes (what is the current state and what should the future state be?
  • Linking the processes to process owners and process participants for the purposes of role and responsibility clarity (who owns this and who is responsible for doing what?)
  • Assessing the T&D system for improvement and/or control status and requirements (where are our problems/opportunities and where do we require better process control?)

There are 45 distinct processes within 12 subsystems of a complete T&D systems view. These processes are sometimes formal, and sometimes not. They are either strategic or operationally critical, or they are not. They are either in control or they are not. And they either need tight process control, OR THEY DO NOT. We are not suggesting that EVERY system and process be in tight control. As always, it depends.

It depends on your situation. You need to gather the data, do the math, and decide what is broken and what is not, and where to strategically place your enterprise’s bets for greater returns in the short-, medium-, or long-term.

The 12 Subsystems that Make Up a T&D System
The T&D systems model can be viewed as an analog clock with each of the hours representing a major subsystem:

12 o’clock: Governance and Advisory System
…organizes the key stakeholders of the enterprise and formalizes the channels of communication with them. They provide the forum for T&D’s internal marketplace customers to provide advice, and give the organization’s executive-level leadership governing power over T&D strategies, tactics, and resource allocations.

1 o’clock: T&D Strategic Planning System
…uncovers exactly where key stake- and shareholders want their strategic bets placed. It also determines resource requirements and assesses the T&D organization’s ability to carry out plans.

2 o’clock: T&D Operations Planning and Management System
…provides day-to-day operations and management of the various T&D functions, including annual, quarterly, and monthly planning, budgeting, and accounting processes.

3 o’clock: T&D Cost/Benefits Measurement System
…provides the measures and reports for the metrics of the T&D system. It turns data into information and interprets and reports this to the T&D leadership, staff, and its key customers and stakeholders.

4 o’clock: T&D Systems and Processes Improvement Program and Project Management System
…provides the response to issues and trends from the metrics of the measurement system and provides order to the quality and process improvement efforts for both incremental-continuous improvement and radical-discontinuous improvement to T&D processes.

5 o’clock: T&D Product and Service Line Definition and Design System
…provides a system that defines the high-priority, critical T&D products and services that must be developed or acquired to support key customer strategies and tactics. Needs more description and less alphabet soup.

6 o’clock: T&D Product and Service Line Development/Acquisition System
…provides T&D by building new and/or buying or modifying existing products and services. Needs more description and less alphabet soup.

7 o’clock: T&D Product and Service Line Deployment System
…provides a deployment system that organizes and distributes products and services through traditional (and nontraditional) instructor-led, group-paced classroom delivery; self-paced delivery; structured, coached/mentored delivery; and computer-based/electronic delivery.

8 o’clock: T&D Marketing and Communications System
…provides a system that organizes and distributes information throughout the T&D marketplace to meet a variety of needs. Communication and marketing are not about selling all T&D to everyone (a “learning by chance approach”), but are designed to help customers make informed choices—“learning by design.”

9 o’clock: T&D Financial Asset Management System
…provides a system that tracks and monitors the fiscal obligations of the T&D enterprise and keeps them within predetermined budget levels.

10 o’clock: T&D Human and Environmental Asset Management System
…provides the asset management system to organize and manage the acquisition, development, assessment, and retention of the T&D staff and all of the supporting infrastructure (facilities, equipment, materials, and information) needed to develop and deploy T&D.

11 o’clock: T&D Research and Development System
…provides the capability to look into the near- and long-term future and to keep the T&D organization on the cutting edge is found within this system. It also “tests” emerging processes, methods, and technology to ensure that T&D is delivering increasingly improved performance at decreasing costs, with an ever-higher return on investment.

Summary
Processes don’t exist in a vacuum. One process’ outputs could be an input to another within the same system. Fixing one process may have an impact on one or many more. By viewing your training and development system as a series of 12 subsystems with many interconnected processes, you are in a better position to communicate internally about them, to audit them, and to identify all of the other inter-connected processes that may be impacted as you improve any “one” of your T&D operations.

This should allow you to better calculate your forecasted total improvement costs and total improvement returns. Without that view, your attempts at value add might inadvertently end up as a value deplete.

Guy W. Wallace, CPT, has been a consultant to government and industry since 1982. He has served 32 of the current Fortune 500 plus several non-US firms. His biography is listed in Marquis Who’s Who of America. Guy is the current president of the International Society for Performance Improvement. He may be reached at guy.wallace@eppic.biz.

 

  
 

Processes don’t exist in a vacuum. One process’ outputs could be an input to another within the same system. Fixing one process may have an impact on one or many more.


Question authority. Investigate. Discover.
Sound intriguing? Of course! As HPT’ers we have inquiring minds. We are drawn to solving problems, to improving performance, and to making a difference. To accomplish all of these, we rely upon the inquiries and discoveries of research. Some research yields findings that we can apply today, while other investigations have more long-term returns. To be successful, we need both types of research. We need applied research to help us solve today’s problems. We need theoretical research to discover future practices.

Through our Annual Research Grant Program, the International Society for Performance Improvement (ISPI) continues to show a commitment to investing in the future of the field and in the research that is pivotal to realizing the return on that investment.

Normally, the research program officially launches with ISPI’s annual spring conference. To better serve the membership, the Research Committee accelerated its efforts to post the Request for Proposals (RFP), thereby giving you more time to hone your research ideas and prepare great research proposals.

Click here  to download a PDF of the 2003 Research Grant Program Request for Proposals. The deadline for submissions is June 6, 2003.

 


   




The International Society for Performance Improvement
(ISPI) would like to congratulate the list of professionals below who have taken advantage of the exemptions available during the grandparenting period and received the designation of Certified Performance Technologist (CPT) since January 2003. Click here for a full list of CPTs. Visit www.certifiedpt.org, and apply today to receive your designation.

  • Elaine Marie Conrad, Nationwide, OH, USA          
  • Clayton R. Lloyd, Wells Fargo, CA, USA 
  • Glenda Ward, EDS, MI, USA                    
  • Cynthia S. Gill, CGI Information Systems & Management Consultants, Inc., TX, USA
  • Leslie Grygiel, Performance Imp Solutions Inc, NC, USA
  • Robyn L. Wagner Skarbek, Guardian Life Insurance, PA, USA          
  • Liliane Lessard, LLA-Liliane Lessard & Assoc, QB, Canada
  • Dreama G. Perry, USAA, TX, USA
  • Linda M. Hogan, Institue Europe, MI, USA           
  • Dean R. Spitzer, IBM Corporation, FL, USA        
  • Christine I. Violante, Center for Industry Learn EDS, MI, USA
  • Lowell C. Yarusso, Gibson & Associates Inc, IL, USA
  • Erika Berglund, Performance by Design, CA, USA 
  • Susan E. Zeigle, CGI Info Sys & Mgmt Cons Inc, TX, USA        
  • Barbara M. Valentine, The Cortex Group, CA, USA
  • Gene E. Fusch, Southern Illinois University, WA, USA      
  • Dawn E. Zintel, The Training Alliance, CA, USA  
  • David Hartt, USCG Training Center, CA, USA      
  • Mary Norris Thomas, PhD, The Fleming Group LLC, MO, USA
  • Donald J. Ford, Training Education Management, CA, USA    
  • Greg L. Kilgore, DATAVISTA Inc, TX, USA        
  • Richard L. Grimes, Outsource Training.biz LLC, AL, USA 
  • Tim H. Hall, Unum Provident Corporation, TN, USA
  • Carl V. Binder, Binder Riha Associates, CA, USA 
  • Lisa Toenniges, MI, USA
  • Chris McClung, M2 & A Partner, NC, USA          
  • Eileen Banchoff, PhD, Banchoff Associates Inc, MI, USA 
  • Lisa M. Toth, Banchoff Associates Inc, MI, USA 
  • Kenneth McClung, M2&A, NC, USA      
  • David G. Bonello, MI, USA
  • Lynn Day-Lewis, Triad, MI, USA            
  • James Jay Hill, Jr., Sun Microsystems Inc, CA, USA
  • John G. Choma, Openwave, CA, USA      
  • Karyn L. Patterson, Triad, MI, USA         
  • Donald R. Triner, US Coast Guard, NJ, USA         
  • Joan F. Slick, Albuquerque TVI Community College, NM, USA  
  • Steve Gordon, Great A&P Tea Co, NJ, USA          
  • Scott D. Anderson, Great Atlantic & Pacific Tea, NJ, USA
  • Daniel A. Raymond, Jr., Performance Plus Inc, VA, USA  
  • Michelle Halprin, Philology Instructional Design, CA, USA
  • Ann E. Battenfield, IL, USA

 


 
  



Performance Marketplace is a convenient way  to exchange information of interest to the performance improvement community. Take a few moments each month to scan the listings for important new events, publications, services, and employment opportunities. To post information for our readers, contact ISPI Director of Marketing, Keith Pew at keithp@ispi.org or 301.587.8570.


Books and Reports
High Impact Learning by Robert O. Brinkerhoff and Anne M. Apking provides the conceptual framework for the HILS®
approach and is complete with integrated tools and methods that training practitioners can use to help their organizations achieve increased business results from learning investments.

ISD Revisited is a select collection of 56 articles from ISPI’s Performance Improvement journal focused ISD as practiced in the 21st Century. This compendium, with an introduction by Allison Rossett, provides a fresh perspective on ISD, presenting current thinking and best practices.

Conferences, Seminars, and Workshops
Darryl L. Sink & Associates, Inc. is offering the following workshops: Instructional Developer Workshop, San Francisco, June 3-5; Designing Instruction for Web-Based Training, Atlanta, June 10-12; Criterion-Referenced Testing Workshop, Dallas, October. Visit
www.dsink.com for more information.

Let Thiagi bring his top three workshops to you: Interactive Strategies for Improving Performance (games, etc.), Train the Trainer (and the Facilitator), and Rapid Training Design (powerful alternatives to ISD). No bait and switch. All workshops designed and delivered by Thiagi himself.

Job and Career Resources
ISPI Online CareerSite is your source for performance improvement employment. Search listings and manage your resume and job applications online.

 

Magazines, Newsletters, and Journals
Chief Learning Officer Magazine Let CLO deliver the experts to you through Chief Learning Officer magazine, www.CLOmedia.com
, and the Chief Learning Officer Executive Briefings electronic newsletter. Subscriptions are free to qualified professionals residing in the United States.

Resource Directories
ISPI Online Buyers Guide offers resources for your performance improvement, training, instructional design and organizational development initiatives.

Training Services
The Power to Get Results. Martin Training Associates provides workshops, services, and products that focus on developing hard and soft skills in project management. Our methodology is universally applicable to any project and project team type. Visit
www.Martintraining.net for details.

Web Surveying and Assessment
SurveyShare (www.surveyshare.com), from CourseShare, is a collaborative Web-based survey tool allowing users to create public and private surveys for FREE. Users can choose from more than 100 survey templates and hundreds of evaluation items, info@surveyshare.com, 812-333-3134.

Websites of Interest
HR.com is a leading on-line resource providing HR professionals with daily news, articles, expert insights, discussion groups, and more. ICG (Intellectual Capital Group), a division of HR.com, provides cutting-edge research reports called RedBooks™ identifying and analyzing HR trends and technologies.

 

 



ISPI is looking for Human Performance Technology (HPT) articles
(approximately 500 words and not previously published) for PerformanceXpress that bridge the gap from research to practice (please, no product or service promotion is permitted). Below are a few examples of the article formats that can be used:
  • Short “I wish I had thought of that” Articles
  • Practical Application Articles
  • The Application of HPT
  • Success Stories

In addition to the article, please include a short bio (2-3 lines) and a contact email address. All submissions should be sent to april@ispi.org. Each article will be reviewed by one of ISPI’s on-staff HPT experts, and the author will be contacted if it is accepted for publication. If you have any further questions, please contact april@ispi.org.

 

 

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PerformanceXpress is an ISPI member benefit designed to build community, stimulate discussion, and keep you informed of the Society’s activities and events. This newsletter is published monthly and will be emailed to you at the beginning of each month.

If you have any questions or comments, please contact April Davis, ISPI’s Senior Director of Publications, at april@ispi.org.

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