ISPI’s Awards of Excellence program, which was founded in 1963, is designed to showcase the people, products, innovations, and organizations that represent excellence in the field of human performance technology (HPT) on an annual basis. In the category of Outstanding Human Performance Interventions, 12 interventions were selected for the prestigious award, which required meticulous documentation of how an intervention meets 10 Performance Improvement Standards, documents success and improvement under real-world conditions, and is reviewed by peers. These awards will be bestowed at THE Performance Improvement Conference, Saturday, April 21, 2012.

Human Performance Program–Call Center Performance Intervention
Kathryn Adams, CPT, Sprint

The Human Performance Program (HPP) uses the principles of HPT and a combination of modified version Gilbert’s BEM and Tosti’s Organizational SCAN to holistically assess the drivers and road blocks to high performance in Sprint’s call center organization. The program requires a strong partnership with site level leadership, HR and the Staff Operations team to execute interventions. These systematically designed interventions target the organization, the work and the worker levels, overcome the road blocks and produce behavior changes which lead to sustainable, measurable improvement in business impacting results (KPIs). The effectiveness of the program can be validated by the more than $437,718 saved in the Florida location alone.
Initially, the program was designed for the poorer performing call centers, however as the process gained credibility through results, it was expanded to higher performing Sprint centers with various lines of business (LOBs). We began the building the program and visiting the sites in July of 2008 and have done 13 since.

We recognize team members Kathryn Sulloway Adams, relationship manager, HR Sprint; Jason Hatley, relationship manager, HR Sprint; and Raman Wadehra, manager, Call Center Analytics & Performance Management.

Amgen Risk-Based Approach to On-the-Job Training
Bill Blunt, Operations Learning & Performance, Amgen

Amgen Operations leadership incorporated a set of high-reliability organizational outcomes into the department’s long-term strategy. In late 2009, a business improvement team visited all manufacturing sites and performed a very high-level risk analysis for each site’s processes. They selected eight production lines at three locations for high-reliability interventions in 2010 and 2011. The findings and recommendations of the assessment team were incorporated into the scope of five high-reliability projects, including the defense-in-depth approach to optimize operator performance, root cause analysis and corrective action method enhancements, statistical process monitoring and control methods, knowledge management and organizational learning, and purposeful presence on the floor by frontline managers. The initial set of business results from the overall High Reliability intervention set included a 44% increase in production, 40% decrease in potential quality problems/lot of material produced, and 75% reduction in procedure revisions (as corrective actions).

Congratulations to the Operations Learning & Performance Team, which included Evelyn Elias, director, Operations Learning & Performance, Amgen Puerto Rico; Laura Diaz, senior manager, Operations Learning & Performance, Amgen Puerto Rico; Joel Cardona, manager, Operations Learning & Performance, Amgen Puerto Rico; Sylvia Medina, manager, Operations Learning & Performance, Amgen Puerto Rico; Luzmar Morales, manager ,Operations Learning & Performance, Amgen Puerto Rico; Mildred Santana, senior associate, Operations Learning & Performance, Amgen Puerto Rico; Kathy White, executive director, Operations Learning & Performance, Amgen Thousand Oaks, CA; Bill Blunt, director, Operations Learning & Performance, Amgen Thousand Oaks, CA; David Darrow, senior manager, Operations Learning & Performance, Amgen Thousand Oaks, CA; and Liz Gardner, manager, Operations Learning & Performance, Amgen Thousand Oaks, CA.

U.S. Coast Guard Maritime Law Enforcement Boarding Officer Counter Drug Operations Course
LCDR Randall Chong, U.S. Coast Guard Training Center Petaluma and U.S. Coast Guard Maritime Law Enforcement Academy

The U.S. Coast Guard is the premier agency in maritime counter drug operations. From 2004 to 2008, the Coast Guard interdicted over 800 metric tons of illegal cocaine, with a street value over $21 billion. However, from 2008 to 2010, interdiction rates started to decline despite intelligence indicating no reduction in drug trafficking operations. The Coast Guard’s Office of Law Enforcement identified this as a performance gap.  A contributing factor was that drug smugglers were devising hidden compartments that were not being found by board officers. To bridge the gap, the Coast Guard’s Maritime Counter Drug Course was designed to improve boarding team performance regarding At-Sea-Space-Accountability, the successful location of hidden compartments, the correct application of contraband detection equipment, and accurate case-package processing and evidence collection techniques. The Maritime Law Enforcement Counter Drug Course is a competency-based training program that prepares Coast Guard boarding officers to ensure that vessels are in compliance with federal laws, treaties, and regulations. The program provides a foundation in applicable concepts, stressing “hands-on” practical experience in counter drug operations during maritime boardings. Emphasis is placed on policy, procedures, officer safety, and practical exercises. Since the course’s inception, feedback from units in the field have shown significant advances in boarding officer’s ability to locate hidden compartments and complete At-Sea-Space-Accountability. In fact, over the past 20 months, tactics, techniques, and procedures taught in this course were directly responsible for the detection and subsequent seizures of more than 3,700 pounds of cocaine worth in excess of $42 million dollars.

We honor  the following professionals who made this program successful:  CAPT Erin Brogan, commanding officer; CDR Paul E. Baker, commanding officer; CDR Reed Stephenson; LCDR Marcus Gherardi, training officer; LCDR Tim Hammond;  LCDR Randall Chong, performance analyst; BMC David Padley, performance analyst; Alan Wheaton, curriculum development; and Vincent Aquino, curriculum development.

U.S. Coast Guard Performance Analysis Project Improvement
LCDR Randall Chong, U.S. Coast Guard Training Center Petaluma

By the end of fiscal year 2008, the analysis branch at Training Center Petaluma had an average project completion time of 14.4 months, and had only completed six analysis reports in a two-year period. The average cost per project was near $80,000. To increase production, performance problems were identified and solutions were created. A process analysis was conducted on workflow and products, identifying several gaps. Major findings included staffing issues, unclear and conflicting policies and procedures, and inconsistencies in reporting structure and workflow. Customer satisfaction surveys were marked unsatisfactory in project scoping and timeliness. Based on these findings, a broad spectrum of solutions was implemented including adding a technical writer to the staff, updating existing policies and procedures, creating tools to standardize work products and workflow, structuring the review process, updating customer surveys, and creating a formal mentoring program for new analysts. The result was that over the next two years, the team completed 13 projects, and the average completion time dropped to six months. The average cost fell to $37,000 per project.

Congratulate the U.S. Coast Guard and L-3 Communications team members on this successful intervention. U.S. Coast Guard team members included CAPT Erin Brogan, commanding officer; CDR Reed Stephenson;  LCDR Randall Chong, performance analyst; LCDR Michael Reed, performance analyst; LCDR Gregory Haas, performance analyst;  LCDR Matthew Chong, performance analyst; LT Robert Hill, performance analyst;  LT Travis Collier, performance analyst; and BMC David Padley, performance analyst. L-3 Communications team members included Valerie Luekens, performance analyst; Joellen Mitchell, performance analyst; and Jennifer McGowan, technical writer/editor.

Just-in-time Appliance Associate Training: Improving the Customers’ Shopping Experience
Gary DePaul, CPT, PhD, Lowe’s and Creative Channel Services

At the end of the day, what matters most is the customers’ CCSLogoshopping experience. Workforce Readiness, in collaboration with Creative Channel Services, delivers just-in-time product training to Lowe’s appliance associates. Associates access training through CyberScholar, a learning web portal for retail professionals. CyberScholar makes training more effective by enabling associates to learn at their own pace, test their knowledge through quizzes, track their training progress through report cards, and stay motivated by earning rewards. With appliance products frequently changing to adapt to new technologies, customers and sales associates can become overwhelmed by the variety of products. To be successful in the consultative-selling process, associates must stay current with changing technologies and new products. Now empowered to learn through CyberScholar’s continually updated online appliance training that aligns with new product launches, Lowe’s associates can better match the latest products and technologies with customer needs. In doing so, customers make informed purchasing decisions, which leads to greater customer satisfaction, reduced product returns, improved customer loyalty, and increased sales.

Congratulations to Gary DePaul, CPT, PhD, Workforce Readiness manager, Lowe’s; Rich Lima, Workforce Readiness director, Lowe’s; Angel Foster, performance consultant, Lowe’s; Seth Burnette, Lowe’s retail partnership manager, CCS; Kalon Welch, director, Business Development, CCS; Justin Bell, VP, retail partnerships, CCS; Adam Nelson, VP & GM of Digital Solutions, CCS; and Hanoz Gandhi, chief operating officer, CCS.

Passport: A New Point-of-Sale System
Louise Leone, Imperial Oil and DataLink Consulting team

Imperial Oil Limited rolled out a new point-of-sale system, called “Passport,” to all of its sites across Canada in 2010-2011. Retailers needed to adopt, adapt, and become adept at the use of a newly installed point-of-sale system quickly so the best possible customer experience could be maintained. The flawless “day one” execution of the new system nationally was due in large part to the training innovations utilized by the members of the instructional design and performance teams. Training program innovations developed to support the system rollout consisted of a retailer information kit, a “Passport Tour” video showcase segment, cashier and retailer e-learning, retailer workshops, performance tools, on-site rollout assistance, and peer support programs. The measure of a successful implementation at each site was determined by whether each retailer and its staff fully understood the key transaction processing tasks, whether there was a reduction in system downtime, and whether staff was able to put their skills into practice immediately while maintaining a focus on serving each customer. These items were measured through ongoing retailer surveys, support system call log analysis, and quarterly site visit assessments.

Responsible for the success was the project team, which consisted of Louise Leone, training curriculum owner and training project lead, Imperial Oil Ltd.; David Wallace, system project manager, Imperial Oil Ltd.; Christine Link, president, DataLink Consulting Inc.; Sylvia Herczku, project manager, DataLink Consulting Inc.; Joanne Mowat, senior instructional designer, DataLink Consulting Inc.; and Sarah Sniderman, instructional designer, DataLink Consulting Inc.

Using the D6 Model to Achieve Consistency in Performance Improvement Initiatives
Phyllis Horton, Lowe’s Home Improvement

To improve the quality and speed to results, Lowe’s Learning & Development (L&D) department created the D6 Model. L&D designed this model to standardize how employees progress through the phases of any performance improvement initiative: define, data collection, diagnose, design, develop, and deploy. As part of this model, L&D documented departmental standards and created tools and templates. The implementation included training on using the D6 Model, referencing the documentation standards, and selecting appropriate tools and templates. The D6 Model helps employees focus more on the work and less on determining techniques and inventing tools to do the work. For example, the D6 Model has a toolkit that enables L&D employees to select from a suite of resources, use a common language, and present a consistent and identifiable L&D brand to internal customers. To incorporate accountability for complying with the new standards and for contributing to continuous improvement, L&D leadership redesigned jobs to align with the D6 Model and performance objectives. In addition, L&D created an online community of practice and Wiki with the model, documentation, and tools to facilitate peer discussions about using the D6 Model. Employees can post best practices and share examples.

The Lowe’s project team that collaborated on this outstanding project included the following:  Angel Foster, performance consultant; Lisa Helton, director, Professional Development; Dave Sansavera, manager, Professional Development; Ginny Hunter, performance solutions specialist; Phyllis Horton, performance solutions specialist; Matt Mason, instructional specialist; Sam Mink, instructional specialist; Rick Robison, instructional specialist; and Rhea Norwood, director Professional Development, project sponsor.

Retailing Excellence 2011–Retail is Detail
Louise Leone, Imperial Oil and Ideas Interactive Inc

The 2011 Retailing Excellence Program is a comprehensive program for Imperial Oil retailers. The desired performance was for retailers to consistently merchandise their stores and run the car wash business, based on the standards and best practices issued by Imperial Oil. This program encompasses classroom workshops, take-away performance tools, and an extensive and successful incentive program that is launched across the country that measures the successful application of the training and retailing requirements launched in the workshops themselves. The goal was to build upon the success from previous year programs and to increase best customer experiences at each and every site, thereby improving sales and competitive edge over other retailers in the same market and those who offer similar convenience products. . The materials that were created to support this intervention were a Pilot Workshop Leader’s Guide and Participant Guides and feedback sheets, Territory Managers Workshop and Train the Trainer, Retailing Excellence: Retailer Workshop rolled out nationally, Performance Tools, and Team Blitzes and Summer Incentive Programs.. The results, as evaluated by the workshop evaluations right up to the national sales results and “blitz” scores, indicate that 2011, like Imperial Oil’s past years, have driven Imperial Oil to even greater success, even in these tough economic times. The intervention continues to drive these results!

Responsible for the success was the project team, which consisted of Louise Leone, training curriculum owner and training project lead, Imperial Oil Ltd.; Ryan Levins, convenience retail manager, Imperial Oil Ltd; Heather Connell-Brown president Ideas Interactive Inc.

Collateral Duty Environmental Coordinator Electronic Performance Support Solution
Cynthia Pryke, Lockheed Martin & U.S. Coast Guard Environmental Management Office

The U.S. Coast Guard (USCG) is subject to the same environmental laws and regulations as any agency, business, or institution.  However, obscuring the issue of compliance is the sometimes ambiguous overlay of laws and regulations instituted by local, state, and federal agencies, which can vary depending on geographic location and time of year; but require absolute compliance all the same. As a leader in environmental stewardship, the USCG has as one of its primary missions. For these reasons, it is important that the USCG has a solution to develop accomplished performers at the unit level to ensure complete compliance. The Collateral Duty Environmental Coordinator (CDEC) Blended Solution is intended to improve the U.S. Coast Guard CDECs’ understanding of the complexities of environmental compliance and their role in maintaining compliance. The solution is blended as it provides performance support at the point of performance as well as a means to track annual required training for CDECs throughout the USCG. The CDEC Blended Solution is a comprehensive set of interventions that spans numerous positions, ranks, and unit types, which enables a CDEC to safely, effectively, and efficiently perform critical environmental compliance duties. This solution addresses environmental compliance across platforms (facilities, aviation, vessels, and equipment) as well as through specific compliance categories, allowing use by the performer in several different capacities.  This solution is expected to save the USCG resources by mitigating the need for resident training and by administering assessments remotely through the Learning Management System.

We congratulate the project team for this human performance innovation: CDR Jonathon Riffe, director, FC-Tptc, U.S. Coast Guard; LCDR Steve Ramassini, branch chief, FC-Tptc, U.S. Coast Guard; LT Alice Middleton, project manager, FC-Tptc, U.S. Coast Guard; and Cindy Pryke, project lead, Lockheed Martin.

Secure Desktop Environment (SDE) Human Performance Instructional Intervention
Wayne Tallman, Arise Virtual Solutions

One of Arise’s key differentiators in its virtual, work-from-home business services industry is the Secure Desktop Environment (SDE) solution offering. Because each of our 8,500+ agents actively servicing clients has different home office computer systems, specs, and configurations, SDE acts as a single, standard operating system across the agent network, allowing these agents streamlined and secure access to our client’s operating systems and tools. Through a USB drive, agents launch SDE in a format that will be instantly compatible with their client’s production systems. The original procedures were delivered through webcasting sessions with instructors and support desk personnel, which was resource intensive. The company’s e-learning solutions team quickly identified that the SDE process required a number of psychomotor steps that need hands-on practice in an immersive learning environment. And, since all of the agents work virtually from their home offices across the globe, the learning must be completed via distance learning methods. The team designed a self-paced, avatar-led “SDE Fast Path” instructional intervention to accommodate these methods in an innovative virtual learning environment. The result was a scalable solution that resulted in (a) immediate application (and long-term behavior changes) by the agents, (b) improved performance for the agents, and (c) significant revenue uptake and cost avoidance for the company. The importance of focusing on the outcomes, rather than the “issues,” allowed for more creativity, big-picture thinking, and innovation.  The importance of focusing on these accomplishments also produced long-term positive impacts on business results and culture.

Congratulations go to the Arise Virtual Solutions Inc. project team, which included Wayne Tallman, director, eLearning Solutions; Jared Fletcher, vice president, Operations; Matt Cormio, vice president, Planning and Support Service;  Keith Myers, senior technical engineer; and Steve Gomez, vice president and CTO.

U.S. Coast Guard Suicide Prevention Mandated Training Online Course
Shyla Volk, U.S. Coast Guard

The U.S. Coast Guard is a robust organization of roughly 40,000 members. To keep its personnel informed and equipped, Coast Guard policy requires mandated training (MT) on certain human relations and security topics, ranging from information systems security to substance abuse management. This intervention, Suicide Prevention Mandated Training online course, is one of the required annual training requirements of all Coast Guard members. The course provides an economical alternative to existing face-to-face suicide prevention training, which was previously neither standardized nor consistent and which did not reach all members. The new course shares information and resources to all members regarding suicide causes, signs, and desired response while reducing course seat hours from one to a half hour. The training provides standardized, validated content in a SCORM-conformant package; provides 100% training compliance metrics for reporting; and adheres to the analysis, design, development, and evaluation constraints and recommendations of the Coast Guard’s Standards Operating Procedures manuals.

We honor the team who made this stellar intervention possible: CAPT Elizabeth Wade, Health, Safety & Work-Life training officer; CDR Aaron Waters, ADL Program chief, FC-515, U.S. Coast Guard; LCDR Randy Chong, deputy training officer, Training Center Petaluma, U.S. Coast Guard; LCDR Mike Reed, PSB Branch chief, Training Center Petaluma, U.S. Coast Guard; LT John Bannon, IST supervisor, Training Center Petaluma, U.S. Coast Guard; LT Travis Collier, IST supervisor, Training Center Petaluma, U.S. Coast Guard; LT Andy Campbell, ADL Program IT lead, FC-515, U.S. Coast Guard; John Reibling, Health, Safety & Work-Life Program manager, U.S. Coast Guard; Kathy Thore, acting training officer, Training Center Petaluma, U.S. Coast Guard; Chris Slater, ADL Program coordinator, FC-515, U.S. Coast Guard; Shyla Volk, IST e-learning specialist, Training Center Petaluma, U.S. Coast Guard; Lawrence Kevin, IST multimedia developer, L3 Communications Inc.; Randy Ellis, IST multimedia developer, L3 Communications Inc.; Emily Hansen, IST multimedia developer, L3 Communications Inc.;  Joe Volk, LDC CPO Academy instructional designer, L3 Communications; Larry Dyer, Health, Safety & Work-Life Training coordinator; Beth Orozco, Health, Safety & Work-Life Training coordinator; and Jenny McGowan, evaluations specialist, L3 Communications.

Kobalt Mechanics Hand Tools via Lowe’s Connections
Martin L. Wood, Brian S. Gardner, and Samuel D. Mink, Lowe’s Home Improvement

Lowe’s store readiness team was approached by the tools merchandising vice president to provide training for the launch of the new lineup of Kobalt mechanics hand tools. Tools-related product launches in the past failed to align enterprise business objectives that drive associate performance objectives due to inadequate, inconsistent training; a variety of staffing models among 1700+ stores; conflicting information being shared; and difficulty in finding resources to serve the customer. By addressing performance gaps and taking into consideration the worker, work, and workplace conditions, the team’s analysis led to the partnerships with key stakeholders to communicate program interventions and solutions; the development of job aids used during the sale; an in-the-aisle chat to help store leadership engage associates and validate performance before the product rollout; and the use of Lowe’s Connections, an enterprise social collaboration solution that allows associates to communicate, collaborate, and share resources within a unified space. This solution was used as the modality of delivery for these department-specific performance interventions as well as to gain ongoing feedback for these just-in-time solutions. The overall results of these performance interventions were an increase in sales comps +4276 bps, sales margins +405 bps, and Q2 close rates +650 bps. As a result, this set of performance solutions and interventions has inspired other teams within Learning & Organizational Effectiveness to view Connections as a potential delivery modality for their interventions. To date, the Lowe’s store readiness team has consulted with eight additional teams who are in the process of launching their own communities on Connections. Congratulations on your accomplishment.

Congratulations to Lowe’s team members Martin L. Wood, Store Readiness manager; Brian S. Gardner, instructional specialist; and Samuel D. Mink, instructional specialist.