Does CSS work locally? Nationally? Internationally? Globally? How does your organization approach human performance technology (HPT) in each of these landscapes? Is it different? How so?
We have no boundaries. Our work to-date has been serving clients at the national level within the United States, but these projects include functions occurring in multiple countries. Our organization approaches human performance technology in consideration of cultural, societal, organizational, and individual attributes, attitudes, and perspectives. We approach each project as unique and tailor our broad methodology for HPT into suitable process steps aligned with the aforementioned considerations to (1) stay focused on results, (2) take a systematic approach to arriving at the solution set, (3) add value to the client’s portfolio, and (4) remain in partnership and collaboration with the client during an entire project.
How does CSS adapt to performance improvement needs for today’s variety of generational workforces?
Generational gaps abound, and probably always will. Each new generation brings new ideas for technology use and improvement. As technology application evolves with each generation, these new ideas result in needs to adapt HPT solutions to synergize with the generations that that will benefit from their use. We adapt by tailoring our methodology for HPT into suitable process steps aligned with these considerations. So you see, whether we are delivering a solution set to a client of a different culture or of a different generation, our HPT methodology is repeatable, defendable, and unbiased.
How do you use social media in your work? As a resource? As a solution?
We use social media to gain and maintain professional contacts and to stay informed of trends in varying perspectives of clients, potential clients, and like-minded HPT professionals. Social media is dynamic and demanding to say the least and we recognize the risks associated with relying too heavily on social media to shape our HPT-related solutions. So although we do stay informed of trends, we remain steadfast in the utilization of our methodology because it is proven to be repeatable, defendable, and unbiased.
What is your favorite CPT – HPT story?
We had the great honor of supporting our troops by helping them improve their performance in the line of duty under hostile fire. While we remained safe and protected in our offices stateside as they put their lives on the line for us, we were given the opportunity to observe our troops’ accomplished performers in training, and document HPT-related actions they could take to improve performance. Our work resulted in the development of high-risk, live-fire combat handgun, rifle, and shotgun training documentation that is used to train personnel to not only perform these critical skills but also to teach them in the field on a regular basis to maintain high proficiency rates. The results of our work continue to reveal themselves in the form of reduced reaction times, increased accuracy, and, most important, lowered rates of injury and death. We are proud to be part of this success story.
What excites you about ISPI’s work?
ISPI provides a forum for discussion, publication, peer review, and evolution of ideas related to HPT. Because of ISPI’s international reach, we are also exposed to a broad variety of HPT application and potential clients. This not only facilitates our work but also raises our awareness of differences in HPT application due to social, cultural, organizational, and individual nuances.
What types of learning or performance improvement opportunities does CSS offer its employees? Its clients?
We provide our employees membership to ISPI, support their educational goals through online and classroom training, and provide them the tools and technology they need to increase their learning. We provide our clients with the necessary tools and technology (software, hardware, specialized equipment) to meet requirements for performance improvement. Sometimes this is achieved with modification of existing tools, and other times we collaborate on the development of new tools.
How has CSS’ approach(es) to performance improvement changed over time?
Although we’ve mentioned previously that we remain steadfast in the use of our HPT methodology, this is not meant to indicate we remain stagnant. In fact, we continuously evolve our HPT methodology based in part on peer-reviewed articles identifying possibilities for improvement. We test those theories when able and attempt to duplicate results or identify our own improved results. One example is in our work related to systems engineering. Within systems engineering there exists what is called the “systems engineering vee,” which is a process identifier for systems development. We’ve applied our HPT methodology to the systems engineering model and derived linkages in our own activity diagrams that resulted in a HPT methodology change for us that is synergistic with the Department of Defense’s Architectural Framework 2.0 (DoDAF 2.0). This change enables us to speak and function within the DoD acquisition life cycle much more effectively than we had in the past.
What interesting things does CSS do to manage and develop its human capital?
We are a service-disabled veteran-owned small business (SDVOSB) with a small cadre of employees. This often enables us to allow our entire team to collaborate on projects together. In so doing, we simultaneously manage and develop our human capital on many levels, from project management to systems engineering to human performance analysis and beyond. We love working together and strive to be collaborative because it helps us solve problems faster, be more innovative, and maintain an open mind as individuals on the variations in problem sets that come with technology, culture, society, organizational, and individual differences.
How does human performance technology add value to CSS? How do you measure its worth and value?
HPT adds value on two levels. First, we use HPT within our organization to improve our own performance. We continuously analyze our performance factors and track indicators to predict trend shifts. This also provides indicators of performance risk and helps us determine the need for change in our risk management plans. Second, we use HPT to help our clients achieve their goals. Sometimes we speak with clients who do not know what their goals are, and they can only articulate that they feel they have a need for change. HPT helps us show clients potential new goals, whether or not they need change, how to track their performance, and when they should call on us again for assistance.