I have seen and given a lot of training in my career from being an acting Drill Sergeant at Fort Jackson, South Carolina, to running a $40M training business, and delivering training to consulting clients as part of larger projects. My personal experience has proven the value of good training. It has also shown that training is not always the best answer.

Is training the best approach?

The objective of training should be to improve performance and bring measurable results.  Sometimes training is not the best approach to improving performance.  Often, better results can be found by combining training with other interventions (job aids, process improvements, policy changes). The more effective approach is to apply HPT.

What is HPT?

According to the International Society for Performance Improvement (ISPI) “Human Performance Technology (HPT), a systematic approach to improving productivity and competence, uses a set of methods and procedures — and a strategy for solving problems — for realizing opportunities related to the performance of people.”

I recently spoke at the International Society for Performance Improvement’s Performance Improvement Conference 2015 in San Antonio. The sessions gave some great examples of instructional, non-instructional, and combined approaches to improving performance. They certainly reinforced the value and discipline of the 10 principles of Human Performance Technology.

What are the principles of HPT?

  1. Focus on Results or Outcomes
  2. Take a Systemic View
  3. Add Value
  4. Work in Partnership with Clients and Stakeholders
  5. Determine Need or Opportunity
  6. Determine Cause
  7. Design Solutions including Implementation and Evaluation
  8. Ensure Solutions’ Conformity and Feasibility
  9. Implement Solutions
  10. Evaluate Results and Impact

I’ll talk about each principle more in depth in future posts-I just wanted to give you a taste today. To learn more you can visit the ISPI site.

What does this mean for you?

When looking to fix a problem, or improve performance, it pays to take a systemic view and really focus on results. Don’t automatically assume training is the answer. If training looks like a likely solution, then ask if it ought to be supplemented with other activities or interventions.

About the author:

Mike Fritsch (SavvyCOO) is the President of ISPI-Texas, the Texas wide chapter of ISPI. Mike is also President and COO of Confoe Inc. which provides on demand  project management, high performance training, and consulting.  Clients have included:  Intel, Dell, SoloPower, HelioVolt,  and the Environmental Defense Fund. He previously served as CEO of Alamo SolarPV LLC. Mike has appeared in numerous publications including Renewable Energy World, Platt’s Energy Economist, and Sun and Wind Energy.

About Confoe: