Organizational Learning, Performance, and Change: An Introduction to Strategic Human Resource Development

By Jerry W. Gilley; Ann Maycunich | Go to book overview

and strategic goals of the organization. Although impact mapping was not originally designed to be an analysis framework, it is an excellent tool for conducting organizational analysis activities that link learning, performance, and change efforts to the organization's business goals. It consists of nine interdependent steps. First, HRD professionals should specify business results from each business function (department or unit). These should represent the final outputs generated by a business function. Second, they should determine the relative order of goals and objectives by creating a functional hierarchy such that the progression from unit and department goals to company-wide goals is clear to all. Brinkerhoff and Gill ( 1994, 73) contend that achieving less important goals creates a foundation for achieving the next goal while creating a stronger organization in the process.

Third, HRD professionals should design input-output models for each job by identifying and clarifying the specific and critical resources that are needed to achieve the desired outcomes of the job. Fourth, they should link key inputs and results to a business operations sequence, which requires that the functional dependencies among jobs be described. Fifth, HRD professionals should clarify how several jobs result in a business outcome by demonstrating how each job's output contributes to the aggregate of the organization's business results.

Sixth, HRD professionals should identify each employee's performance objectives by identifying the knowledge, skills, and attitudes required for each job. Seventh, they should produce a draft map by putting together the pieces of information from the tasks described above. Eighth, they should review the draft map with stakeholders from all levels of the organization. Ninth, they should repeat steps seven and eight if necessary. (See Appendix G for sample)


Conclusion

Identifying organizational and performance needs is a complex and difficult process requiring HRD professionals to think strategically about their clients' requests, develop support for the analysis process, and overcome analysis paralysis within the organization. Five critical questions must be answered as they prepare to participate in this credibility-enhancing activity. Finally, HRD professionals prepare themselves to conduct organizational, management, performance and learning analysis when appropriate. It is fundamentally important that HRD professionals develop the skills and abilities to expertly, efficiently perform each of these types of analyses, as well as determine when each is appropriate.

Holton ( 1995, 10-11) identified several recommendations that may help HRD professionals become excellent analysts. They include learning all the methodologies, becoming skilled at qualitative methods, adopting strategic assessment techniques, using multiple methods to collect data, assessing on multiple levels (preferably three levels: organizational, process, and performer), and thinking performance analysis, not just learning needs assessment.

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