From Training to Performance Improvement: Navigating the Transition

Article excerpt

by Jim Fuller and Jeanne Farrington. Publisher: Jossey-Bass (1999), ISBN 0787911208.

From Training to Performance Improvement: Navigating the Transition provides a clear, concise and readable introduction to the systematic and systemic process of uncovering and responding to real problems that is known as human performance technology (HPT). This book is essential reading for human resource and training professionals interested in truly adding value to the organization.

U.S. organizations spend billions of dollars each year on training. Why then isn't it always successful? Why do training managers continue to struggle to show how their departments add value to the organization? One answer to these questions is simply that training isn't always the answer. We have to ask ourselves, "Is this a problem training can solve?" This can be an unnerving question for those of us who make a living by providing training. From Training to Performance Improvement makes it clear that training managers can add greater value, and demonstrate this value in measurable terms, through the use of HPT.

Human performance technology involves changing the very way we look at performance problems in the workplace--going beyond the "it's a training problem" mindset. HPT is a systematic analysis of the entire human performance system to determine the real barriers to performance and then taking steps to minimize or eliminate these barriers. The authors define it this way:

Human performance technology is a systemic and systematic approach to identifying the barriers that prevent people from achieving top performance that contributes to the success of an organization. …