1. HPT focuses on outcomes. Focusing on outcomes, that is results, allows for
questioning, confirming, and reconfirming that people share the same vision and
goals, the job procedures support productivity, efficiency, and quality, and that
people have the knowledge, skills, and motivation they require.
Where is there an opportunity or a performance gap, a difference between the
present and the desired levels of performance? Outcomes or results of an
intervention will be measured to determine whether or not performance has
improved. Sometimes it is necessary to challenge the assumed answer to a
problem or the expected event or activity of an intervention and instead focus on
the accomplishment or business need that is the client's true priority.
2. HPT takes a systems view. Taking a systems view is vital, because organizations
are very complex systems that affect the performance of the individuals that work
It is important to distinguish a systems approach from a process model. A process
contains inputs and outputs with feedback loops. A system implies an
interconnected complex of functionally related components. The effectiveness of
each unit depends on how it fits into the whole and the effectiveness of the whole
depends on the way each unit functions. A systems approach considers the larger
environment that impacts processes and other work. The environment includes
inputs, but, more importantly, it includes pressures, expectations, constraints, and
3. HPT adds value. This is an assessment that clients will be asked to make. Clients
should be offered a process that will help them fully understand the implications
of their choices, set appropriate measures, identify barriers and tradeoffs, and
While HPT requires a focus on intermediate goals (such as improving quality,
customer retention, and cost reduction), its success is measured in improvements
in desired business outcomes (such as sales, profitability, and market share).
Alignment of individual performance to intermediate and business outcomes is
critical to the HPT methodology. Measurement of results at both of these levels
serves two important purposes, that of communicating the importance of what is
being done while also assessing the amount of performance improvement.
4. HPT establishes partnerships. Performance improvement professionals work in
partnership with clients and other specialists. A collaborative effort involves
relevant stakeholders in the decision-making process and involves working with
specialists in their areas of expertise.
Working collaboratively includes sharing decisions about goals, next steps to take
in the process, and implementation strategies as shared responsibilities.
Partnerships are created from listening closely to clients and colleagues, trusting
and respecting each other's knowledge and expertise.
5. Be systematic in the assessment of the need or opportunity. Analysis occurs
in the beginning of the project. Needs or opportunity analysis is about examining
the current situation at any level or levels (society, organizational, process, or
work group) to identify the external and internal pressures affecting it. This
process will determine the deficiencies or performance gaps that are to be
remedied. The output is a statement describing the current state, the projected
future state, and the rationale or business case for action or non-action.
6. Be systematic in the analysis of the work and workplace to identify the
cause or factors that limit performance. Cause analysis is about determining
why a gap in performance or expectations exists. Some causes are obvious such
as new hires lack the required skills to do the expected task. This step in the
systematic process will determine what should be addressed to improve
performance. The output is a statement of why performance is not happening or
will not happen without some intervention. Job task analysis includes the
identification of the important tasks that employees must perform and the
knowledge, skills, and abilities to perform them. The output is performance
objectives that describe the desired performance, delineate the conditions under
which the performance is done, and identify the criteria for successful
7. Be systematic in the design of the solution or specification of the
requirements of the solution. Design is about identifying the key attributes of a
solution. The output is a communication that describes the features, attributes,
and elements of a solution and the resources required to actualize it.
8. Be systematic in the development of all or some of the solution and its
elements. Development is about the creation of some or all of the elements of
the solution. It can be done by an individual or a team. The output is a product,
process, system, or technology. Examples include training, performance support
tools, a new or re-engineered process, the redesign of a workspace, or a change
in compensation or benefits.
9. Be systematic in the implementation of the solution. Implementation is
about deploying the solution and managing the change required to sustain it. The
outputs are changes in or adoption of the behaviors that are believed to produce
the anticipated results or benefits. This standard is about helping clients adopt
new behaviors or use new or different tools.
10. Be systematic in the evaluation of the process and the results. Evaluation is
about measuring the efficiency and effectiveness of what was done, how it was
done, and the degree to which the solution produced the desired results so that
the cost incurred and the benefits gained can be compared. This standard is
about identifying and acting on opportunities throughout the systematic process
to identify measures and capture data that will help identify needs, adoption, and
The HPT Model
The HPT process begins with a comparison of the present and the desired levels of individual and organizational performance to identify the performance gap. A cause analysis is then done to determine what impact the work environment (information, resources, and incentives) and the people (motives, individual capacity, and skills) are having on performance.
Once the performance gap and the causes have been determined, the appropriate interventions are designed and developed. These may include measurement and feedback systems, new tools and equipment, compensation and reward systems, selection and placement of employees, and training and development. The interventions are then implemented and the change process managed.
Evaluation is done after each phase of the process. Initially, formative evaluation assesses the performance analysis, cause analysis, intervention selection and design, and intervention and change phases. Then evaluation focuses on the immediate response of employees and their ability and willingness to do the desired behaviors. The final evaluations are centered on improvement of business outcomes (such as quality, productivity, sales, customer retention, profitability, and market share) as well as determining return on investment for the intervention.
Code of Ethics
The Code of Ethics is intended to promote ethical practice in the profession. For both grand-parenting and regular certification, you must sign a statement that you agree to conduct yourself in ways that are in keeping with the principles on which the Code is based. The Code of Ethics that is based on six principles:
1. Add Value Principle. Strive to conduct yourself, and manage your projects and
their results, in ways that add value for your clients, their customers and the
2. Validated Practice Principle. Make use of and promote validated practices in
performance technology strategies and standards.
3. Collaboration Principle. Work collaboratively with clients and users,
functioning as a trustworthy strategic partner.
4. Continuous Improvement Principle. Continually improve your proficiency in
the field of performance technology.
5. Integrity Principle. Be honest and truthful in your representations to clients,
colleagues and others with whom you may come in contact while practicing
6. Uphold Confidentiality Principle. Maintain client confidentiality, not allowing
for any conflict of interest that would benefit yourself or others.
How Does HPT Work?
HPT uses a wide range of interventions that are drawn from many other disciplines including, behavioral psychology, instructional systems design, organizational development, and human resources management. As such, it stresses a rigorous analysis of present and desired levels of performance, identifies the causes for the performance gap, offers a wide range of interventions with which to improve performance, guides the change management process, and evaluates the results. Taken one word at a time, a description of this performance improvement strategy emerges.
Human: the individuals and groups that make up our organizations
Performance: activities and measurable outcomes
Technology: a systematic and systemic approach to solve practical problems
Principles of Human Performance Technology
Human Performance Technology (HPT) has been described as the systematic and systemic identification and removal of barriers to individual and organizational performance. As such, HPT is governed by a set of underlying principles that serve to differentiate it from other disciplines and to guide practitioners in its use.
WHAT IS HPT?
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. More specific, it is a process of selection, analysis, design, development, implementation, and evaluation of programs to most cost-effectively influence human behavior and accomplishment. It is a systematic combination of three fundamental processes: performance analysis, cause analysis, and intervention selection, and can be applied to individuals, small groups, and large organizations.
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