Friday, September 3, 2010

Review of Roger Kaufman's Organizational Elements Model

     Rodger Kaufman developed a holistic organizational analysis model that emphasizes differentiating between a company’s means (what it uses and does), and its’ ends (what it produces). By taking a holistic approach to analysis the company is aligned from top to bottom with their customers’ demands. There are five levels in the OEM; Inputs (human labor, equipment, budgets, etc), Processes (what you do to produce the product), Products (what work groups complete), Outputs (what the company completes as a whole), and Outcomes (the products effects on the customer and society. When using this model, you start by looking at the inputs and determining “what is” or how are things now? Once that is determined, you move on to the next level, processes, and do the same thing. Continue through the continuum until you get to outcomes. Then turn back around and ask “what should be?” at the outcomes level. Next, take a look at the outcomes and ask “what should be?” Once that’s determined, look at the outputs and ask “what do we have to do at the output level to achieve “what should be” at the outcomes level?” So it will look something like this:

 Rodger Kaufman’s Organizational Elements Model (OEM)
When you begin asking “What Should Be?”, compare it to “What Is?”. The differences are your performance gaps.

Kaufman, R. (1981). Determining and Diagnosing Organizational Needs. Group and Organization Studies, 6(3). 312-322

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Review of Joe Harless – Front End Analysis and the 13 Smart Questions

Front-End Analysis (FEA) is a tool used to determine interventions for performance problems. Harless (1973) says:

Front-end analysis is about money, first and foremost. It’s about how to spend money in ways that will be most beneficial to the organization and the performers in that organization. It’s also about avoiding spending money on silly things like instruction when there is no instructional problem; or training everybody in everything when you can get by with training fewer people in a few things; or flying lots of trainees in for a course when a send-out checklist would do.” (Harless, 1973, p. 329)

There are six FEA goals:

1. Isolate performance problems that have potentially high “worth.”
2. Isolate the precise performance deficiencies within the problem area that account for the greatest loss.
3. Increase the probability that the solution to a given problem is effective by matching the cause of the problem to the appropriate type of remedy.
4. Increase the probability that the subclass of solution selected is the most cost effective.
5. Isolate the root cause of the performance problem rather than symptoms of effects of the problem.
6. Increase the probability that there is a match between the precise performance deficiency and the individuals who have the deficiency. (Harless, 1973, p. 332)

To make a long story short, Harless created a list of 13 Smart Questions that should be asked before making a decision on an intervention for an organizational problem. Here are his questions and elaborations from (Harless (1973), p. 340 – 344):

1.      Do we have a problem?
Based on what evidence, can you say you have a problem?
2.      Do we have a performance problem?
A performance problem is:
1.      Someone is not doing something he/she is expected to do.
2.      Someone is doing something he/she should not be doing.
3.      A prediction of should or should-not in the future.
3.      How will we know when the problem is solved?
When indicators from the first question are the exception.
4.      What is the performance problem?

5.      Should we allocate resources to solve it?
Do the benefits of solving the problem outweigh the costs?
6.      What are the possible causes of the problem?
Lack of Data, Tools, Incentives, Knowledge, Capacity, Motives? (See Gilberts Third Leisurely Theorem)
7.      What evidence bears on each possibility?

8.      What is the probable Cause?
Based on Questions 6 and 7, what is the probable cause of the problem?
9.      What general solution type is indicated?

10.  What are the alternate subclasses of solution?
What else could you do to solve the problem?
11.  What are the costs, effects, and development times of each solution?
Research the costs of each solution
12.  What are the constraints?
Research the constraints of each solution
13.  What are the overall goals?
What goals would management like to adopt?

Now that we’ve discussed Gilberts Leisurely Theorems and Harless’ FEA, the two can be combined to create a more powerful Front-End Analysis tool.

HPT Phase
FEA 'Smart questions'
Your Analysis
Gap Analysis
1. Do we have a problem?
·   Indicators & symptoms of problems
·   Description of tasks that may be deficient
Indicators and Symptoms:

Description of deficient tasks:

Final Outcome: Yes or No
2. Do we have a (human) performance problem?
·   Observation of mastery performance
·   People aren’t doing what they are expected to do
·   People are doing what they shouldn’t be doing
·   A prediction of future should/shouldn’t performance
Final Outcome:  Yes or No
3. How will we know when the problem is solved?
·   Description of mastery performance at a level of task specificity
·   Description of problem-level goals

4. Exactly what is the performance problem?
Gap Analysis – Specify actual and desired performance.

·   Exemplary performer (Wex) = What our exemplary performers are doing now is…
·   Typical performer (Wt) = What our typical performers are doing now is…

Use numbers so you can determine the PIP in the next step.
5. Should we allocate resources to solve it?
Gap Analysis -- Determine the gap is worth closing
·     Gap (or PIP) = Wt/Wex
Final Outcome: Yes or No
Cause Analysis
6. What are the possible causes of the problem?
Cause Analysis using the BEM – What questions would you ask to investigate the causes of the performance gap?
Environmental support
(1) Data

(2) Instruments
(3) Incentives
Person’s repertoire of behavior
(4) Knowledge
(5) Capacity
(6) Motives

Given the data you possess at this time, what do you suspect is the root cause of the performance gap?

7. What evidence bears on each possibility?
8. What is the probable cause?
Intervention Selection, Design, and Development
9. What general solution type is indicated?

10. What are the alternate subclasses of solution?

11. What are the costs, effects, and development times of each solution?

12. What are the constraints?

13. What are the overall goals?
The goals we’ve adopted are:

Source: Villachica, S. (2010). Week 11: Front-End Analysis Meets Gilbert's PIP and BEM. Retrieved from IPT 536 4156/4157 course database.

As you can see in the table above, using Harless’ 13 Smart Questions in combination with Gilbert’s second and third leisurely theorems gives a platform to perform gap and cause analysis. Using that data you can then develop an intervention with more confidence that you are making the correct choice.


Harless, J.H. (1973). An analysis of front-end analysis. Improving Human Performance: A Research Quarterly, 4, 229-244.
Villachica, S. (2010). Week 11: Front-End Analysis Meets Gilbert's PIP and BEM. Retrieved from IPT 536 4156/4157 course database.

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Review of Thomas Gilberts Leisurely Theorems

Thomas Gilberts three Leisurely Theorems

Thomas Gilbert developed a set of “leisurely theorems” that pertain to improving performance.

The First leisurely theorem defines worthy performance (W) as the ratio of valuable accomplishments (A) to costly behavior (B).

OR W = A/B

Performance is considered unworthy when the result is greater than 1. When that happens, the costs to achieve worthy performance outweigh the benefits.

The Second leisurely theorem covers the Potential for Improving Performance (PIP).
PiP is equal to the ratio of exemplary performance (Wex) to typical performance (Wt).

OR PiP = Wex / Wt

We’re going to use this calculation to help determine which problems (performance gaps) have the most potential for improvement. When calculating the PiP, the larger the number, the more potential for improvement. This is going to come in handy when we combine it with Joe Harless’ Front End Analysis (FEA).

The Third leisurely theorem covers Gilberts Behavior Engineering Model. First we must understand the components of behavior. Behavior (B) is equal to a person’s repertory of behavior (P) modified by their supportive (working) environment (E). Just to clear things up, Gilbert (2007) defines behavioral repertories as “part of their personal characteristics, those they bring to their jobs” (Gilbert, 1996, p. 75).

OR B = P + E

Gilbert also states that there are three components of behavior:

1. Information telling the person what to do
2. The persons response
3. The way the persons responses are reinforced
When we combine these three components with the definition of behavior, we get something like this:

Components of Behavior

Environmental Supports
Repertory of Behavior

The following information is adapted from Table 3-4 Behavior Components of Gilbert (2007), page 88:


O Does everyone know what they need to know?
O Does everyone know what is expected of them?
O Are there clear and relevant guides to adequate performance?


O Are the tools and materials of work designed scientifically to match human factors?

O Are there adequate financial incentives contingent upon performance?
O Have Nonmonetary incentives been made available?
O Are Career-Development opportunities available?


O Does everyone had the knowledge to perform the job?


O Is everyone physically and mentally capable of performing the job?
O Is everyone prepared to do the job?


O Is everyone motivated to perform their job?

I will talk more about how to use the BEM in a future post. Also, there's a fourth Leisurely Theorem that I will discuss in the future as well.


Gilbert, T. (2007). Human competence: Engineering worthy performance(Tribute edition). San Francisco, CA: Pfeiffer.

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Future Topics

As my Grad School semester winds down, there are so many topics I’d like to blog about. Some of which include:

Adult Learning Theory:
Self-Directed Learning
Transformative Learning
Communities of Practice (CoP)
Problem Based Learning
Action Learning
Cognitive Information Processing (CIP)

Instructional Technology:
Dick and Carey’s instructional Design Model
Allison Rossett’s Needs Assessment
Robert Mager’s Behavioral Objectives
Donald Kirkpatrick's Four Levels of Evaluation

Performance Technology:
Thomas Gilberts Leisurely Theorems
Joe Harless’s 13 Smart Questions
Kurt Lewin’s Force Field Theory and Analysis
Frederick Herzberg’s Motivational Hygiene Theory
Roger Kaufman’s Organizational Elements Model
Kaoru Ishikawa’s Fishbone Model

We talked about quite a few topics in my first semester, but these are the ones that stand out to me. I hope to write something about each of these before my next course begins in June. Stay Tuned!

Friday, April 2, 2010

Keller's ARCS Model

As I mentioned in a previous post, motivation is an important part in the learning process. Learners can be motivated by something a trainer randomly does, but relying on this is not even a calculated risk. Asking a trainer to take sole responsibility for learner motivation means that you are relying 100% on their ability to: identify the need for motivation, devise a motivational strategy, and execute the strategy. All this of course is happening at the same time the trainer is presenting content. Another approach is to think about motivation during course design. To do this, it would be helpful to obtain some form of learner analysis. To help us build motivational strategies into learning design, John Keller developed the ARCS Model of Motivation. ARCS stands for:

o  Attention – Gain and keep the learners attention
Relevancy – Make the material relevant to the learner
Confidence – Find ways to make the learner confident that they are “getting it”
Satisfaction – Make sure the training is satisfying and rewarding to the learner

Keller (1987) suggests using a systematic process for applying his model to instructional design:

  1. Classify the motivational problem.
  2. Conduct audience analysis.
  3. Prepare motivational objectives.
  4. Generate potential motivational strategies.
  5. Select motivational strategies.
  6. Develop motivational elements.
  7. Integrate motivational strategies into instruction.
  8. Conduct developmental try-out.
  9. Assess motivational outcomes.

These are examples of questions you should ask during Step 6: Develop motivational elements:

Categories Strategies
Process Questions

·  Sensory Stimuli
·  Inquiry Arousal
·  Variability

·  How will you gain the learners’ interest?
·  How will you arouse curiosity in the learners’?
·  Once you have their interest, how will you maintain it?

·    Tell an interesting story. Show a finished example.
·    Pose Questions or problems.
·    Humor, multi-media, and games.

·  Goal Orientation

·  Motive Matching

·  Familiarity

·     How will you meet the learners’ needs?

·     How will you ensure that the learners’ are learning what they want?

·     How will you related new information to prior knowledge and experiences?

·     Design obvious achievements into the learning event.
·     Allow learners’ to pursue their own learning path. Make sure they know what’s in it for them (Wii-FM).
·     Explain how learners’ will use existing skills. Ask them to share their own experiences.

·  Learning Requirements

·  Success Opportunities

·  Personal Control

·     How will you make learners’ feel like they can learn the material?

·     How will you provide learners’ with opportunities to build their confidence?

·     How will learners’ know that their success depends on their efforts, rather than luck?

·     Help students’ project success by providing performance requirements and evaluation criteria. Provide feedback on their success.
·     Scaffold the learning design. Make sure each task is just within their limits. Then grow the learners.
·     Give learners’ a degree of control over their learning and assessment.

·  Natural Consequences

·  Positive Consequences
·  Equity

·     How will you provide learners with meaningful opportunities to use the content?

·     How will you reinforce learners’ success?
·     How will you help learners’ feel good about their success?

·     Provide opportunities to practice in realistic situations (conforms to Thorndike’s Theory of Identical Elements).
·     Provide Feedback and Reinforcement.
·     Provide opportunities to display their work. Develop a certification.

As I’ve mentioned before, Keller’s ARCS model can be used with Gagne’s 9 events of instruction. During each of Gagne’s events, ask yourself how you will design motivation for learners.


Keller, J. (1987) Development and use of the ARCS model of instructional design. Journal of Instructional development, 10(3), 2-20.