HPT Continued. Cause Analysis to Evaluation

In the What is Human Performance Technology? article I talked about the organizational and environmental analysis to get us started on the path to increasing human performance and identifying the gap. This article will focus on the cause analysis through the evaluation process after we have implemented a change.

How do you even know where to start with the information that you have gathered? Well let’s separate our information into two groups: the environmental supports and the behavioral issues. Here I would like to introduce you to a new model called the Behavior Engineering Model or BEM that was created by Thomas Gilbert in 1996. The BEM will help you dissect the organizational and environmental analysis that you have already performed. There are six factors to the BEM: data, instrumentation, incentives, knowledge, capacity, and motives. Now in our HPT model we are trying to evaluate what we believe are the causes of the gap between the desired workforce and the actual workforce, which is called a cause analysis. The cause analysis is broken into two major sections; lack of environmental support and lack of repertory behavior.

Working the BEM into the HPT model cause analysis can be broken down as follows: lack of environmental supports should encompass the factors of data, instrumentation, and incentives; lack of repertory behaviors should encompass the factors of knowledge, capacity, and motives.

So here are a list of questions to help you figure out what the cause of your gaps are (I also listed the questions that we used to gather the data from the previous article to help you sort the information):



Do typical performers know what they are expected to do?

What does the worker know about their position and responsibilities?

What are the expectations about work completion?

How does the process get completed from start to finish?

Is there a set of procedures or a work flow process in place now?

Who is responsible for each step of the process or procedure?


Do they have appropriate tools to do their job?

What are the tools that are available to complete the organization or area objectives?

What tools are currently being used to complete the work?


Are they rewarded for doing a good job?



Do they have enough knowledge to do their job?

What skills does the worker have?

What is the society of the organization like?

What is the social responsibility like?


Are they capable of performing, or are they ready to do the job?

What understanding of the process or work flow does this individual have?

Who is performing the work and what has the work that has been completed look like?


Are they motivated to perform the job?

What is the motivation to complete the work?

What is the culture of the area that you are working?

After we have answered the above question we have some options to consider. First we need to select an intervention design. One of the biggest mistakes made here is to go right for the training answer, which can be known as hammer syndrome. Hammer syndrome means that you have one tool in your tool box and all problems are nails, which can lead to expensive and inefficient fixes to performance issues. Here is a list of designs/tools that could be used to solve the gap:

Performance Support

Tools and Systems to Deliver Learning at the Moment of Need

Electronic and Paper-Based Job Aids

Fingertip Knowledge (Example: search engines like google or professional organizational websites)

Rapid Authoring Systems for Subject Matter Experts, Including Multi-Channel Publishing

Job Analysis/Work Design

Job Position: Skills knowledge attitude

Job Description: Role and responsibilities

Job Worth: Education experience compensation

Personal Development


Where are we now?

What are the person’s strengths?

What are the person’s weaknesses?

What are the common feedbacks that they receive?

What other performance indicators can I notice?


Where do we want to be?


How will we get there?


How will we know we’ve arrived?

Human Resource Development


Career Development

Performance Management and Development



Succession Planning

Key Employee Identification

Organizational Communication

Organizational Design and Development


Management Structures


Financial Systems



Department Specific

Leadership Commitment

Will they or have they supported the initiatives for change?


Should we implement this idea?

What is the probability of success?


Is this a financially sound investment in improvement?

Is there a risk to the social or culture wellbeing of the organization by implementing this change?

Are the stakeholders and management engaged?

Once an intervention(s) has been selected you will then need to focus on making that intervention(s) part of the work environment through change management, process consulting, employee development, project management, and/or communications building. This is where the question of what has been tried before and what happened is important. You don’t want to make the same mistake twice.

Finally, just because we have put a new process in place does not mean that it was effective or that it served its original purpose. You will need to evaluate your process or change in the following four areas:


Performance Analysis

Cause Analysis

Selection Design or Intervention


Immediate Reactions

Immediate Competence


Continuing Competence (Job transfer; did they learn the new skill and use it?)

Continuing Effectiveness (Is it still working?)

Return on Investment (Did this correct the problem to increase productivity or monetary gain?)

Meta Evaluation/Validation

Formative, Summative, Confirmative Inputs-processes-outputs

Success Stories

Lessons Learned

Basic Nonverbal Communication for the United State...
What is Human Performance Technology?