How do you define HPT? How does your current definition differ from what you wrote in week 1?
At the start of the course, I thought I knew a little about HPT. It was very little that I knew and understood. Through the readings, assignments, and speakers I learned quite a bit more. I relied on the ISPI (n.d.) definition from the first week’s reading that HPT is “a systematic approach to solve practical problems.” I still think of that as the definitive definition. I have also learned that there are many HPT models (Gilbert, Robinson & Robinson, Rummler, Rothwell, etc.) not unlike the numerous ID models we learned about earlier in this program. I also appreciated that we learned about job description/titles that fall under HPT domain.
Competencies and Characteristics: Identify the key things you gained from this course. What things mattered most to you, and why?
What I enjoyed most and found very useful were the guest speakers and the extended reading assignments for the blog. The guest speakers gave me four different approaches to HPT. They had different approaches and models they use but the one constant stream that flowed into each speaker’s talk was the ability to make relationships and conversation with clients. I enjoyed the extended reading assignments because it gave me an avenue to follow my interests in the field to connect dots in and fill in gaps in the field. I enjoyed reading and applying Addison and Wittkuhn’s culture factor (2001) and then finding a more recent article by Wittkuhn which was similar in comparing differences between the disciplines and the professions (Wittkuhn, 2012).
Review the competencies and characteristics of a good HPT practitioner. Then write personal reflection in which you identify and analyze your individual strengths and weaknesses as it relates to being a HPT practitioner.
Select at least 5 areas of strength and for each, indicate why you believe this is a strength, or what personal experiences you have to build upon in this area.
I am a work in progress. These are strength and with more hard work, I will gain expertise.
- Able to maintain a system perspective – working in my current position, I am able to anticipate how one change can affect others. I work with web-based developers and with my team, we create standards and policies that will affect a lot of developers.
- Sensitive to the need to verify perception – this is part of being a good collaborator, checking for interpretations and understanding is important. My current team and I always confer with each other to see if we got the same impression as the other. After meetings or forums, we do a quick post mortem to find any deltas or interesting topics to carry over to the next month’s forum.
- Generous with giving credit to others – another collaborator’s necessity is to recognize your team mates for their work. It’s necessary to make sure your colleagues are getting the recognition they deserve.
- Assess performer characteristics – training new developers has been interesting because I can now tell in advance, who will be calling me constantly for support over the ones who immediately “get” the training.
- Analyze the structures of job, tasks, and content –Part of my daily activity is working with content as an LMS administrator. My tasks take to areas outside of the LMS and I am always mindful of if this is an appropriate task/project for me to take on or does this project/request need to be funneled to one of our business partners?
The challenge will be to limit myself to 5!
- Sequence performance improvement activities – This is where I need a chalk or white board to be able to map things out and erase, lots of erasures. I think a course in project management for learning professionals would help me know what to look for in sequencing.
- Demonstrate appropriate interpersonal, group-process, and consulting skills – The key word is appropriate. Although I work with business partners and customers daily, I might react in an emotionally way and although my customers are not aware of it, my office mates might. It’s not good to be known as the woman who talks like a longshoreman with turrets syndrome… I’m going to work on my professionalism by modeling myself after a co-worker who has the qualities I want to mirror.
- Create a performance improvement implementation plan – The way I could improve on this is to create and implement small plans until I get more confidence. I will also need to look at where in my organization I can do this or make my own opportunity!
- Focus on the client need – This is similar to the competency of demonstrating appropriate interpersonal, group-process, and consulting skills. I need to learn to stop being too attached to an idea or solution. Kelli Wardman’s words from her talk to keep a solution neutral mindset come to mine.
- Cause-conscious, not solution-oriented – this is attached to the competency discussed in the previous paragraph. I know that I tend to go straight into solutioning a problem where I should ask questions, and be more systematic in problem-solving. Practice will get me to this critical characteristic for a performance consultant.
I’m not sure if HPT is in my future but I know that I don’t want to continue being an “order-taker” (Stolovich & Keeps, 2004). I’m familiar with the idea that training may not be the solution for some problems. In my assignments throughout the program I talk about setting up a community of practice to engage workers to create shared knowledge and a spirit of community. A community of practice was an outcome of a performance improvement project I was involved in a couple years back. I was in the Selector-Designer-Developer-Implementer role (Stolovich & Keeps, 2004, pg. 84). My team studied a process oriented team who should have been using a wiki that was set up for performance support. After some questioning and observations, we saw that the they were abandoning searches in the wiki or spending too much time searching due to a lack of standards and keywords to search by. We worked with the wiki authors on that team to agree on standards for titles, date format, and keywords. It worked out great and we cut 3-6 seconds off each click (due to searching). This is a call center of 300 agents so you can imagine the savings of wait time, process time, and costs overall. I was involved with most of the designer-developer-implementer portion of this project and had a couple internal resources working with me. I was doing HPT and didn’t know it!
In the future, I would like to develop more characteristics and competencies of an HPT practitioner. This class has given me a broader view and understanding of what HPT is and how I can use some of the elements to start working towards a systematic approach to solving real problems.
Addison, R., & Wittkuhn, K. (2001). HPT: The culture factor. Performance Improvement, 40(3), 14-19. doi: 10.1002/pfi.4140400306
International Society for Performance Improvement. (n/d). What is HPT? Retrieved from International Society for Performance Improvement - Texas Chapter: http://ispitx.org/homepage/what-is-hpt/
Stolovitch, H. D., & Keeps, E. J. (2004). Training ain’t performance. Alexandria, VA: ASTD Press.
Wittkuhn, K. D. (2012). Think: What does disciplined inquiry mean for our profession? Performance Improvement Quarterly, 25(1), 69-74. doi: 10.1002/piq.20138