If training fixes everything, how does it explain that lazy Head Receiving Clerk that absolutely, positively knows how, why and when to do the job but doesn’t.  How do you know that Head Receiving Clerk absolutely, positively knows how to do the job?  Because that Head Receiving Clerk has trained all new workers in that job for the last 10 years and each and every one of them has done the job on time, right from the first time and they do it right every time to this day!

Here’s a cold, hard fact.  Training is the remedy for just one thing.  The person expected to do the job does not know how to do the job, or in some cases why or when to do the job.  Training “fixes” a lack of knowledge.  And that’s it, period!

So, will training “fix” that Head Receiving Clerk?  If you said yes, then there is no hope for YOU! In the situation above it is very clear the issue with that Head Receiving Clerk is not a lack skill or of knowledge.  It has something to do with the Performance System within which that Head Receiving Clerk works.

In other cases, it is not that clear cut.  So, how do you determine if you have a training issue or a Performance System issue? Ask the four questions below:

  • What is not getting done that should be?
  • What is getting done that should not be?
  • What do you want to see more of?
  • What do you want to see less of?

These questions identify the areas where an assessment is needed.

Determine if the person/people in question have the skill and knowledge to do the job.  If not, it is a training issue.

If the person/people do have the required skill and knowledge it is a Performance System issue, not a training issue.

If you do not get an answer to at least one of the above questions you do not have a Performance System issue.  But, does that mean there is no issue?  No, it just means that it is not a Performance System issue.

In some cases, it may mean that you do not “like” the person in question.  If this is the case then it is your Performance System that needs attention.

Tip of the day:  Only train people who have a lack of skill or knowledge.

Test of the day:  Why is training people who already know how, why and when to do the job worse than doing nothing?  Because it makes you look like a fool.  Only a fool would train a person who already knows how, why and when to do the job!

 

 

 

“We have met the enemy, and he is us,” is one of my favorite Walt Kelly quotes.  Performance System Analysis (PSA) helps ensure that, when we look in the mirror, we don’t see the enemy!  Click on our post entitled, “Safety is #1 – Unless – (Wink, Wink)” above John’s Corner for a great example of looking into the mirror and seeing the enemy.

So, in addition to Consequences to the individual, PSA looks at Consequences to the Organization for each Performer’s action.  Each time a Performer performs, there are Consequences to the Organization for that behavior.  PSA looks at Consequences from the point-of-view of Organizational Sustaining and Organizational Defeating Goals.

In a well-designed Performance System the Desired Accomplishment always supports Organizational Goals.  That should be intuitively obvious.

Yet, we must be ever vigilant to make sure that the Undesired Accomplishment on the part of the Performer never Supports Organizational Goals!  If it does, we have created the enemy, and he is us!

Summary

A complete performance system looks at the following:

It is only when the entire Performance System and each of its components are working in harmony that the Organization and the Performers will consistently achieve all Desired Accomplishments.  This same condition also provides a positive work environment for the Performers.  PSA is the essential tool required to create this type of positive work environment.

Contact us at DAPALoyer@gmail.com so we can help your organization better achieve its Goals.

Next time we’ll start a new topic.  Remember, our next issue of the News Letter will be published on 8 June 2016.

 

 

 

 

 

In addition to Consequences to the individual, Performance System Analysis (PSA) looks at Consequences to the Organization for each Performer’s action.  Each time a Performer performs, there are Consequences to the Organization for that behavior.  Performance System Analysis looks at Consequences to see if the Performer’s Accomplishment Supports Organizational Goals or Defeats them.

Click image to enlarge.

The first time I looked at the chart above, I thought to myself, “Something’s wrong here.  How on earth could the Undesired Accomplishment on the part of the Performer Support Organizational goals?”  Well, all you have to do to answer that question is to look at last weeks’ post. http://troubleshootinglogic.com/?p=5127

When you look at last weeks’ post, you see that, if a key client’s delivery date is in jeopardy of being missed because a line is down the Undesired Accomplishment of not locking out Supports Organizational Goals in that the key customer gets an on time delivery.  Is this right?  Absolutely not!  When the Undesired Accomplishment on the part of the Performer  Supports Organizational Goals it sets up an Imbalance of Consequences…and…as I said last week, an Imbalance of Consequences is a very bad thing! Again refer to http://troubleshootinglogic.com/?p=5127

In a well-designed Performance System the Desired Accomplishment(s) always Supports Organizational Goals and the Undesired Accomplishment(s) never does so!

Next time we’ll to look at Consequences to the Organization.

 

Organizations openly promote safety.  Safety is droned (the right thing to do!) at people all the time.  The message is, “You will be safe, you will be safe, you will be safe…”  There are often messages at the door promoting safety.  Many restrooms have a decal on the mirror with the note below, “You are looking at the person who is responsible for your safety today”.  And on and on and on.  Promoting safety is a very good thing!

Yet, in many organizations if a key client’s delivery date is in jeopardy of being missed because a line is down, the message shifts from, “You will be safe, you will be safe” to “You will get that line up and running, you will get that line up and running and (I’ve never heard it said out loud…but…I have heard it heavily implied) by the way, wink, wink if you’re not safe that’s OK!”  So, a technician saves time by not locking out, gets the line up and the key customer gets an on time delivery.  Everyone is happy.

Immediately the message goes back to, “You will be safe, you will be safe, you will be safe…”  After a few whiles that key client’s delivery date is in jeopardy of being missed again because that same line is down.  Now, the message shifts from, “You will be safe, you will be safe” to “You will get that line up and running.”  That same technician saves time by not locking out, gets that line up and the key customer gets an on time delivery.  Everyone is happy.

Immediately the message goes back to, “You will be safe, you will be safe, you will be safe…”  After a few whiles that same line is down.  This time no orders are in jeopardy of being late.  That same technician saves time by not locking out, starts to work on the line, gets caught and written-up for a safety infraction, no proper lock out, and is sent home for 3 days without pay.  Think that doesn’t happen?  Well, it does.  And that is what we call an Imbalance of Consequences.

Click image to enlarge

An Imbalance of Consequences is a complex phenomenon.  The quick definition of an Imbalance of Consequences is, “Before the behavior the Performer does not know for sure whether he or she will be rewarded or punished for the behavior.”  In the example above, the performer (that technician) got rewarded for not locking out when the key customer’s order was in jeopardy and got punished, for the exact same behavior, when no order was in jeopardy.

An Imbalance of Consequences is a very bad thing! Here’s why.  Most people work in 2 to 6 or so different Performance Systems.  Think of your own job.  How many significant Performance Systems do you work in on a daily basis?  Now, to the cold, hard truth.  An Imbalance of Consequences in any Performance System impacts all Performance Systems in which the Performer works, not just the one with the Imbalance of Consequences.  The reason, once stated, is obvious, although not intuitively obvious until stated.  It is a trust issue.  If the Performer can’t trust the organization in one Performance System (remember the lock out) why should he or she trust the organization in any Performance System?  The Performer, usually subconsciously, concludes, “If I can not trust my organization in the Performance System where the Imbalance of Consequences exists, how can I trust it in any Performance System?”  And, sadly, the answer is, “I can not!”

Where a strong Imbalance of Consequences exists in any Performance System in which the performer works, we need to find and eliminate it before we can effectively manage any other Performance System in which that Performer works.  A strong Imbalance of Consequences often appears to be a Deficiency of the Individual.  (See the Deficiencies related to the Performer section of this series of posts troubleshootinglogic.com/?p=5110)  Be sure that no strong Imbalance of Consequences exists before concluding the Performer has a DI.

If your organization has any Imbalance of Consequences going on get rid of them!  It is better to miss a ship date to your key client than to create mistrust between your organization and its Performers.

Tip of the day:  You can’t “fix” what’s wrong with performance if your people don’t trust you!

Next time we’ll to look at Consequences to the Organization.

 

So far we’ve look at the Performer from a Performance System Analysis (PSA) point-of-view for a Deficiency of Knowledge or a DK, a Deficiency of Ability or a DA and a Deficiency of the individual to perform certain tasks or a DT.

This week we’ll look at the final deficiently of the Performer relative to PSA.  When we started to look at the Performer relative to PSA, I said, “As we’ll see, three of the four deficiencies of the Performer can be addressed by the Performance System.”  Today we’ll look at the one that PSA can not directly address.

But first, there is the very unlikely event where…

  • the Performer clearly knows how to do the job
  • is physically capable of doing the job
  • the Performance System supports the Desired Accomplishment(s)
  • the Signal to Perform is clear and accurate
  • there are no significant Road Blocks
  • there is a clear and accurate Measurement System
  • there is no Imbalance of Consequences (we’ll talk about Imbalance of Consequences next week)

……………………………………………………………………….but the performer still does not do the job.

In this case the Performer may have Psychological or Emotional limitations that deal with performing Tasks in General. This condition is called a Deficiency of the Individual, or a DI.  A performer with a DI is incapable of performing the vast majority of, if any, tasks on time, right, first time, every time.  In addition, no amount of training can overcome a DI.

Remember that a distinction is made between a Psychological limitation and an Emotional limitation.  Psychological limitations tend to be on-going.  Emotional limitations tend to be sponsored by a significant emotional event.  For example, an employee goes home on Friday afternoon to find that his or her favorite niece was killed in a freak accident on Thursday.  The funeral is held on Saturday.  The employee returns to work on Monday, telling no one what happened.  Do you thing this is a good day to start him or her in a new job?  I guess not!

Emotional limitations tend to diminish over time.  In addition, Emotional limitations tend to show up suddenly.  In any event, both Psychological and Emotional limitations manifest themselves in the work place as a DI.

The last thing we do when investigating Performance Systems is to determine if a performer has a DI, an inability to perform Tasks in General.  We conclude that a performer may have a DI if and only if all our efforts to manage all of the other aspects of the Performance System have failed.  For a true, ongoing DI, the Performance Remedy is to refer the Performer to the Employee Assistance Program.

Finally, we need to make certain that no significant Imbalance of Consequences exists in any Performance System in which the performer works before we suspect that a Performer has a DI.

Observation of the day:  In my 35 plus years using PSA with thousands of people, I honestly believe I’ve only run across two people with a hard-core DI.  A true DI is not at all common.  Do not confuse quirky, eccentric or odd-ball behavior with a true DI!

Next time we’ll to look at Imbalance of Consequences.

 

 

 

 

Last week we started to look at the Performer relative to Performance System Analysis (PSA) starting with a Deficiency of Knowledge or a DK.  A DK means that the performer does not know What to do and/or How to do the job.  When this is the case, training is the remedy.

This week we’ll look at the second and third Performer related PSA issue starting with, a Deficiency of Ability or a DA. A DA means that the performer is physically incapable, through no fault of his or her own, of performing a specific task.  No amount of training and/or coaching can overcome a DA.  For example, a blind person can not be expected to do a job that requires visual inspection.  A deaf person can not respond to an auditory Signal to Perform.  The Performance Remedy for a DA is to not assign that task to the Performer in question.

The third is a deficiency of the individual to perform certain tasks or a DT, due to Psychological or Emotional limitations.  For example, a genuinely claustrophobic person is a poor choice for confined space work.  It would be a mistake to ask a person with severe acrophobia to change the light bulb at the top or a radio tower.  When there is a DT, the performer is still capable of performing virtually all other tasks on time, right, first time, every time.  The Performance Remedy, again, is to not assign that task to the Performer in question.

Tip of the day:  Telling a deaf person to learn how to hear is like telling a cat to have puppies.

Next time we’ll wrap up our look at the Performer from a PSA point-of-view.

 

Today we’ll start to look at the four deficiencies related to the Performer.  As we’ll see , three of them can be addressed by the Performance System.  First there is a Deficiency of Knowledge or a DK.  A DK means that the performer does not know What to do and/or How to do the job.  When this is the case, training is the remedy.

However, just asking the person, “Do you know how to do this job?” is not an adequate way to determine if a DK exists.  If the person is sure of just a few minor aspects of the job you are likely to get a “Yes” for an answer.

A series of pinpointed questions is often required to determine if a DK exists and, if a DK exists, to what extent.  For example, ask questions such as:

  • “What resources are required to accomplish this job?”
  • “Where do you get those resources?”
  • “What is the first step?…the second step?…?”
  • “What do you do if you have unexpected problems doing this job?”
  • “How will you know if you are getting a quality result?  What do you measure?  How do you measure it?”

Questions such as the ones above will help identify the specific DK that exists.  Then and only then can appropriate training be identified and delivered.  Training is the Performance Remedy for a DK If there is no DK, training is not the answer.  And, I have proof that I’m right!

Here’s the proof.  Although it might not directly apply to each and every one of you, you all will agree that training fixes only on thing, a DK. Have you ever been sent to training only to find out that you already know everything, I mean everything, contained in the training?  I’ll bet over two thirds of you said, “Yes.”  Did that training fix anything?  Absolutely not, it was a waste of time!

Tip of the day:  If you assign a person to a job they don’t know how to do and they fail, it is your fault, not theirs.

Next time we’ll continue to look at the Performer from a PSA point-of-view.

 

 

Today we’ll wrap-up our look at Measurement relative to Performance System Analysis (PSA).  So far we’ve looked at what to measure and how to measure it.  But, is knowing what to measure and how to measure it enough?  Not really.  We also need to know the Standards against which we measure.

Here’s an example of the importance of Standards.  Let’s say we are building a picnic table.  When cutting the wood we will use to fabricate the picnic table we know what to measure, length.  We know how to measure it, with a tape measure.  This leads us to Standards.  We might say that each of the boards for the top of the table should be 6 feet long, +/- 1/32 of an inch (1.83 Meters +/- .08 Centimeters).

It takes all three to accurately define the Measurement System.  We need to know what to measure, how to measure it and the Standards that define success.

Questions to help determine Standards:

  • What level of performance is expected for each measure?
  • What would be considered exemplary performance in this area of measurement?  What is the ideal target?
  • What is expected in this area of measurement from a competent employee?  What deviation from “perfect” can be accepted?
  • What would “experts” say is the standard for this area of measurement?

I can’t over state the importance of an excellent Measurement System in PSA.  It is almost impossible for a person to do a job on time, right, first time, every time if they don’t know all three of the elements of Measurement.

And, as I said in a previous post, the best Measurement Systems are part of the Opportunity to Perform and provide real time Measurements in the form of FeedBack to the Performer.

Click image to enlarge

 

 

 

Next time we’ll start to look at the Performer from a PSA point-of-view.

 

 

Last time we looked at the questions to ask in order to determine what to measure for any given Accomplishment.  In Performance System Analysis (PSA) knowing what to measure and how to measure it are keys to success.  For example, you can not measure a sonic boom with a tape measure.

Today we’ll look at the “how” of measurement, starting with the questions to help identify the Specific Measures that will be used:

  • What data, facts, incidents, occurrences tell you that you are succeeding in this area of Accomplishment?
  • What facts, data, incidents, occurrences tell you that you are failing in this area of Accomplishment?
  • What relevant dimensions (Quality, Quantity, Cost, etc.) have been considered in the measures?
  • How will you know you are/are not achieving the Desired Accomplishment?

Below are possible areas for performance measures:

Safety:

  • Safety incidents/ unsafe behaviors/ near misses
  • Violations or citations
  • Recordables
  • Lost time accidents

Quantity of Production or Output:

  • Production volume (units, pounds, etc.)
  • Sales volume (units, revenues, etc.)
  • Market share
  • Product mix

Timeliness of Output or Delivery:

  • Response time/ delivery when requested
  • Backlogs
  • Back orders
  • Lead time
  • Complaints and/or cancellations

Quality of Output:

  • % of production within specification
  • Errors
  • Rejects or scrap
  • Returns
  • Complaints and/or cancellations
  • Machine and/or system downtime

Labor Cost and Productivity:

  • Labor cost/unit produced
  • Labor cost/$ revenue
  • Units/effort hour
  • Time/transaction
  • Downtime hours/total hours
  • Overtime hours/total hours

Material or Equipment Cost and Usage:

  • Material cost/unit produced
  • Yield
  • Scrap and/or waste
  • Spoilage
  • Losses
  • Inventory levels, overstocks, shortages
  • Machine and/or system downtime

Personnel:

  • Turnover
  • Absenteeism
  • Grievances
  • Other work complaints
  • Promotion rates
  • Demographics/Diversity

Tip of the day:  Knowing what to measure and how to measure it are the keys to a superior Measurement System.

 

 

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