February 2010

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In this issue:

Think. Learn. Share. Apply.

Ad: 2010 Conference


10 Counterintuitive Paradigms for Innovation

Ad: Book Series

Developing Rating Scales for Performance Test

Invitation To Participate in Research Study

From the Board

ISPI Election Results

Processes + Practices = Performance

THE Performance Improvement Conference

The Three Challenges of Selling HPT:
Part 3

Executives Share their Views of Performance Improvement

Emerging Talent Committee

PT Makeovers

Tales from the Field

CPT News from Around the World

Are You Recognized for Your Work?

Career Center

Performance Marketplace

Join ISPI Now!

Newsletter Submission Guidelines

ISPI Board of Directors

ISPI Advocates

Back Issues






Think. Learn. Share. Apply.

Have you registered for THE Performance Improvement Conference, April 19-22, 2010, at the San Francisco Marriott Marquis in San Francisco, California? Here are several reasons you should before the early registration deadline ends on February 12.

Opening Session with the Drum Café.

Kick-off your conference experience with this high-energy, yet educational, performance and presentation.

Keynote Presentations

What Got You Here Won’t Get You There, by California’s own Marshall Goldsmith. In November 2009, he was ranked as one of the 15 most influential business thinkers in a study published by The (London) Times and Forbes.

The Wisdom of Positive Change, by Diana Whitney, recipient of ASTD’s Best Culture Change of the Year award and recognized by the Organization Development Network for her contributions to the field.

Closing Keynote presentation, Power of You, by Ann W. Cramer, Director Americas, IBM Corporate Citizenship and Corporate Affairs

Roundtable discussion

The Executive’s View: Managing Organizational Performance with panelists:

  • Aaron Carmack, Pacific North Regional Vice President, Home Depot
  • Stephen E. Cooper, Co-founder, Chairman and CEO, Skyler™ Technology
  • Kay Monroe-Townsend, Vice President of Operations, United Parcel Service
  • David Stanasolovich, General Manager of IT Platform Engineering Capability, Intel Corporation
  • Margie Tatro, Director of Fuel and Water Systems, Sandia National Laboratories

Masters’ Series Presentations

  • HPT and the Coast Guard: A Partnership of Performance by Rear Admiral Timothy S. Sullivan, Commander, Force Readiness Command, United States Coast Guard
  • How Can I Learn to Lead from the Middle? by John Baldoni, Baldoni Consulting LLC, recently named one of the World’s Top Leadership Gurus for 2010
  • The Reality of Simulations: Handling Complexity by Reconciling Paradoxes by Sivasailam “Thiagi” Thiagarajan, Resident Mad Scientist, The Thiagi Group, Inc.
  • The Flat World has Swung Open: How Web Technology is Revolutionizing Education by Curtis J. Bonk, Professor, Indiana University and President, SurveyShare, Inc.

And Much More!

  • Opportunities to share best practices
  • Meet experts in the field of performance improvement
  • Recharge your intellectual batteries through invigorating educational sessions
  • Numerous networking events to cultivate lasting professional connections

THE Performance Improvement Conference promises to be one of the most exciting in 2010! For more information or to register, visit www.ispi.org/AC2010.

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Performance Maturity Model

by Carol Haig, CPT, and Roger Addison, CPT, EdD

We are pleased to introduce Gary DePaul, CPT, PhD, as our guest this month. Gary, gary@garydepaul.com, recently joined Lowe’s as manager of store readiness. In this role, he partners with client departments to ensure they have the necessary information, resources, and training for their employees. Last November, Gary presented his Performance Maturity Model in an ISPI SkillCast. He graciously contributes this model to the TrendSpotters Open Toolkit (TOT).

Genesis of the Performance Maturity Model

Presenting performance information to C-level executives requires an approach that is different from a presentation to a line manager, as you may have experienced. Top management responds to findings and recommendations presented in executive summary style with a strategic, rather than tactical, emphasis. They appreciate concise descriptions of the current and desired states with minimal detail, and when engaged with the information are usually quick to move to action.

Gary developed the versatile Performance Maturity Model specifically for use with this audience. It is based on the Capability Maturity Model originated at the Software Engineering Institute at Carnegie Mellon University.

Description of the Model

We read the Performance Maturity Model from the bottom to the top, beginning with the five Stages or levels of maturity on the left. Each Stage describes a performance level in the organization. The Descriptions and Characteristics provide a snapshot of what performance looks like at each Stage. At the right, the Risk/Opportunity & Quality scale shows that an organization’s Risk for errors, increased costs, loss of market share, and the like, is greatest at the least mature Stages and decreases as performance matures. Likewise, moving up the Stages to greater maturity increases the opportunity for increased customer retention, increased sales, and other measures of success.

Gary tells us that these five Stages are iterative—that is, organizations move through them in the bottom-up order shown in the model. No Stage is skipped, but an organization may spend different amounts of time at each Stage. And, of course, not all organizations reach the optimized level.

Figure 1. Performance Maturity Model.
Based on the Capability Maturity Model by the Software Engineering Institute (SEI) at Carnegie Mellon and Moignard P. (1995). Trends in system development. Audit & Control Journal, 1, 10-13.

How to Use the Performance Maturity Model

This model is scalable. You can apply it to an entire enterprise, a division, group, department, or work team. The Performance Maturity Model works wells as a tool for summarizing a performance analysis and recommendations and for generating discussion and forward planning at the C-level. This model can also help develop relationships with senior executives because it encourages conversation and the exchange of strategic ideas. As a performance improvement practitioner, you can use this model as a checklist for yourself as you become acquainted with a new organization and observe management practices in action.

You will know the Performance Maturity Model is successful when executives:

  • Start using some of the language related to the model, such as “maturity” or “defined stage”
  • Begin discussing next steps
  • Prioritize actions that can take their organization to the next maturity level

Success Story

Gary did a project for a chief operating officer that involved a 15-department analysis to specify the current state of performance. Gary used the Performance Maturity Model to present his findings. The COO was able to quickly identify the most critical areas to address within the departments analyzed. He projected that the company would save $15 million in operational costs and experience revenue gains from sales improvements. The project led to the establishment of a learning and knowledge management department that was chartered to execute the performance improvement initiatives. Within two years, the organization achieved savings close to the amount projected. Other results included standardized procedures and processes, clarification of critical roles, and a centralized repository for document storage.

Advice to Users

While the Performance Maturity Model is a linear model, like much in our world of performance improvement, people do not necessarily move in a straight line. Gary reminds us that some aspects of a given organization may reside at, for example, the Ad Hoc Stage and others may be at the Repeatable Stage.

It can also be useful to consider this model in two parts:

  • An organization that is all or in part at the Ad Hoc or Repeatable Stage is largely dysfunctional and likely to be running on heroics and firefighting.
  • One that is at the Defined, Managed, or Optimized Stage is starting to work well or is moving well in that direction.

Clues to watch for that indicate the presence of organizational performance issues include multiple reorganizations, mergers and acquisitions, frequent structural changes, and requests for learning activities such as an executive development program, succession planning protocol, executive team building, or a culture change workshop.

A great way to get familiar with the Performance Maturity Model is to use it as the checklist suggested earlier when you begin your next project. For more about the model, Gary’s recorded SkillCast is available for purchase. There are additional references for the original Capability Maturity Model on the Carnegie Mellon website.

Links to the Performance Technology Landscape

The Performance Maturity Model supports these principles of performance technology:


Focus on Results—move an organization from a reactive to a proactive position by lowering risk and raising opportunity


Take a System view—improve the management system to increase results


Add Value—create dialog at the C-level around findings, recommendations, and next steps


Establish Partnerships—open discussion and build relationships through executive ownership of next steps

Application Exercise

The Performance Maturity Model is a great navigational tool. Use it to determine the maturity level of the next client group you work with. Then build upon your initial assessment as you conduct your formal analysis. Let the model help you present your findings and recommendations.

Direction for Performance Improvement

We asked Gary where he thought our profession was headed in the short term, based on his perspective. He foresees greater opportunity for performance analysis because many organizations are starting to see the value at the senior level. They are learning how performance affects results in their companies and they welcome tools to help them leverage those results.

Find all the models and tools featured in TrendSpotters at www.ispi.org/archives/perfXpress.htm#trendToolkit.

You may reach Carol Haig at carolhaig@earthlink.net or at http://home.mindspring.com/~carolhaig; Roger Addison may be reached at rogeraddison@earthlink.net. Roger blogs at http://rachekup.blogspot.com.

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For Unprecedented Performance Improvement, Forget Tradition: 10 Counterintuitive Paradigms for Innovation

by David Severson, BSEE, MBA, EdM, EdD, 2010 Conference Presenter

“Forget everything you learned in school,” the vice president for human resources told us during company orientation. “Over the coming months, we’re going to teach you exactly who we are and precisely how we do our work. After you learn that, you can go out with confidence to assume a leadership role in one of our divisions that operate across industries the world over.”

Whether we call this learning process company orientation, indoctrination, or acculturation, the outcome is the same. We become productive by mastering the models and traditions and examples given to us for how our company works. These models and traditions and examples are called paradigms of mind.

The very same paradigms that serve so well in guiding performance of company work become ineffective and often counterproductive when applied to improving work and work performance. To achieve innovations to work that deliver unprecedented leaps in work performance, counterintuitive paradigms are just what the work-improvement doctor orders.

Just about any work being done today by any company of people can be made much easier, much simpler, and much safer to complete in much less time all for little or no financial investment. How? By using counterintuitive paradigms designed to be more helpful and supportive to the work of business process innovation.

When applied, the 10 paradigms for innovation developed over a 15-year study period and showcased below translate directly and immediately to impressive leaps in company performance, customer service, partner and vendor relations, and even employee learning and satisfaction. Companies that embrace counterintuitive paradigms for work innovation have been found to reduce work-process times by 75-95%.

Starting with fundamental production work processes (such as machine setups) to build confidence, top-performing companies build work-innovation teams consisting of colleagues from across company functions, disciplines, and the hierarchy. These teams systematically slash time and costs on fundamental production work processes before rolling-out the good work to other projects such as machine and equipment design, improvement of supplier and vendor delivery times, product innovations, line relocation work, and customer service.

It can appear challenging to adopt a new paradigm for innovation after a paradigm for performance has proved successful for us so far. To learn a new paradigm, it is helpful to first make clear the model, tradition, or example currently in use (to guide how we perform work). We can then turn our attention to the new paradigm (to guide the ways in which we will go about improvement of work).

Following are 10 prominent paradigms that guide performance of work done by companies. For each one, I offer from my own research the COUNTERINTUITIVE PARADIGM for producing innovations that improve work and work performance.

1. Scope-of-Work paradigm says... Focus on solving the problem as defined within the Scope of Work (wherein solution to be implemented may also be specified).

COUNTERINTUITIVE PARADIGM 1. Focus instead on rigorous study and improvement of the core work process within which a problem presents itself. [It is poor processes that create problems.]

2. Responsible-discipline paradigm says... Assign responsibility for the improvement initiative to only one company function such as engineering or operations.

COUNTERINTUITIVE PARADIGM 2. Instead, build the diverse team to address improving a problematic company work process by inviting participation of colleagues from across functions, disciplines, and the hierarchy-especially including work performers (who have long known easier, simpler, safer ways to get their work done).

3. Quantitative-data paradigm says... Rely on quantitative data available through measurement, specification review, and statistical analysis or commonly accepted understandings about how the work process should be completed or was designed to be completed.

COUNTERINTUITIVE PARADIGM 3. In addition to quantitative data, collect qualitative data about the problematic company work process by systematic observation, videotaping the work process, and systematic interviews with work performers to learn precisely how the work process is actually completed.

4. Statistical-methods paradigm says... Organize collected data into statistical process control (SPC) charts, into Six-Sigma formats, or in line with other types of discipline-exclusive quantitative reports.

COUNTERINTUITIVE PARADIGM 4. Organize collected qualitative and quantitative data about the problematic company work process and display onto large charts to make clear and observable for all precisely how each and every work step is normally performed and actually completed.

5. Achievable-targets paradigm says... Set performance goals or targets that will be achievable and realistic to attain.

COUNTERINTUITIVE PARADIGM 5. Set goals for reduced work-process time so ambitious that they cannot be achieved by working faster or harder or at risk to safety. Innovations must be found.

6. Higher-technologies paradigm says... Seek innovations or solutions that are driven by higher technologies that can be shown to deliver return on financial investment within acceptable payback time period.

COUNTERINTUITIVE PARADIGM 6. Before considering higher technology innovations or solutions, first search relentlessly for innovations that produce easy, simple, and safe new work-process procedures that can be completed in much less time for little or no financial investment. Do not consider even the most attractive high-tech innovations or solutions until lower-tech innovations and solution possibilities have been exhausted.

7. Cost-justification paradigm says... Accept quickly and advocate for work innovations that can be cost-justified easily.

COUNTERINTUITIVE PARADIGM 7. Determine new work-process procedure to be implemented by testing innovations against criteria of easier, simpler and safer work procedure that can be completed in much less time for little or no financial investment.

8. Delegate-management paradigm says... Assign a leader to manage the project work initiative for the company toward achievement of desired results.

COUNTERINTUITIVE PARADIGM 8. Support leadership by coordinator charged with being “in service” to help team members to learn and work excellently toward quick implementation of high-promise innovations.

9. Enterprise-solution paradigm says... Delay rollout of innovations to all company operations until new procedure is fully developed to meet high standards for uniform reliability in performance.

COUNTERINTUITIVE PARADIGM 9. Immediately implement as many ideas as possible while testing and running trials to improve those remaining innovations with highest promise for success.

10. Management-reports paradigm says... Require team leaders to manage and control teamwork in way that relies upon written and oral reports to management on team progress and work results.

COUNTERINTUITIVE PARADIGM 10. Support Forums for ideas exchange among lead coordinators of work-innovation teams where results are shared and celebrated, exciting innovations are demonstrated, special challenges in common are addressed, team learning is encouraged, and coordinators ask each other for help to ensure sustainable success.

To transform the 10 counterintuitive paradigms into usable tools for your work innovation teams, replace your current models, traditions, and examples for conducting performance improvement with a step-by-step, procedural approach that follows precisely the very same order of paradigms as presented above.

David is one of more than 100 presenters sharing their knowledge and expertise at THE Performance Improvement Conference, April 19-22, 2010. If you want to learn more, you can attend his 90-minute presentation, Upgrading Work: 10 Best Practices for Achieving Unprecedented Performance Innovation.

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Developing Rating Scales for Performance Test

by Bill Coscarelli, Shrock and Coscarelli, and Sharon Shrock, Southern Illinois University

February 17, 2010, 1:00 p.m. EST | Register Online

Are you frustrated with the same post-intervention testing time after time? Do you see yourself using the same scoring rubric for every performance intervention or training course you develop? Performance tests should seek to provide an objective rating of a behavior or product. This occurs only if the tests are measuring the right outcomes and variables. Join Bill and Sharon as they walk you through the development of a criterion-referenced test for your performance improvement interventions. This webinar will explain the different types of tests available and help you navigate through the development of a criterion-referenced test to accurately measure performance outcomes.

Participants will be able to:

  • Distinguish between norm-referenced tests and criterion-referenced tests
  • Describe the steps for developing valid criterion-referenced tests
  • Distinguish between product and process assessments
  • Describe four types of rating scales (and the two you should never use)
  • Distinguish between open and closed skill testing
  • List the steps for training raters to create reliable assessments

About the Presenters

Bill Coscarelli is professor emeritus in Instructional Design Specialization at Southern Illinois University Carbondale’s department of Curriculum & Instruction and the former founding co-director of the Hewlett-Packard World Wide Test Development Center. Bill has been elected president of the International Society for Performance Improvement and the Association for Educational Communications and Technology’s Division for Instructional Development. He was the founding editor of Performance Improvement Quarterly and ISPI’s first vice-president of publications.

Sharon Shrock is professor of Instructional Design and Technology at Southern Illinois University Carbondale where she coordinates graduate programs in ID/IT. She is the former founding co-director of the Hewlett-Packard World Wide Test Development Center. She is a past president of the Association for Educational Communications and Technology’s Division of Instructional Development and has served on the editorial boards of most of the major academic journals in the instructional design field.

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Invitation To Participate in Research Study

Dear HPT Professionals,

My name is Ann Chow. I am a doctoral candidate of Instructional Technology program at Wayne State University. Dr. James L. Moseley is my dissertation advisor.

I would like to invite you to participate in an online questionnaire of a needs assessment of finance competencies. It will take you approximately 30-35 minutes to complete this questionnaire. Participants will have the option of entering a random drawing to receive one of five $50 VISA gift cards.

Your participation is crucial and pivotal to the findings of this study. I believe the findings of this study will benefit not only our professional practice but also our future research. Drucker once said, “It is the practitioner rather than the scholar who develops the discipline, who synthesizes experience into testable concepts, that is into theory, who codifies, who finds and tests new knowledge, and who teaches and sets the example.” I encourage you to participate by clicking on this link: http://education.wayne.edu/financecompetencies.htm.

The results of my study will be summarized in a future issue of PerformanceXpress. All information collected about you during the course of my study will be kept without any identifiers. If you choose to participate in the drawing, you will need to provide your name, telephone number, and email address on the questionnaire. This information will be removed from the survey after the drawing.

Please email or call me if you have questions on participating in or learning more about this needs assessment. I can be reached at achowsurvey@gmail.com or (313) 577-1720.


Ann Chow
Doctoral Candidate
Wayne State University

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From the Board
Reshaping ISPI or “Going Back to the Future”?

by Matt Peters, CPT, ISPI Immediate Past President

It would be impossible to recount all of the progress ISPI has made in reshaping itself over the past several years as the Society has enjoyed a very healthy debate about its size, structure, programs, and even focus. We have challenged ourselves in a wide range of venues and benefited from our members’ diverse backgrounds and perspectives. At this point, we all know ISPI will look different as we emerge from the worst recession in almost 100 years. What will we look like? How hard will these changes be, and how long should it take? We are still in the middle of our journey to reshape the Society, but the efforts thus far have been effective. ISPI finished its last fiscal year with reserves higher than were originally projected only a year and a half ago. I would suggest we consider our history and make thoughtful and prudent adjustments as we continue to navigate this multiyear effort.

ISPI has a long and storied history of pioneering new ways to improve workplace performance. The Society was established in 1962 by a small group of ardent, expert visionaries to provide an ongoing forum for creating and practicing new and innovative practices, to encourage robust research and discussion, and to support practitioners in their work with businesses. It grew quickly in those early days as those highly talented entrepreneurs guided the nascent association and built a culture that attracted new members and disciples to the cause. The Society celebrated its intimacy; the early Boards had no permanent staff, the focus was almost exclusively on the annual conference, and the Board members completed most of the planning and actual business activities themselves.

ISPI prospered during the 1980-90s as the U.S. enjoyed one of the longest expansionist economic cycles in history. Our reputation and influence grew, and the Society capitalized on highly leveraged annual conferences to accrue reserves. A full-time professional association staff was added in 1971, and the Society continued to expand its products and services as businesses sent their employees to professional development conferences and workshops in large numbers.

By the early 2000s, it was clear ISPI had reached a “tipping point” of sorts. The Society had grown a fairly large overhead to support continued growth, increased market share, and larger conferences in more attractive venues. Unfortunately, by that point the economic boon was over, conference attendance had fallen off, and attendee feedback was beginning to indicate that session material was becoming repetitive. The Board and staff also noted that membership retention was less than desired, and many of ISPI’s other workshops and products had become “loss leaders.” The Society weathered several years of mixed results until the recession of 2009 created a true sense of urgency for immediate change.

But, what really happened? ISPI has struggled (like most businesses and nonprofit associations) over the past couple of years, but was the economy driving ISPI’s problems, or were other factors at play as well? Did the environment really change that much? Did ISPI need to resize or really change? Was current research not as relevant to the workplace? Or, were the needs of Gen X and Millennials significantly different from those of the baby boomers? These types of questions have been raised and discussed in numerous forums and are defining the new ISPI.

These past several years, ISPI’s Boards have consistently focused on reshaping the Society. They have chartered taskforces and contracted with an external marketing firm to assess the situation. It has been gratifying, as the recent Strategic Planning Taskforce noted, “There have been numerous studies over the past several years, and they have all reached the same conclusion that ISPI’s vision remains exceptionally valued by the workplace.” Those many surveys and studies have reaffirmed that our human performance improvement process and CPT certification program are highly regarded. The core of ISPI remains strong! The key to increasing ISPI’s viability would seem to be in developing new partnerships, encouraging and sharing new research, capitalizing on new technology to support our global membership, and adopting some new approaches to become more relevant to the younger generations. In other words, focus on the strengths that have historically defined ISPI, but reshape the Society’s products and services to better serve the current and future membership.

Over the past several years, the Boards, the staff, and the rest of ISPI’s volunteer leadership have worked to revalidate the ISPI vision, its branding, and its primary CPT and HPI brand workhorses. The tagline “Where Knowledge Becomes Know-How” was selected because it emphasizes ISPI’s terrific niche of directly connecting emerging research to workplace performance. And, a large number of new capabilities and initiatives have been launched, including a revamped website, the CPT Industry teams, the weekly Performance Digest, and SkillCast webinars. The University Case Study Competition has reenergized our relationship with academia. CEO roundtables and the Advocates have begun to create new relationships with business leaders. The Volunteer and Emerging Talent committees have provided succession planning services while reshaping volunteer efforts. The new LinkedIn and Facebook sites, as well as HPT Connections, offer ongoing networking opportunities for all generations. And, ISPI has created new awards (such as the Advocate’s Award) to reward those new priorities and focus. The Board and staff have also implemented some fairly substantial changes to reshape and resize the Society’s operations. All major contracts (headquarters, conference hotels, etc.) have been reviewed or restructured. Several long-term process improvements have also been implemented, including the Chapter Service Level Agreement (SLA) and standardized staff processes (accrual accounting, personnel management program, etc.).

We should celebrate the important strides ISPI has made while weathering this recession, but this has frankly just been the tip of the iceberg. Organizational change is never straightforward and easy—it is a journey with many intersections that normally takes five to seven years to successfully complete. It is challenging and emotionally charged work. It requires experimentation and adoption as new best practices are discovered and gradually phased into standard operations. A good example of this “spiral development” would be the format for our future conferences. We are not yet sure how conferences should be structured in the future. We held a Conference Innovation working group during THE Performance Improvement Conference 2008 in Orlando, and we know Gen X and Millennials prefer more frequent “data bursts” rather than the traditional classroom setting of conference sessions. We will need to continue to scrutinize our processes, our programs, and our products to ensure we have the best possible solution for both our current and our prospective members. With that in mind, ISPI Boards have been managing a reasonable number of change initiatives (and created short-term wins) to support constant and coherent progress. The Board’s action report developed from the recent Strategic Taskforce work reaffirmed leadership’s commitment to this effort, and clearly communicated activities to foster, encourage, and support ongoing change in the areas of building membership, increasing conference attendance, and strengthening certification initiatives. Current ISPI communications are focused on encouraging and rewarding progress in achieving these milestones.

We are fortunate that our Society members are so committed and engaged in improving our Society! We have benefited from fantastic volunteer leadership at all levels, and we have a top-notch staff to help guide the way. ISPI’s leadership has renewed their goal of trying to involve as many people as possible in solutions that appeal and respond to the memberships’ needs. Who knows what ISPI will look like when this phase of its life is over? We are still in the middle of our journey so there will be plenty of opportunities to help influence the road ahead. If you are interested in volunteering at any capacity, please contact the Volunteer Committee Chair, Bobbie Allaire, Bobbie3ryb@aol.com.

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ISPI Announces Election Results

The votes have been tallied and the following candidates have been elected to serve as members of ISPI’s 2010-2013 Board of Directors:

Mike Lane, CPT
President-elect; 2010–2012
(assumed role immediately*)
Judy Hale, CPT, PhD
President-elect; 2010-2013

Dawn Papaila, CPT
Director, 2010-2012
Luise Schneider, CPT
Director, 2010-2012
Lisa Toenniges, CPT, Med
Director, 2010-2012

The following Board members retain their seats: Darlene Van Tiem, CPT, PhD (who becomes immediate past-President in April), Fred Stewart (Director & Treasurer), Carol Lynn Judge (Director), and April S. Davis, CAE (ex officio).

A special thank you to departing Board Members: Matt Peters, CPT, Paul Cook, CPT, David Hartt, CPT, and Steven Kelly, CPT, for their hard work and dedication to ISPI.

In addition, a BIG thanks for our Nominations Committee Chair, Char Wells and her team: Andrea Moore, Richard Pearlstein, Janet Weisenford, and Anne Apking.

*Mike Lane immediately assumes the vacant seat of President-elect; becomes immediate President in April, 2010.

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Processes + Practices = Performance

by Carol Haig, CPT, 2010 Conference Presenter

I like to shop for clothes in the state of Rhode Island. Shopping malls are plentiful and easy to reach in this tiny edge of the U.S., all the major stores are represented, outlets and discount shops abound, and there is no sales tax on clothing. I live in California where sales tax on everything hovers close to 10%. I like to shop. You see my point.

Not only is shopping economical in the Ocean State, it is a consistently pleasant experience. Two women’s clothing stores I patronize at home often have special promotions. I save their coupons for trips to Rhode Island and visit those stores. Invariably, I encounter a salesperson interested in helping me find something special, in knowing where I’m from and why I’m in her state, and in offering me a more advantageous promotion. She will be charming, friendly, and likely to remember me on my next visit.

The process of selling clothes is the same in California and Rhode Island, but the practices in Rhode Island are more agreeable, welcoming, and economical. I buy more clothes there.


A process is “a construct for organizing value-adding work to achieve a business-value milestone in a way that meets three specific criteria: effective and efficient performance, effective management, competitive advantage” (Rummler, G., Ramias, A. Rummler, R. p. 40).

In many organizations, performance improvement practitioners or operations specialists can readily identify difficulties with a specific process that impedes performance. Often, they tinker with the process in hopes of improving the resulting performance. But sometimes even an excellent process refuses to produce the desired performance. What to do? Consider the related practices.

A practice is the way the process is performed. It is what a worker says and does while following a process. Practices are habitual behaviors. They are driven by the cultural norms of an organization or work group. Failure to pay attention to the practices associated with a process creates the risk of a missed opportunity to improve performance.

More Examples

I volunteer on the Hotline at a crisis center. The center operates with a small staff and over 100 volunteers who handle the phones and offer help and support 24/7 to callers who may be in personal crisis, mentally ill, homeless, addicted, or suicidal. We complete extensive classroom training, one-on-one coaching “live” on the phones, and attend regular in-service programs to increase our skills and knowledge. In my years of service, I’ve worked with many volunteers. I have observed some who follow proscribed processes very well, but their individual practices as they talk with callers or recommend resources vary widely and in turn, directly affect the quality of the service provided.

And another: as performance consultants, we hear many complaints about the appraisal systems used in the organizations we serve. On closer examination, many such systems have well-designed processes that should produce fair and accurate assessments of employees’ performance. What makes such systems problematic? The practices of the supervisors who use them are frequently at fault. If a supervisor completes the appraisal form correctly and emails it to the employee without discussion, the appraisal process has failed, especially if there are no consequences for practices like this one. The process itself is probably just fine.

Clues to Look For

In every organization, retail or otherwise, there are clues that performance is suffering because of process/practice issues. Are any of these familiar?

  • Products and services are delayed reaching the customer
  • Employees and customers complain
  • Overtime is excessive
  • Production has bottlenecks
  • Processes are delayed
  • Activities are duplicated
  • Work has to be redone
  • Back-up systems fail or are not in place
  • Automated processes are verified manually
  • There is task interference
  • Turnover is high
  • Accidents have increased
  • Safety violations are discovered
  • Procedures are not followed

(Addison, Haig, Kearny, p. 37)

Procedure/Practice Analysis

Regardless of how a performance issue makes itself known, it is helpful to first determine if the symptoms match any in the list above. Next:

  • Review the process steps to learn how it is designed
  • Observe the process being performed to see how it is actually done
  • Note the practices followed by workers as they complete the process
  • Are there differences in practices?
  • Which practices maximize the process results? Which undermine them?

Now you have observable evidence to offer about the process and practices and the results produced. While the process may benefit from some adjustments, it is very likely that identifying the best practices (now we know where that phrase comes from) will be an important component of the possible recommendations to make to drive performance.

When we investigate only the process itself, or only the practices, we miss critical clues to organizational alignment. We also overlook key performance issues. When both processes and practices are managed with rewards and consequences for how they are carried out, we take an important step in halting the cycle of poor performance.

Maximize Processes and Practices

Remember that processes and practices go together and combined they have the power to significantly affect performance. Consider both processes and practices when you want to:

  • Identify an organization’s cultural elements to learn how they influence performance
  • Understand a particular process and how it flows
  • Track the interactions among individual workers and teams through a particular process
  • Align an organization’s processes and practices


Addison, R., Haig, C., Kearny, L. (2009). Performance architecture: The art and science of improving organizations. San Francisco, CA: Pfeiffer.

Rummler, G., Ramias, A., Rummer, R. (2010). White space revisited: Creating value through process. San Francisco, CA: Jossey-Bass.

Carol, along with Roger Addison and Lynn Kearny, will present Blueprint for Your Future at the 2010 ISPI Conference in San Francisco. They will introduce a process for personal career planning. The participants will decide which practices to follow.

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Take a Step in the Right Direction with an ISPI Workshop

Conference workshops are a great way
to kick-start THE Performance Improvement Conference 2010 experience. Whether you are new to the field or looking to enhance your skills, ISPI’s two-day and one-day workshops advance your professional know-how and knowledge in the topic area of your choice! Pre-conference workshops require a separate fee.

Two-Day Workshops: April 18 & 19, 2010

SDI Level 1 Facilitator Certification
Tim Scudder

CPT Certification Workshop: Preparing for the CPT
Judy Hale; CPT application fee is included in the price of the workshop

One-Day Workshops: Sunday, April 18, 2010

Faster, Cheaper, Better: Alternative Approaches to Instructional Design
Sivasailam Thiagarajan & Tracy Tagliati

Motivation & Behavior: Focused Leadership Tools to Achieve Increased Performance
Edward G. Muzio & Steve Overcashier

Organizational Intelligence: How to Add Value to Your Organization
Lynn Kearny & Kenneth H. Silber

Performance-based Instructional Design: Practical Techniques & Tools that Engage Learners
Gary DePaul

Strategically Thinking Outside the Box
Suzanne J. Ebbers

Training’s NOT the Answer! Using a System’s Approach to Performance
Lisa Jasper & Adelee Licir

One-Day Workshops: Monday, April 19, 2010

Designing Scenario-based Multimedia Learning
Ruth Clark

Interactive Strategies for Improving Performance
Tracy Tagliati & Sivasailam Thiagarajan

Maximizing Business Results through a Sustainable Learning Structure
Monica Goodale & Katica Roy

Linking Jobs to Processes
Danny Langdon & Kathleen Whiteside

Matrix Management: Key Management Practices for Effective Cross-Functional Cooperation
Bill Daniels

The Six Boxes® Approach: An Introduction to Performance Thinking
Carl Binder

We have assembled a spectacular team of workshop presenters hosting programs designed to improve your performance improvement skills. For complete workshop descriptions and to register visit www.ispi.org/ac2010.

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The Three Challenges of Selling Human Performance Technology:
Part 3—
Speaking the Language of Business

by Paul D. Swan, PhD, Darryl L. Sink & Associates

In Part 1 (November 2009) and Part 2 (December 2009), we determined we are all in “the business of human performance technology (HPT)” and that we all face three challenges in “selling” our services:

  • Educating stakeholders
  • Speaking our organization’s business language
  • Documenting meaningful results

In this article I will focus on the third challenge.

Each of the words of the third challenge is significant and must be addressed in order to “sell” our HPT services.

In the context of this article, “Documenting” means we must prove, record, and communicate. “Meaningful” means that what we report should have value to the organization. “Results” means we have kept our promises and helped to solve the pre-defined business needs.

Unfortunately, not all HPT practitioners are doing a good job of meeting these standards to report their results. Consider some of the problematic results I have personally heard reported as the only measures of their efforts:

  • Our department offers high-quality training. The average rating of our instructors is 4.9 on a 5-point scale.
  • Our department is very productive. During the last fiscal year, our department provided training to 1,253 employees. These employees received 56,385 person hours of training.

These examples were easy to document, but they sent the wrong message. They did not communicate meaningful results. Instead, they documented and emphasized expenses. The consequence is that during the past two years both of these departments have suffered significant layoffs and cutbacks.

Contrast the preceding results with the following:

  • Our department provided significant results to the organization. During the last fiscal year $5.5 million was budgeted to our department for seven HPT projects. Those projects resulted in approximately $7.9M in savings and $8.2M in additional revenue generation. The overall return on investment (ROI) in our department was approximately 3X.

Obviously, this is just a summary statement and you should provide more detailed supporting evidence of the benefits of HPT projects. But the point is how your results are reported. Be sure to speak the language of business as you communicate your success to the organization.

Correlate your results to your organization’s key performance indicators. Make sure they are expressed in terms that are important and meaningful to the stakeholders and decision makers in your organization.

Taking this approach will help you to sell HPT by building your reputation as a problem solver and as a contributor to the bottom-line success of the organization. Proving your success breeds opportunities and resources for more success.

The challenges of selling HPT apply to for-profit, nonprofit, educational, military, and all other types of organizations. I hope you have been able to extrapolate and apply the lessons in this series to your own position and organization. By educating your stakeholders, speaking the language of the business of your organization, and documenting meaningful results, you help yourself and your HPT colleagues to progress the business of HPT.

Paul Swan, PhD, has been designing and developing training for 20 years. He is an associate of Darryl L. Sink & Associates, Inc. (DSA), a firm specializing in human performance consulting, custom training development, and instructional design and e-learning workshops. Paul may be reached at pswan@dsink.com.

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Unfortunately, not all HPT practitioners are doing a good job of meeting these standards to report their results.



Executives Share Their Views of Performance Improvement

by Bill Daniels, 2010 Conference Committee

Have you ever felt mystified by how executives view the world of performance improvement? At THE Performance Improvement Conference in San Francisco, April 19-22, you will have the opportunity to find out in the Executive Roundtable session by directing your questions to a panel of executives.

In past years practitioners have asked some tough questions:

  • “Do you really care about anything but this quarter’s profits?”
  • “Do you actually look at any of the proposals from the training department? If so, what do you look for that affects your willingness to support the work?”
  • “Do you expect a bigger payoff from replacing people rather than developing them?”

This year the executive panel will include men and women from retail and high tech. They have been carefully selected by a committee of ISPI members to ensure they have reputations for causing significant improvements in their organizations by their support of human performance technology (HPT)—though they do not always call it that.

More specifically, executives on the panel this year come from UPS, Home Depot, Intel, Sandia Labs, and Skylar Technologies. All of them are challenged by fundamental changes in the global economy. By engaging with them, we can learn to turn these challenges into extraordinary opportunities to demonstrate the power of HPT.

This is the third year we have offered the Executive Roundtable panel as part of THE Performance Improvement Conference. Executives have enjoyed the challenge and have complimented ISPI for its impressive membership. They walk away from the conference challenged to take human performance improvement even more seriously.

Audience evaluations often say this panel discussion is one of the most useful sessions. Typical comments include:

  • “It is a great opportunity to hear the workings of the executives’ minds, their perspectives, and their concerns”
  • “It opens the way to thinking like our high-level stakeholders and clients”
  • “It improves the way we plan and present our performance improvement interventions”
  • “It causes a breakthrough in their own appreciation for HPT—we are made more certain of its relevance and importance”

The Executive Roundtable panel will be offered as a Masters’ Series session on Tuesday afternoon, April 20, 2010. Come join us! In the meantime, if you have any questions, please contact the committee members: Ed Muzio at ed@groupharmonics.com, Catherine Brown at Catherine_S_Brown@homedepot.com, and Bill Daniels at bd@ACTproductive.com.

To register, visit www.ispi.org/ac2010 or call ISPI at 301.587.8570.

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Emerging Talent Committee: ISPI’s Commitment to the Future

by Marci Paino and Jessica Briskin, Emerging Talent Committee

How can ISPI stand out against other volunteer organizations in the human performance technology (HPT) field? How will ISPI survive and thrive in the future? These are just some of the questions ISPI has been considering during these economic times. Talent management is the key to the success as we continue to grow and develop. ISPI recognized the opportunity to form an Emerging Talent Committee (ETC) as a result of the efforts made by the 2009 Conference Committee and the findings in the University Analysis (March 2009). The ETC will apply principles of performance improvement (by utilizing a systematic approach) and explore opportunities for talent management within a volunteer organization. The ETC charter is focused on recruiting, engaging, and retaining a talented membership pool for years to come.

The ETC was created in a similar way to most HPT projects—based on analysis findings and resulting recommendations. The 2009 Conference Committee, which was directed to increase membership and attendance from youth, corporate, and international audiences, conducted the University Analysis. The analysis consisted of a survey distributed to students studying HPT-related programs at 32 identified universities. The responses were tabulated and analyzed to determine interventions geared toward the needs of newcomers, specifically for the duration of the 2009 Conference. Interventions included creating new tools and programs and highlighting or marketing existing programs that newcomers may not know about. The efforts have since expanded beyond conference initiatives because of the success of those initiatives. Factors of success included:

  • Increase in student membership after the conference
  • The case study competition’s pilot attracted participants and will continue in 2010
  • Speed mentoring garnered mentors and mentees and will continue in 2010

The University Analysis indicated that 69% of respondents had never attended an ISPI conference, which leads to the most important success factor for the initiatives led by the 2009 Conference Committee: ISPI recognized the need to focus recruitment efforts for the other 51 weeks of the year. A new Committee Charter was presented to the Board of Directors for approval and the ETC commenced in October 2009.

So, what is ETC all about? Research indicates that young professionals are expecting a different experience—one with which they have become accustomed, with technology and answers at their fingertips, when and where they need them. Our goal is to define what this experience entails and provide a strategic way to create and evaluate it. We are interested in topics such as generational differences, e-mentoring, student clubs, and young professional networks. We are investigating the use of technologies, such as Twitter and e-learning, to provide our emerging professionals the tools they need to adapt to the professional world quickly. We plan to continuously analyze our audience; explore principles of talent and knowledge management; and examine ways to recruit via chapters, members outside of chapter areas, and students. Our immediate solutions will fill in identified gaps from the University Analysis. This committee is another way for ISPI to have a competitive edge and strengthen its future leaders by investing in their growth and development.

The ETC will continue to support relevant ISPI initiatives, such as the case study competition and speed mentoring. Be sure to keep an eye out for new emerging professional tools during and after the 2010 conference!

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PT Makeovers
Meet the Joneses

by Holly Peters

Graduate students in Allison Rossett’s Performance Technology class at San Diego State University were tasked with creating short papers called PT Makeovers. ISPI has been publishing these papers in PerformanceXpress over the past several years. We are happy to bring you the latest by Holly Peters.

Mr. and Mrs. Jones are your typical young urban professional couple. And they’re on the go, literally. Mrs. Jones goes to work at the office, attends evening classes for a second degree, and volunteers on the weekends. She also has an active social calendar full of brunches, birthday parties, and bar mitzvahs.

Mr. Jones is just as active. He works well over forty hours a week from his home office, attends weekly trade meetings, dabbles in artistic hobbies, and sometimes travels out of town for business.

Together, they juggle visits to the grocery store, dry cleaner, dentist, and doctor, with the occasional night out on the town, weekend road trip, or extended vacation. You can probably imagine how challenging it can be to keep up with their fast-paced schedules. In fact, it has been a considerable challenge for both of them.

Eight Days a Week (the goal)

The Joneses are faced with the challenge of coordinating their busy schedules so that they avoid conflicting appointments and are both clear on when they have time to spend with each other.

Just Another Manic Monday (the problem)

For the past several years, the Joneses have consistently managed to mismanage their shared calendar. First, they tried discussing their schedule for the upcoming week over dinner each Sunday. This resulted in an unexpected knock at the door, right in the middle of Mrs. Jones’s “Popcorn and Pajamas” movie night. Mr. Jones had invited his business colleagues over for a beer, but Mrs. Jones forgot.

Next, they purchased a nice leather desk calendar for Mr. Jones’s office. This provided him a beautiful record of all the appointments he missed throughout the month, as he was seldom moved to look inside.

Other failed attempts to get on the same page included a paper wall calendar (that was rarely updated), email reminder messages (opened far later than intended), an electronic calendar for Mrs. Jones (that Mr. Jones never saw), and a few different versions of shared Internet calendars (that proved to be cluttered and cumbersome). In each instance, one was sure that he or she had clearly communicated the plans to the other. But the outcome was always the same—miscommunication and missed appointments.

Rock Around the Clock (the analysis)

What went wrong and how would you help them? Here are some observations from a performance technology perspective:

  • The Joneses need to undergo a thorough analysis. Further investigation would be invaluable in this situation. With the right questions, the seasoned performance technologist would be able to pinpoint possible causes for and barriers to success.
  • Both Mr. and Mrs. Jones must work together to resolve the problem. The solution has to work for both of them, so a good performance technologist would identify the differences in each of their needs and build a bridge between the two.
  • It’s important to recognize that there is not just one single tool to solve the Joneses’ problem. They need a whole solution system tailored to support them and fit their lives.

Individual interviews with the couple revealed significant findings. Mr. Jones values the freedom of his flexible schedule and prefers a lean, uncluttered view of his day. Mrs. Jones is driven by deadlines and values planning ahead in great detail.

A closer look at some of the causes and drivers of the mismanaged calendar revealed the following:


Motivation (Value/Confidence)



Both Mr. and Mrs. are able to manage their schedules separately, so skills/knowledge is not the cause of this problem.

The pair values the goal of coordinating their schedules, but lacks confidence that the tools they are using will meet their individual needs.

The environment in which they use their shared calendar varies and is neither consistent nor effective.

The pair agrees that there are great incentives to avoiding calendar conflicts including reduction in stress and more quality time together.

Considering this simple analysis, it is evident that the best solution for the Joneses would increase their confidence by incorporating each of their individual styles and preferences, and decrease environmental barriers.

I Love You More Today Than Yesterday But Not As Much As Tomorrow
(the solution)

With the assistance of a performance technologist, the Joneses pooled their ideas and purchased a 10” x 13” dry erase whiteboard with a grid of seven columns and five rows, and a pack of colorful dry erase markers. The whiteboard was placed on the side of the refrigerator, which is located in the middle of the kitchen, in the center of the house.

Remember, though, that they were provided with a solution system, not just one tool. Their new scheduling process includes the following components:

  • Mr. Jones draws in the name of the current month and adds the numbers for each day on the whiteboard. (He actually enjoys this task as he is able to use his artistic abilities.)
  • Both Mr. and Mrs. Jones add appointments to the calendar as they are scheduled using the colored dry erase markers.
  • Mrs. Jones captures the important dates on her mobile phone’s calendar, adding in as many additional details as she wants. The calendar on her phone is wirelessly synchronized with her Google Calendar online, which, in turn, periodically updates her Outlook Calendar on both work and home computers.
  • When a potential conflict arises, the Joneses are able to discuss the events ahead of time. They have a strategy worked out in advance for negotiating and prioritizing. For example, they can ask each other, “On a scale of 1-10, how important is this event to you? How important is it that I go with you?”
  • If there is a change, either of the two can simply use a paper towel to erase the outdated event and replace it.

Time After Time (the explanation)

Were you surprised that the solution was so simple? Why?

This new system directly addresses the confidence problem because it is easy to use and appeals to both of their individual preferences. Mr. Jones sees only a lean, concise view of the current month, including all the free and flexible time in between each appointment. At the same time, Mrs. Jones is able to plan in more detail and can receive electronic reminders wherever she goes. In addition, the shared calendar is in an ideal environment with easy access and high visibility. Now, no one, not even guests, can ignore the Joneses’ calendar.

This works because the performance technologist uses analysis to pinpoint the problem, a systemic view of the organization as a whole, and a systematic method for addressing the issues. The focus is on results—improved performance. And thanks to performance technology, the Joneses have significantly decreased calendar collisions since the implementation of their tailored solution system. They are very happy.


Rossett, A. (2009). First things fast: A handbook for performance analysis (2nd ed.). San Francisco: Pfeiffer.

Holly Peters is a student in the Educational Technology Master’s Program at San Diego State University. She also works as an associate instructional systems designer at Kratos Defense and Security Solutions, Inc. She may be reached at holly.peters@kratosdefense.com.

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Tales From the Field
Evaluating Practical Leadership in an Academic Setting

by Brett Christensen, CDTP, Erica Cormack, and Barb Spice

Tales from the Field, a monthly column, consists of reports of evidence-based performance improvement practice and advice, presented by graduate students, alumni, and faculty of Boise State University’s Instructional and Performance Technology department.

A Formative Evaluation of the Aboriginal Leadership Program Culminating Activity

A three-member team of Boise State IPT graduate students conducted an evaluation of the Aboriginal Leadership Opportunity Year (ALOY) Leadership Practicum between October and December of 2009. This evaluation was requested by the Canadian Defence Academy (CDA). ALOY is a unique opportunity for Canadian Aboriginal youth who may not have had the prospects or ability to achieve the academic results required to qualify for post-secondary studies. Along with academic advancement, ALOY provides the participants with an opportunity to develop leadership skills. The program was delivered for the first time in the 2008 academic year. The practicum serves as the culminating activity for the program.

Consumer Oriented Blended Approach

Discussions with the client (CDA) revealed a requirement to study elements of both management and consumer (practicum participant) oriented criteria, which resulted in the development of a goal-based formative evaluation of the practicum. This evaluation became the basis for determining how well the training prepared the participants to effectively apply leadership skills in both everyday situations and outside of the training environment. This blended approach subsequently allowed the evaluation team to provide recommendations to address any findings that affect the staff, the participants, or, as appropriate, both groups combined, to further improve the practicum.

Evaluation Question and Dimensions of Merit

The two-part evaluation question was: Is the ALOY year-end leadership practicum effective in preparing the participants to perform as leaders, and what improvement needs to be made?

Utilizing Scriven’s Key Evaluation Checklist (KEC; Davidson, 2005; Scriven, 2007) as an evaluation framework, four primary dimensions of merit and their value weighting were identified through planning sessions with the client. Each dimension of merit contained sub-dimensions that allowed for enhanced analysis of data and conclusions as shown in Table 1.

ALOY Evaluation Findings

The data from interviews, archival data, and surveys were triangulated to obtain the value ratings for each sub-dimension. These ratings were then averaged to determine an overall score for each dimension. Then, the overall quality of the practicum was determined by combining the scores from multiple dimensions and factoring different importance weighting into the calculation of a final score.

The evaluation revealed that the practicum was valued overall as a good culminating activity for preparing participants to perform as leaders, when measured on a 4-level scale (Poor–Marginal–Good–Excellent) as shown in Table 1.

The first two dimensions of Content and Implementation were rated as good. The third dimension of Administration was rated as marginal. The fourth dimension of Knowledge, Skills, and Abilities received an excellent rating, an assessment that was reinforced by staff observations of the participants utilizing their leadership skills beyond the ALOY program. All eight participants who started the practicum successfully completed the training.

ALOY Program Leadership Practicum
Overall Quality: Good

Primary and


Importance Weighting

Poor Marginal Good Excellent


  • Curriculum alignment
  • Leadership practicum



Very Important


  • Resources
  • Performance review
  • Program assessment





  • Aboriginal considerations
  • Relationships
  • Quality control



Very Important

Knowledge, Skills, Abilities

  • Relevance
  • Leadership
  • Transferability



Table 1. Performance by dimension


With the overall rating of Administration being marginal, it was recommended that this dimension be given the most attention as it has the greatest opportunity for improvement. Specific recommendations were offered in order of priority.


  • Timely delivery of Lessons Learned reports
  • Common understanding of key program stakeholders
  • Capture aboriginal best practices in control documentation


  • Conduct a Training Plan Writing Board (the Canadian Forces Instructional Design process)
  • Develop complete assessment rubrics


  • Formalize formative evaluations
  • Articulate special qualifications required by the ALOY staff

Knowledge, Skills and Abilities—excellent:

  • No recommendations

Additionally, the ALOY program could be strengthened by incorporating the following recommendations:

  • Create ALOY Community of Practice
  • Initiate planning to conduct a 2013 ALOY program evaluation utilizing past graduates


This evaluation revealed that the practicum portion of ALOY demonstrated a strong potential for exportability within the Canadian military context. While the team did not evaluate the academic portion of ALOY, there is belief in the potential for this program to be replicated in other academic institutions in the Canadian Forces, such as the Collège militaire royale. Given the strong military flavor of the practicum, it was assessed that exportability to civilian universities and colleges would be less successful.


Davidson, E. J. (2005). Evaluation methodology basics: The nuts and bolts of sound evaluation. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage.

Scriven, M. (2007). Key evaluation checklist. www.wmich.edu/evalctr/checklists/kec_feb07.pdf

Brett Christensen, CTDP, is the learning projects manager at the Canadian Defence Academy in Kingston, Ontario, Canada, and the president of the Armed Forces Chapter of ISPI. He is a Certified Training Development Professional and is due to complete his master’s degree in Instructional & Performance Technology (IPT) in 2010. He may be reached at brett.christensen@forces.gc.ca. Erica Cormack will complete her MSc in IPT in 2011 and, at present, manages a regional law enforcement academy in southern Alberta. She may be reached at erica.cormack@lethbridgecollege.ab.ca. Barb Spice will complete her master’s degree in IPT in 2011. She is currently working as principal consultant for HRchitecture, LLC, located in northern Indiana. Barb may be reached at bspice@hrchitecture.com.

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CPT News from Around the World

Welcome Our New CPTs

  • Rhea Fix, Red Pepper Consulting
  • Todd Titer, Cerner Corporation

Recognizing a CPT who works with other organizations committed to development

I want to introduce you to John Stevens, CPT, SPHR. John is president of JB Stevens Organizational Solutions, a management consulting and training business. He works with Chambers of Commerce, Workforce Investment Boards (WIBs), and other organizations. John is also the director of the MBA program at St. Bonaventure University and an instructor in the School of Business, Management Science Department.

I “met” John when I read his recertification application and was impressed with the extent of his outreach to other organizations. John serves as a model for all CPTs wanting to contribute their expertise in human performance technology in service to their community. He is currently president of Leadership Cattaragus, a member of the Greater Olean Area Chamber of Commerce, a member of the Cattaraugus–Allegany County WIB, and a member of the Greater Olean Personnel Association. John’s past service to the community includes:

  • Former president of the Great Olean Area Chamber of Commerce
  • Former chairman of the Cattaraugus–Allegany County Workforce Investment Board
  • Former chairman of the Job Service Employer Committee in Cattaraugus County (New York State Dept. of Labor)
  • Former president of the Cattaraugus County Mental Health Association
  • Past board member of the Southern Tier Economic Development Organization
  • Past vice chair of the St. Bonaventure University National Alumni Board
  • Former member of the Western New York Employee Involvement Council
  • Former chairman of the Cattaraugus County Training Consortium
  • Former vice chair of the Southern Tier Catholic Schools Board of Education
  • Past member of the Archbishop Walsh High School Foundation Committee

John has over 30 years of experience in organizational development, training, consulting, administration, human resources, communications, and public relations. He is the former vice president for Human Resources at a rehabilitation facility in Olean, New York. He was responsible for all aspects of the human resource functions at this 500-employee agency serving people with disabilities.

Prior to this he was the director of the Achievement Center for Continuous Learning at St. Bonaventure University. In that capacity he was responsible for the development and delivery of training programs and services designed to meet the performance needs of organizations, business, industry, and nonprofits.

Before joining St. Bonaventure University, he was the manager of Training and Employee Development at the CUTCO Cutlery Corporation, the leading manufacturer of household cutlery in North America. His responsibilities included developing, delivering, and evaluating training for executives, managers, supervisors, administrative personnel, and skilled factory positions. He also assisted the human resource department in policy formulation and implementation, contract negotiations and hiring, promoting, and mentoring.

You may reach John at john@jbstevens.com if you want to find out more about his work and community involvement.

Do you have a story to tell? Contact Judy at Judy@ispi.org.

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Are You Recognized for Your Work?
Submit It to ISPI!

You do excellent work every day with great results. Submit your accomplishments and research to one of ISPI’s prestigious journals and get the recognition you deserve, and share your findings and ideas with your peers.

Performance Improvement (PI) journal publishes articles about all types of interventions and all phases of the Human Performance Technology (HPT) process, as well as hands-on HPT experiences, including:

  • Models
  • Interventions
  • “How-to” guides
  • Ready-to-use job aids
  • Research articles

PI also publishes updates on trends, reviews, and field viewpoints. The common theme of articles is performance improvement practice or technique that is supported by research or germane theory.

To submit an article, download and read the Author Guidelines, then email your article as an attachment to the editor, Holly Burkett, at pijeditor@ispi.org. PI is a benefit of ISPI membership, but if you are not a member you can still subscribe. If you are interested in joining ISPI, please click here.

Performance Improvement Quarterly (PIQ) is a peer-reviewed journal that publishes original research, theory, and literature reviews relevant to improving the performance of individuals, groups, and organizations. As a scholarly forum for the HPT field, the journal seeks to integrate and expand the methods, processes, and findings across multiple disciplines as they relate to solving problems and realizing opportunities in human performance. HPT work focuses on valued, measured results; considers the larger system context of people’s performance; and provides valid and reliable measures of effectiveness. The journal values both methodological rigor and variety, and publishes scholarship related to:

  • Process improvement
  • Organizational design and alignment
  • Analysis, evaluation, and measurement
  • Performance management
  • Instructional systems
  • Management of organizational performance

To submit an article, download and read the Author Guidelines, then email your article as an attachment to the ISPI Publications Office at pubs@ispi.org. A subscription to PIQ costs only $45 for ISPI members, so be sure to take advantage of this valuable resource. If you are not a member, but interested in joining ISPI, please click here.

As you know from reading this online newsletter every month, PerformanceXpress (PX) publishes exciting feature articles highlighting current developments and ideas in the field of performance improvement, as well as regular columns written by dedicated professionals spotting trends, Tales from the Field, and CPT News from Around the World. And, that is just the beginning. What contributions and ideas do you have to add to PX? “I wish I had thought of that” articles, practical application articles, articles about the application of HPT, or success stories? Read the Newsletter Submission Guidelines and send us your work to px@ispi.org.

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ISPI Career Center

The International Society for Performance Improvement’s
Career Center will revolutionize how you search for jobs and source candidates! Our job board, powered by career services leader JobTarget, makes it easier than ever for ISPI members to enhance their careers and stay connected within the performance improvement community. Below you will find the most recent job postings added to ISPI’s Career Center:

Instructional Developer (onsite contractor)
Plastipak Packaging
Job Type: Full Time
Job Location: Plymouth, MI 48170

Learning and Development Consultant
C.H. Robinson Worldwide, Inc.
Job Type: Full Time
Job Location: Eden Prairie, MN 55347

Organizational Development Manager
Sears Holdings Corporation
Job Type: Full Time
Job Location: Hoffman Estates, IL 60179

Senior Manager, Business Process Training
Levi Strauss and Co.
Job Type: Full Time
Job Location: San Francisco, CA 94111

Training Specialist
Job Type: Full Time
Job Location: Fishkill, NY 12524

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ISPI logo



Performance Marketplace

Performance Marketplace
is a convenient way to exchange information of interest to the performance improvement community. Take a few moments each month to scan the listings for important new events, publications, services, and employment opportunities. To post information for our readers, contact our marketing department at marketing@ispi.org or 301.587.8570.

Online Performance Improvement Bookstore. ISPI and John Wiley & Sons have partnered to offer professionals in the field the best selection of performance improvement resources. ISPI members save 15% on all book purchases (professional and personal)!

ISPI @ Amazon. ISPI has created a one-stop shop for all your performance improvement needs. Here we have boks written by ISPI members, CPTs, E-Documents, and featured books of the month. All purchases over $25 are eligible for free shipping.

Career Resources
ISPI Online Career Center is your source for performance improvement employment. Search listings and manage your resume and job applications online.

Magazines, Newsletters, and Journals
Performance Improvement journal is available to subscribers in print and online through John Wiley & Sons, Inc. Order your subscription today.

Performance Improvement Quarterly is a peer-reviewed journal created to stimulate professional discussion in the field and to advance the discipline of HPT through literature reviews, experimental studies with a scholarly base, and case studies. Discounted to ISPI members.


Conferences, Seminars, and Workshops
THE Performance Improvement Conference, our Annual Conference, April 19-22, 2010, in San Francisco, CA. Early registration rates at an all time low, ISPI member rate of $875, non-member rate of $1,125 until February 12, 2009.

Learn the Principles & Practices of Performance Improvement Institute, April 17-19, 2010, in San Francisco, CA. Speak performance improvement language everyone else is. Register Today!

Get Certified with ISPI at the CPT Certification Workshop, April 18-19, 2010, in San Francisco, CA. Take the first step in separating yourself from the competition. Register Today!

Earn your graduate Certificate with Ithaca’s Professional Certificate Program. Certificate programs include: Performance Evaluation and Measurement, Performance Improvement Management, and Leading Networked Organizations and Virtual Teams. Sign up today!

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ISPI Membership: Join or Renew Today!

Are you working to improve
workplace performance? Then ISPI membership is your key to professional development through education, certification, networking, and professional affinity programs.

If you are already a member, we thank you for your support. If you have been considering membership or are about to renew, there is no better time to join ISPI. To apply for membership or renew, simply click here.

Newsletter Submission Guidelines

ISPI is looking for
Human Performance Technology (HPT) articles (approximately 500–700 words and not previously published) for PerformanceXpress that bridge the gap from research to practice (please, no product or service promotion is permitted). Below are a few examples of the article formats that can be used:

  • Short “I wish I had thought of that” articles
  • Practical application articles
  • The application of HPT
  • Success stories

In addition to the article, please include a short bio (2–3 lines) and a contact email address. All submissions should be sent to johnc@ispi.org. Each article will be reviewed by one of ISPI’s on-staff HPT experts, and the author will be contacted if it is accepted for publication. If you have any further questions, please contact johnc@ispi.org.

About PerformanceXpress

Feel free to forward
ISPI’s PerformanceXpress newsletter to your colleagues or anyone you think may benefit from the information. If you are reading someone else’s PerformanceXpress, send your complete contact information to johnc@ispi.org, and you will be added to the PerformanceXpress email list.

PerformanceXpress is an ISPI member benefit designed to build community, stimulate discussion, and keep you informed of the Society’s activities and events. This newsletter is published monthly and will be emailed to you at the beginning of each month.

If you have any questions or comments, please contact John Chen at johnc@ispi.org.

Stay informed: add ispi.org to your Address Book and/or Safe Senders list to ensure you don’t miss important announcements and valuable offers from ISPI!

1400 Spring Street, Suite 400
Silver Spring, MD 20910 USA
Phone: 301.587.8570
Fax: 301.587.8573


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