The Basics of Human Performance Improvement

An ounce of analysis is worth a pound of objectives.

—Joe Harless1

In the 1970s, Joe Harless coined the term front-end analysis, now known as needs assessment. Front-end analysis refers to the activities done before addressing a solution to a human performance problem. Analysis of needs comes before everything else, including the establishment of objectives. That idea sums up the essence of human performance improvement (also known as performance improvement, human performance technology, or performance engineering) generally and performance consulting specifically.

This chapter provides an overview of the history and core ideas of ­performance improvement. You will be introduced to the most ...

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