Front-End Analysis

Roots

In the mid 60's many of us toiled to apply and further build on the HPI pioneers. We had success at causing learning, but less success intially at changing actual job performance. We saw the necessity for deriving training content out of a rigorous analysis of performance. The now well-known Performance-Based approach to training was born. Basing training content on a careful study of job performance was not a new idea, yet it was not widespread among the training developers. (And unfortunately, still is not universal today.)

Emergence of Front-End Analysis

In spite of performance-based content, we continued to experience problems getting trainees to use the skills/knowledge on the job. Follow up evaluations revealed a number of reasons:

  • Too long interval until opportunity to practice skills
  • Inadequate tools/equipment in the job situation
  • Lack of feedback
  • Insufficient time given
  • Poor work design
  • Effort exceeded the reward
  • and many more.

Eventually practitioners began to take a "front-end" look at problems and needs of the performers before training development projects were undertaken. That is, if there are non-training barriers, why not anticipate the difficulties before time and money were spent on training?

"Front-End Analysis" as a formal term and manifest as a performance problem-solving procedure first appeared in J.H. Harless' An Ounce of Analysis (Is Worth a Pound of Objectives) in 1970. Today it remains one of the most effective methods for ensuring your time spent training is not wasted. Learn to become proficient at doing a front-end analysis as one of the first steps in Human Performance Improvement.

Want help in acquiring these skills? See the workshops section.


 

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