A field of study, Human Performance Technology (HPT) is basically a systematic approach for improving human performance. It is an integrated systems approach that uses a set of methods and strategy aimed at improving competence, productivity and solving problems. HPT can be applied at different levels – individual, small group and large group. Though HPT is more of a knowledge base, its practical applications have taken form of a technology. Human Performance Technology draws interventions from different disciplines like human resources management, behavioral psychology, total quality management, instructional systems design, organizational development and others.
Basically, HPT analyses difference between desired and present levels of performance and reasons for the gap in performance. Once the causes are identified, it offers interventions that can help fill the gap between desired and present performance. This results in change management process and then evaluates result of the change due to interventions. Thus, Human Performance Technology is a combination of several fundamental processes of selection, design, implementation and analysis. It can be distributed into steps as –
- Performance Analysis
- Cause Analysis
- Intervention Selection
HPT is a performance improvement strategy. It prime characteristics include –
- It focuses on results or outcomes.
- It adds value to processes and also enables better decision making.
- It results in high quality end product and high quality team performance.
- It produces cost effective and measurable changes in performance on an individual or group.
- It utilizes systematic as well as systemic approach for problem solving and performance improvement.
- It applies to situations involving human performance, and can be reactive as well as proactive.
Whether you consider an individual or organization, each is subject to factors that limit performance. Human Performance technology is a powerful tool that allows analysis of causes of performance limitation and also provides steps for improvement.