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Performance Improvement: HPI/Gap Analysis

1. On an airplane, you find yourself sitting next to an executive whose goodwill is important to you either as a client or as a senior leader of your company. The executive asks, "You said that you are performance improvement consultant. What exactly does one do?" You have less than 3 minutes (3 short paragraphs) to explain the HPT/HPI processes you use to get results and tie everything back to that executive's business.

2. Because of your great efficiency and expertise in performance improvement, you have been reassigned to a project that is behind schedule due to the loss of several key staff members. Before taking any action, what information are you going to ferret out about the project and how will you use it to get the project back on track?

3. Due to a down-turn in the economy, your company has been experiencing financial losses in revenue. You have been asked to put together a team that will find 3-5 low-cost or no-cost ways to resource costs by 25% for your company's main product line. You are being given less 6 weeks to identify and test these cost-cutting measures. If they work in a pilot, you and your team guide the organization through the changes, if not your team will be "redeployed". With no margin for error, you feel that it is imperative that evaluation be "right" from the beginning. Identify the evaluations and key decisions that need to be made in each of the next six weeks. (Reminder: this isn't about designing the solutions but the plan to get to solutions.)

4. What is the relationship between a cause analysis and a requirements definition (often a document)? How does one impact the other? How does information flow between the two? Also explain what a "cause analysis" is including what information is needed before starting the cause analysis, what information would be gathered during the analysis and what decisions would be made based on that analysis. Then, explain what requirements are and how they will be used.

5. Explain what a "gap analysis" is including how gaps are defined and measured. Be sure to address how gap analysis relates to needs, requirements, design, project scoping, evaluation and evaluation planning.

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1. On an airplane, you find yourself sitting next to an executive whose goodwill is important to you either as a client or as a senior leader of your company. The executive asks, "You said that you are performance improvement consultant. What exactly does one do?" You have less than 3 minutes (3 short paragraphs) to explain the HPT/HPI processes you use to get results and tie everything back to that executive's business.

A performance improvement consultant systematically evaluates and diagnosis' performance within companies to determine how to bring the most out of the workforce, based upon their unique needs and job demands to maximize results for stakeholders. A performance improvement consultant focuses on results, determining requirements to enable the company to reach goals, shaping behavior to fit requirements, and reassessing actions to confirm that desired results are being obtained.

In addition, a performance improvement consultant can evaluate inventory reduction processes, flow of product and capital, as well as diagnose efficiency of overall supply chain. In using scientific methods, the consultant will predict, measure, and manage risk associated with change to deliver maximum results. The focus is on identifying and changing only those processes, which will make the biggest differences, to ensure faster results at a reasonable cost.

Ultimately, a performance improvement consultant helps companies achieve sustainable improvements. This is done by offering managers and employees innovative, proven techniques to streamline actions and deliver consistent results without the angst and conflict that often mire a business. The proof is in the results: simplified systems, higher productivity, and increased sales. Each of these components is delivered with an emphasis on measurement to achieve organizational goals.

2. Because of your great efficiency and expertise in performance improvement, you have been reassigned to a project that is behind schedule due to the loss of several key staff members. Before taking any action, what information are you going to ferret out about the project and how will you use it to get the project back on track?

Initially, I would determine the reason behind the loss of the key staff members. I would assess the situation to determine if the project was the cause for the staff departure by discussing the issue with the people left on the project, as well as reaching out to those who remain. Ultimately, it would be important to leverage the existing human capital to get the desired results. In order to do this it would be necessary to systematically review the project, evaluating the project charter and its' components to determine the best solution. The review must be systematic, and the intervention results oriented.

To begin the review process, I would ...

Solution Summary

This solution addresses five HPI/HPT questions: an airplane scenario in which you must explain what a performance improvement consultant does, a scenario in which you must take over a project lacking key members, planning a no-low cost way to cut costs, explaining the relationship between cause analysis and a requirements definition, and an explanation of a gap analysis. It is detailed and thorough.

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