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The Learning Systems Design and Development Competencies (Artifact Description):


Needs Assessment for Learning and Performance

Artifact (Click on the link below to download):

Work Order Process Improvement


Artifact Description:

This was the final project in Needs Assessment for Learning and Performance. I performed a needs assessment on the work order process at my employer. Work orders are used by various departments within the company to request the development of products by the Creative department. The process had long been plagued by errors.


I found the Performance Pyramid, introduced by Dr. Wedman, a helpful tool in exploring the problem. The Performance Pyramid encourages the assessor to look at the situation from a holistic viewpoint by investigating all of the possible contributing factors, such as:

  • Knowledge and Skills
  • Performance Capability
  • Motivation and Self Concept
  • Tools, Environment and Processes
  • Expectation and Feedback
  • Rewards, Recognition and Incentives (Wedman, 2009)

The Performance Pyramid was also essential in developing data gathering tools. It gave me a framework for what to ask in my surveys and interviews to find the optimals, actuals, possible causes and solutions. I used surveys to gather data from large groups of participants in the process. I used interviews targeting specific stakeholders to further investigate my findings from the surveys. I interviewed persons from each department involved in the process from the start of a work order until its end to get a picture of its full life cycle. I also examined actual work orders and analyzed the data they provided. The final analysis revealed the major contributing factors were knowledge, process, feedback and tools. Recommendations were then given to address each of these elements.


This was an individual project. I designed the assessment tools (surveys and interviews) and created the final report based on the analysis from the information gathered.


Reflection:

I found I really enjoyed the investigative nature of a needs assessment. Each interview or survey uncovered more of the picture and clues to what was truly going on and also the expectations of those involved. There were some who thought there was no problem with the work order process, and others who felt it a source of constant stress. But what I found most interesting was that many of the stakeholders had viable solutions. But lack of communication between the departments hindered the development of those solutions. This project revealed the strong need for objectivity in a needs assessment. It wasn't an easy view to maintain, since I was conducting it in my own place of employment. The tools provided by Rossett's text and the Performance Pyramid helped to keep the analysis focused. I could say that what I would have done differently would be to conduct an analysis in an environment that I wasn't familiar with. But I think the challenge of having to put aside bias and depend upon the systematic process and tools of a needs assessment to perform a full investigation, was also an important learning experience.





References:

Wedman, John (2009). Performance Pyramid: Needs Assessment Made Simple. Retrieved from http://needsassessment.missouri.edu



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