Job Analysis at the Speed of Reality™ (JASR™)

A Little Ditty About Traditional Job Analysis in a Fortune 500™ company.

When I left the training world for government contractors and the Department of Energy (DOE) and started to work for Dell in the middle 90s, my manager had an assignment for me.  “Darin, I want you to perform some job analyses for the Enterprise Account Executives at Dell.”

“Great,” I exclaimed.  “I have been using a technique that allows me to create a validated task list in just three days.”  I may have actually pounded on my chest like Tarzan.

She replied, “Three days!  You might have three hours if you feed them on one end of the session.”  I think she actually laughed in my face.  Three hours became my design constraint for creating a validated task list.  I did some research, cut out all the extra steps in the three-day process and created a new three-hour process.  I don’t think anyone in the industry was or is currently doing this now.

Why is job analysis so important?

Job analysis is critical for role-based training to be effective and for role-based competency development.  Many training and HR professionals shudder at the thought of conducting these for their organizations.  The big reason is that job analysis has typically been performed in ways that are obtrusive to job incumbents and their managers, difficult to complete, and can take weeks, months, and in some cases, years for more complex roles.

Isn’t there a better way?

What if there was a better way?  There is.  We live in an agile world now.  Professionals conducting these analyses in traditional ways often see the job role change before they complete the development of the task lists.  Wouldn’t it be better to get a task list created as quickly as possible with a proven methodology so the downstream derivatives and products could be implemented sooner?

JASJob Analysis at the Speed of RealityR – Pronounced JAZZ-ER

That’s what Job Analysis at the Speed of Reality™ (JASR™) is all about.

With:

  • Four to six exemplary job incumbents
  • One or two supervisors or leaders
  • A qualified facilitator and recorder
  • A meeting room (real or virtual)
  • And, about three hours…

You will be able to create a validated task list.  Amazing right?

The facilitator does this by using a modified Nominal Group Technique in a Round Robin method to tease out the Job, Duty Areas, and Tasks.

One quick clarification here.  Many HR and training professionals think that “job analysis” and “task analysis” are the same activity.  Job analysis is used to create a validated task list.  Task analysis is used to break down each of the tasks on that task list to their component steps.

So what can you do with a validated task list?  Many things.

  • Curriculum development
  • Behavioral interview guides
  • Performance management tools
  • Self-evaluation tools
  • Organizational heat maps
  • Competency modeling, etc.

David Dubois, who wrote the Competency-Based Performance Improvement (HRD Press, 93), believed that all competency development should be based on “job analysis.”

Job analyses are critical.  And in this agile environment, we all exist in there is no reason it has to be a long and drawn out process.

If you’d like to know more about what “agile job analysis” is or how you can conduct a job analysis for any role in about three hours, please contact me.

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