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The Iago Group is a business process improvement, training and organizational effectiveness consulting firm operating out of Portsmouth, NH. We specialize in using lean, six sigma, and instructional design methodologies.  Our work results in processes being improved by making process better, faster, cheaperů and sometimes more compliant. Past projects have been with Liberty Mutual, CVS and Aon consulting to improve IT supply chain, legal billing, and professional recruiting processes.
 
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For most companies, human capital is the biggest investment, sometimes reaching 50% of expenses. Organizations like to tout people as their “most important asset.” But how well is that asset being managed? Software and machinery are subject to explicit analysis and roadmaps for maintenance and upgrades, but many companies don’t apply this same level of rigor to getting the most from their people.

The Iago Group adheres to a systematic approach to measurably improving human performance… an approach that recognizes that human resources may be less predictable than software or machines, but are nonetheless worthy of a holistic analysis of work output and a business-centric approach to applying the right investments for predictable return.

Based on the book Why Doers Do, our exclusive approach to human performance improvement is composed of four key phases:

  1. Identify Performers, Desired Performance & Key Metrics  
  2. Articulate Behaviors Critical for Desired Performance
  3. Apply the E-T Model to Conduct a Performance Gap Analysis
  4. Calculate ROI on Possible Solutions and Implement

 

1. Identify Performers, Desired Performance & Key Metrics

We first ensure we’ve properly identified the right group of people for performance analysis. By “right” we mean the people whose performance it is our job to improve, whose performance we rely for our own performance, or in whom we simply have a vested interest. It’s important to work with a group who share a homogeneous set of performance goals. To pursue performance improvement for, say, a group of scientists and salespeople in the same project will be too disjointed. We also want to agree on the desired performance of these people (written as a set of nouns). This is the output of this group, the “things” of value they produce. Finally we want measurements around the quantity, quality or timeliness for what we need these people to produce.

Typical deliverables include:

  • Descriptors of the group whose performance we are improving.
  • Mapping of desired work outputs along with key performance indicators (KPIs) for each.
  • Scorecard of current performance (where possible).

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2. Articulate Behaviors Critical for Desired Performance

The next phase is mapping back from the desired performance we identified to capture all the behaviors critical to achieving those outputs. Whereas performance is described as a set of nouns, behavior is described as verbs. What are the key activities people do in order to achieve the outputs?

Typical deliverables include:

  • Continuation of the performance map to include key contributing behaviors.
  • Analysis of percentage contribution of each behavior to performance.

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3. Apply the E-T Model to Conduct a Performance Gap Analysis

At the Iago Group, performance improvement is predicated on the Externality-Tangibility (E-T) Model of Human Performance as outlined in the book Why Doers Do. The E-T Model is a framework of nine elements and numerous sub-elements of human performance. The performance-behavior map is next assessed against the E-T Model for a gap analysis showing which elements are most affecting (or not affecting) today’s performance. Depending on the client and the scope of the assessment, this can be conducted through observation, analysis of existing performance artifacts, focus groups, surveys or some combination.

Typical deliverables include:

  • Gap analysis of human performance support.
  • Backing survey, interview or observation data.

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4. Calculate ROI on Possible Solutions and Implement

Human performance improvement is a pragmatic business approach. Once the performance gap analysis is complete, we then conduct a series return-on-investment (ROI) analyses to determine which improvements will achieve the biggest impact at the least cost. If training would cost $50K for a $100K return, but process improvements would cost $10K for a $200K return, we start with process and assess training at a later date… or perhaps minimize the training investment initially and assess increasing it later. Once priorities for implementation are set, each intervention becomes a project managed to scope, schedule and budget.

Typical deliverables include:

  • ROI analysis.
  • Prioritized list of implementations.
  • Project plans for each implementation.
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