The Performance Elements

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Inputs:  What has to in place before a task can be accomplished.  When considering possible training needs, we look at what the individual performer must have to do a task, but inputs also include raw materials, machines, and the like, which are loosely grouped under the heading, "Tools."

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Process:  How a performer uses inputs to translate raw materials into a finished product.  In the TQM (CQI, call it what you will) movement, we heard much about changing the "processes."  In large part, changing the processes actually involves changing stuff that happens before and after the process actually happens.

In other words, that involves changing procedures (a "tool" in my terminology), standards, feedback mechanisms, or the balance of consequences.  These are the elements that define what happens to kick off, carry through, complete, or evaluate a process.  A process, in and of itself, is not a thing; rather, it is an event or series of events carried out according to a plan and in compliance with standards.

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Feedback:  The mechanism(s) by which a performer or system can know whether it is performing properly and adjust itself, without outside intervention (though the feedback may include information garnered from outside the system).

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Outputs:  The finished product.  Its quality is determined by how well it complies with the standards.  How well a performer or system creates outputs is often affected by the consequences of performance.

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Click the flow chart button to return to the all-purpose flow chart; click the checklist button to see how another approach to organizing these concepts.

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CopyrightCopyright 1998, 2001 Frank W. Bell, Jr.

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