Wiki: Performance Systems / Various Interventions

Note: This was a group project for IDD 630. Group members were Britta Lafont and Sunnie McWhorter. If videos do not load, please refresh the page.

Job Analysis/Work Design Interventions

Introduction and Scope


Job Analysis

Job analysis may be an independent intervention or it may be incorporated into the process of performance analysis as a whole. It is the systematic review of the necessary processes, skills, and knowledge required to effectively do a job. Job analysis documentation is often legally required for Human Resource purposes. Job Description and Job Specification are two examples of Job Analysis interventions (Van Tiem et al., 2012, p. 291). Instructional Designers should remember that the job analysis performs a similar function in the HPI model to the analysis step of instructional design models, such as ADDIE and the Dick and Carey model.

Job Description

Job Descriptions are job-focused; they are important for delineating tasks and defining the functions of a job. Though no standard format exists, a complete, written job description should include: major tasks performed (and the percentage of time devoted to each task); standards for performance; typical work conditions; the direct report chain; and the technology, machines, equipment, tools, etc (non-human resources) required to perform the job. Job descriptions are necessary for most of the aspects of work design (Van Tiem et al., 2012, pp. 292-294).

Job Specification

Job Specifications are performer-focused; they “list the minimum qualifications that a person needs to perform the job successfully: [such as] …knowledge, skills, abilities, attitudes, and experience,” but also include aptitude, necessary training, capacity limits, environment, and necessary non-human resources (tools and equipment). Performance improvement practitioners determine the difference between qualifications that are preferred, those that are absolutely necessary, and those that are legally required. (Van Tiem et al., 2012, p. 295).

Work Design

Work design is the strategic organization of jobs within and across departments with the goal of maximizing efficiency and productivity. These goals are achieved only when each departmental subsection is aware of the interdependence of their work. Examples of Work Design interventions include job design, enlargement, rotation, enrichment, reengineering, realignment, and restructuring. Instructional Designers should remember that work design is “tied to the strategy and goals of the organization” (Van Tiem et al., 2012, p. 295). Designers must be well-verse in the organization’s strategic plan so the selected work design interventions align with the stated vision, mission, values, and goals (p. 133).

Job Design

Job Design is a mechanism of change that puts “isolated tasks together to form complete job,” focused on these processes:

  • work duties
  • activities
  • responsibilities
  • desired outcomes

The performance practitioner must determine when, where and how to change the job, taking into consideration workflow, processes, necessary training, and support (Van Tiem et al., 2012, p. 295). For more information on job design, visit this link:

Job Enlargement & Job Rotation & Job Enrichment

Job Enlargement and Job Enrichment are similar, in that both add tasks to an existing job. Job Enrichment adds related tasks (horizontal enrichment) and responsibilities (vertical enrichment). Job enlargement increases the job scope by adding unrelated tasks, and is done to increase job satisfaction and decrease employee error, often leading to increases in customer satisfaction. An example of Job Enlargement is Job Rotation which has employees taking on completely different jobs on a regular basis, offering flexible workflow, such as cross training in another department or area (Van Tiem et al., 2012, pp. 296-297).

This is a very informative article on Job Enlargement and Job Enrichment:

This article discusses the use of Job Rotation to improve aspects of Human Factors (see below) such as ergonomics and safety:

Reengineering, Realignment, Restructuring

Reengineering, Realignment, and Restructuring are management processes designed to increase efficiency especially by making changes in organizational processes
(Van Tiem et al., 2012, p. 297-298).

Reengineering is the “radical redesign of processes for the purpose of extensive rather than gradual performance improvement.” Here is the original article in Harvard Business Review (1990) written by Michael Hammer, who coined the term “Reengineering”

Realignment refers to organizational change designed to focus on being true to its strategic plan (mission, vision, values, goals); also known as “alignment,” read more about this practice here:

Restructuring results in significant change to the organizational chart (units, divisions or departments). This article shows different strategies for restructuring an organization:

Human Factors

Human factors relate to the way in which the people of an organization interact with their co-workers, the equipment, and the environment. Four areas relating to human factors that should be considered during performance analysis are ergonomics, safety engineering, security management, and the green workplace (Van Tiem et al., 2012, p. 298).

Instructional Designers should remember that the human side of performance (physical, mental, and social) is critical to the overall success of the organization. Other interventions that are integrated into Humans Factors include (from work design) job design, job enlargement, job rotation, (from Quality Improvement) continuous improvement and preventive maintenance.


Ergonomics is the study and development of the environment and tools necessary to complete the work. The two main areas of ergonomic study focus on the physical and mental aspects of work. Physical ergonomics is the study of the workstation and the physical movement necessary to complete the work. Mental ergonomics explores the environment’s effect on the worker’s ability to process information. Three key concepts involved in ergonomics include:

  • fitting the job and workplace to the worker
  • designing the workplace to accommodate a variety of sizes of workers
  • designing the workplace to accommodate workers at the extreme ranges of body-size

Interventions involving ergonomics may include decisions such as tool selection, proper lighting, or adjusting the height of chairs (Van Tiem et al., 2012, p. 298-299). The following slideshow highlights some of the many benefits to an ergonomic workplace:

Safety Engineering

Safety engineering is the term used to describe all of the principles put in place to ensure a safe and healthy work environment. The safety practices will vary depending on the type of work that is being done in the workplace. This may include anything from training on hazardous waste and blood-borne pathogens to the wearing of ear protection and hard hats. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) sets the standards to which most businesses must adhere (Van Tiem et al., 2012, p. 299). This article elaborates on the value of safety training for employees:

Security Management

Security management is quite broad in scope. It involves the protection of all personnel and company property as well as the measures taken to ensure cyber security (Van Tiem et al., 2012, p. 299).

Green Workplace

An organizational culture than favors green practices, or a green workplace, is showing “solid relationships with people, long-term profitability, and a commitment to improving the planet” (VanTiem, et al., 2012, p. 300). This kind of environmental awareness is displayed in a recent Newsweek article, which rated companies according to their sensitivity toward—and support of—environmentally sound practices. Analysts compared companies to industry peers based on the following performance indicators (in terms of being environmentally responsible):

  • Energy Productivity
  • Total Greenhouse gas (GHG) Emissions
  • Water Productivity
  • Waste Productivity
  • Green Revenue Percent (based on a taxonomy derived from U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics Green Goods & Services)
  • Having a system that ties monetary rewards for executives to achievement of environmental performance targets.
  • Employing a high level committee devoted to environmental matters, which is audited by, and accountable to, a third party.
  • Exhibiting a minimum of monetary environmental fines, penalties, and settlements
  • Not benefitting, majorly, from harmful products or services (such as coal operations, tobacco and weapons manufacturing).
From: U.S. Top 10. (2018, January 17). Retrieved March 17, 2018, from Newsweek.

This article explains how Newsweek determined the Green Rankings:

Quality Improvement

Quality improvement is the systematic approach to analyzing the quality of each aspect of performance. The goal of quality improvement is to ensure that a quality product is being produced while using the minimal resources. Quality and efficiency are the driving factors for quality improvement (Van Tiem et al., 2012, p. 301). Instructional Designers should remember that Quality Improvement Interventions in business serve a similar purpose to the continuous evaluation/improvement focus at work in traditional instructional design environments like education.

In fact, even though “[Total Quality Management] (see below) was designed for use in the manufacturing sector which had repetitive processes, clearly defined customers and profit as the bottom line means of survival,” it served as an inspiration for educational initiatives like the Quality Matters , a program in place here at UAB, as well as other quality assurance and accountability programs in education (White, 1994, p, 115).

Total Quality Management (TQM)

Total quality management is a business philosophy that focuses on quality, both in production and customer service. This is achieved through establishing relationships with both internal and external stakeholders to facilitate usable feedback. Organization and monitoring of controls to track progress are key to the success of this business practice (Van Tiem et al., 2012, p. 301). This article does a great job of explaining the eight principles involved in TQM:

Continuous Improvement

Continuous improvement is the long-term practice of systematically comparing productivity, service, and customer satisfaction to the predetermined standards or goals. All stakeholders in an organization are involved in continuous improvement as this discipline is critical to setting goals, determining strategies, and achieving success (Van Tiem et al., 2012, p. 305).

Preventive Maintenance (PM)

Preventive maintenance is a manufacturing term, but the concept is easily applied across many corporate operating systems. PM uses a proactive approach to troubleshooting with the goal of preventing problems from occurring. “Preventive maintenance is everybody’s business; it is performer-centered and is integrated within all job functions in all industries” (Van Tiem et al., 2012, p. 306).

Six Sigma

Six sigma is a business philosophy that streamlines predictability in both the production of goods and the service required to distribute those goods.This page is a great breakdown of the many tools used in six sigma:

Six Sigma is a systematic process of quality improvement that works parallel to the Performance Improvement Model (Van Tiem et al., 2012, pp. 306-307). The application methods are included in the following chart:

Lean Organizations

Lean organizations do more with less. These organizations are value driven and strive to operate with zero waste. Any source of waste that can be identified is addressed and minimized or eliminated. Lean principles can be applied to all organizational systems to maximize efficiency and are most successful when implemented from upper management down to all employees (Van Tiem et al., 2012, pp. 307-308).
This article shows the Lean principles being applied across several very different industries;

The video below is an interview with the former Senior Vice President of Worldwide Operations for Amazon, who discusses the value of lean principles.

Combination–Lean Six Sigma

It may be that neither the principles of Lean nor Six Sigma alone suit an organization. If this is the case, the United States Air Force demonstrates an additional option—combining the two philosophies. This article discusses how they created their own unique, quality program:


Tips and Tricks

Each intervention has its own considerations for workplace implementation. Job Analysis Interventions must fit within the workplace context, be targeted to the nature of the tasks, and give consideration to available resources. In Work Design Interventions, a good understanding of work requirements at each level of the organization and a knowledge that different sectors of the business influence one another are key. Human Factors Interventions are best implemented by the practitioner with strong networking skills allowing him/her to have better access to relevant information. Quality Improvement Interventions focus on problem prevention rather than problem solving; practitioners need to look for what is missing as well as what is there, so they can forecast potential pitfalls and address and avoid difficulties.

Top Takeaways

Performance Improvement Practitioners work to improve the organization (ROI, increased efficiency, higher profit margin, better branding), but are also equally committed to improving the workplace for the good of the worker (giving consideration to their safety, job satisfaction, professional growth, etc.).

Work Design interventions are implemented with the goal of increasing efficiency which benefits both the employer and the employee.

In Work Design interventions, it becomes clear that an organization is like a living entity: having a unified purpose, made up of interdependent units, with internal and external stakeholders to satisfy. The Performance Improvement Practitioner must be flexible enough to be aid in addressing larger issues like the green footprint of a company and smaller problems like the need for a job description for hiring purposes.


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Gordon, B. (n.d.) Why OSHA training is important. Retrieved from:

Hammer, M. (1990). Reengineering at work: Don’t automate, obliterate. Harvard Business Review, July-August, 104-112. Retrieved from:

Here is everything you need to know about Green Rankings 2017: Methodology. (2017, December 07).  Newsweek. Retrieved March 17, 2018, from

Kulpa, J. (2015, February 23). To motivate employees, find a balance between job enrichment and job
enlargement. Retrieved from:

Lean six sigma in the US Air Force–towards a lean mean Air Force. (2017, March 17). Retrieved from:

Middlesworth, M. A Step by step guide to job rotation. Retrieved from:

Myler, L. (2012, October 16). Strategy 101: It’s all about alignment. Forbes. Retrieved from:

Onetto, M. (2014, February). When Toyota met e-commerce: lean at Amazon. McKinsey Quarterly. Retrieved from:

5 proven benefits of workplace ergonomics. (2013, January 29).  Ergonomics Plus . Retrieved from:

Thakur, S. (2011, July 31). Business restructuring: a look at some strategies. Retrieved from:

U.S. Top 10. (2018, January 17). Newsweek. Retrieved March 17, 2018, from

Van Tiem, D.M., Moseley, J.L., & Desinger, J.C. (2012). Fundamentals of performance improvement:
Optimizing results through people, process, and organizations. San Francisco: Pfeiffer.

Westcott, R. (2013). What is total quality management. In The certified manager of quality/organizational excellence handbook. Retrieved from:

White, S. (1994). Total quality management in the public sector–issues for implementation. Health information management: Journal of the Health Information Management Association of Australia, 24(3), 115-117.













What’s an Educational Wiki?

Education wikis are used in both traditional and online classes from elementary school through graduate school and into the workplace. Wikis are used for group or collaborative authoring, building courseware, developing and documenting work on papers or research projects for peer review, tracking and streamlining group projects, reviewing classes and teachers, and building critical skills for similar application in the workplace (Robinson, M., 2006, p. 108; Duffy, Peter and Bruns, Axel, 2006).

The individual and collaborative work developed using Wikis is transforming how people learn in many ways. For example, wikis are contributing to the shift from instructor-centered teaching to student-centered learning (Bold, 2006, p. 12). In this way, the use of the technological platform is a reflection of the theories of Constructivism (knowledge is developed internally, by learners, as they encounter and solve real world problems) and Social Constructivism where collaboration is integral for the group construction of knowledge (Reiser & Dempsey, 2018, pp. 72-73). Brown explains “knowledge has two dimensions, the explicit and tacit. The explicit dimension deals with concepts…[whereas] tacit knowledge is best displayed in terms of performance and skills” (Brown, J. S., 2010, p. 15). Both explicit and tacit knowledge increase when learners collaborate in a constructivist “community of practice,” dealing with real problems. (Brown, J. S., 2010, p. 15). The real world applications serve to connect knowledge to situations where the purpose is clear—this is both Situated Cognition and Anchored Instruction (Reiser & Dempsey, 2018, p. 70).

Educational use of online sharing platforms is actually changing both learning and technology. In the past, technology was used to facilitate learning. Today, new technologies, like Wikis, continue to facilitate learning activities, but now the learning activities are also changing the face of technology (Reiser & Dempsey, 2018, p. 69). This dynamic relationship between technology and learning points to Pea’s concept of distributed knowledge. He explains that learners develop intelligence when “interacting with [cognitive tools] distributed across minds, persons, and the symbolic and physical environments, both natural and artificial” (1993, p. 47-48). Pea defines cognitive tools as any practice or medium (including the use of computer, online, and social technologies) “that helps transcend the limitations of the mind, such as memory, in activities of thinking, learning, and problem solving” (Gebre, E., Saroyan, A., & Bracewell, R., 2014, p. 9). Cognitive tools like wikis create the opportunity to transcend traditional educational limitations by “allowing learners to externalize their internal representations” and to participate in the construction of both technology and learning (Gebre, E., Saroyan, A., & Bracewell, R., 2014, p.10).

Classmates, have you realized you are participating in the growth and change of both knowledge and technology? I hadn’t really considered this until now. What do you think about the idea of distributed intelligence—that anything in your environment can be a cognitive tool to grow intelligence?



Bold, M. (2006) Use of Wikis in Graduate Course Work Journal of Interactive Learning Research, 17(1), 5-14. Retrieved from: (Links to an external site.)Links to an external site.

Brown, J. S. (2010). Growing Up Digital: How the Web Changes Work, Education, and the Ways People Learn. [PDF file] Change: The Magazine of Higher Learning, 32(2), 11-20. Retrieved from: (Links to an external site.)Links to an external site.

Duffy, P. & Bruns, A. (2006). The Use of Blogs, Wikis and RSS in Education: A Conversation of Possibilities. [PDF file] In Proceedings Online Learning and Teaching Conference 2006 (pp. 31-38). Brisbane. Retrieved from: (Links to an external site.)Links to an external site.

Gebre, E., Saroyan, A., and Bracewell, R. (2014). Students’ engagement in technology rich classrooms and its relationship to professors’ conceptions of effective teaching. British Journal of Educational Technology, 45, 83–96. doi:10.1111/bjet.12001 Retrieved from: (Links to an external site.)Links to an external site.

Pea, R. D. (1993). Practices of distributed intelligence and designs for education. [PDF file] In G. Salomon (Ed.), Distributed Cognitions: Psychological and Educational Considerations (pp. 47–87). New York: Cambridge University Press. Retrieved from: (Links to an external site.)Links to an external site.

Reiser, R. A., & Dempsey, J. V. (2018). Trends and issues in instructional design and technology. Boston: Pearson Education.

Robinson, M. (2006) Wikis in Education: Social Construction as Learning. Community College Enterprise, 12(2), 107-109. Retrieved from: (Links to an external site.)