August 6, 2020 | Mark Paradies

How to Improve Human Performance [Human Performance Improvement]

Human Performance

How to Improve Human Performance with a
Human Performance Improvement Program

The picture above is from 1927. It represents what was acceptable human performance in the past. But this may not be acceptable human performance today. For example, your management may want fewer human errors. If human performance at your facility lags behind what your management thinks is acceptable, you may need to improve human performance. But how do you improve human performance? With a human performance improvement program!

I developed my first human performance improvement program back in 1985. It’s an interesting story of how I came to do that, but that story is for another time. The point of this post is to discuss how YOU can develop your company’s human performance improvement program.

What Do YOU Need To Know About Human Performance Improvement?

Before you start developing a human performance improvement program, you should probably know something about human error. There is a whole field of study about this called human factors or ergonomics.

When I started designing my first human performance improvement program, I had just finished my Master’s Degree with an emphasis on Human Factors. Also. I had just left the Nuclear Navy with extensive experience in high-reliability operations. Therefore, I had a pretty good background to develop a program.

You probably don’t have time to get a Human Factors Master’s Degree or spend seven years in the Nuclear Navy to get a background to develop a human performance improvement program. What should you do? I would recommend:

  1. Get as much information as you can about human factors.
  2. Review other human error reduction/human performance improvement programs.
  3. Review the large variety of human error reduction techniques being taught to understand how they work and their human factors basis.
  4. Get feedback or test how the various human performance improvement tools work.

That’s a pretty good list.

Read the Book

Getting all this information is a lot of work. How do I know? Because I’ve done it. I did this to get the information that I used to write our book, Stopping Human Error.

Stopping Human Error Book

But there is another way to get the information…

Attend the Course

Great news. We developed a 2-day course that has lots of the information suggest above.

alex teaching stopping human error

The course is designed to help you develop a custom human performance improvement program that best fits the needs of your company.

What are some of the factors that go into building your custom human performance improvement program? Here’s a slide (used by permission) from the course…

Human Performance Improvement Plan

The improvement program checklist (mentioned above) comes from Book 2, TapRooT® Root Cause Analysis Implementation – Changing the Way Your Company Solves Problems.

By the way, you get Book 10, Stopping Human Error, when you attend the Stopping Human Error Course.

What’s in the Stopping Human Error Course?

Here is the course outline:

Stopping Human Error Course Outline

Day 1 (8:00am to 5:00pm)

  • Foundations of Improving Human Performance
  • Resilience and Safeguards
  • Using TapRooT® Root Cause Analysis for Reactive Problem Analysis
  • Using TapRooT® Human Performance Best Practices Proactively
    • Human Engineering
    • Procedures
    • Training
    • Communications
    • Management System
    • Work Direction
    • Quality Control
  • Stopping Normalization of Deviation
  • Pre-Job Hazard Analysis
  • Pre-Job Briefs
  • Personal Safety Assessment

Day 2 (8:00am to 5:00pm)

  • Applying Critical Human Action Profile Proactively
  • Human Performance Improvement Technology
    • Procedure Use/Adherence
    • Place Keeping
    • Independent Verification
    • Three-Way Communication
    • Pre-Job Brief
    • Personal Safety Assessment
    • Observation and Coaching
    • Post-Job Brief
    • Concurrent Verification
    • Questioning Attitude
    • Stop-Think-Act-Review
    • Time Out
    • Attention to Detail
    • Management of Change
    • Error Traps and Precursors
    • Validate Assumptions
    • Do Not Disturb Sign
    • Conservative Decision Making
  • Admiral Rickover and “Facing the Facts”
  • Which Tools Will Work Best for You?
  • Sample Plan/Suggested Plan
  • Customizing Your Plan
  • Present Your Plan, Benchmarking, and Feedback

With the exercises built-in to try the techniques, this is an active, quick-moving 2-day course.

You will leave this course with a clear understanding of methods to improve human performance and a custom plan to apply those methods at your company to achieve great gains in safety, quality, or operational and maintenance performance (all of which depend on human performance).

Three Easy Steps to Human Performance Improvement

So, here are the three easy steps to building your company’s custom human performance improvement program:

  1. Register for the Stopping Human Error Course.
  2. Attend the Stopping Human Error Course.
  3. As part of the course, develop your company’s human performance improvement program.

That makes building a human performance improvement plan easy.

EASY Human Performance Improvement

When/Where is the Next Stopping Human Error Course?

When is the next Stopping Human Error Course?

September 15-16.

Where is the next Stopping Human Error Course?

Knoxville, Tennessee, at the Embassy Suites Knoxville West Hotel.

How Can you register?


Don’t wait. Register NOW! Otherwise, you will have to wait for the next public Stopping Human Error Training in June of 2021.

Mark Paradies and Alex Paradies Discuss Human Performance Improvement

Here is a video with Alex Paradies and Mark Paradies (the Stopping Human Error Course instructors) discussing the book and the course…

Courses & Training, Human Performance
Show Comments

2 Replies to “How to Improve Human Performance [Human Performance Improvement]”

  • Cynthia Lightner says:

    l bought the book at the Summit this past May and I use it to complement the major RCA investigation process and tools. So I would love to benefit learning from the two day course and I cannot travel at this time. So, is there an online option available to “attend” the Sept course?


    • Mark Paradies says:

      Not yet.

      We are testing out some virtual training options but we have to do the tests and prove the effectiveness before we start trying the virtual route.

      Probably early next year we will complete our testing and decide what we will be doing in the future.


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