Post #4: Self-inventory & Looking Forward in HPT

The hand of a white person points at a cluster of floating concepts: data, diagrams, connections, buttons, all representing the field of Human Performance Technology.

Written by Brian Milburn

August 19, 2022

Self-Inventory and Looking Forward

At the end of the EDCI-528 course, I’d define Human Performance Technology as a learning design field focused on close collaboration with partners to design and deliver easy-to-follow organizational and technical roadmaps to effective performance. To do those, I’d be working from my credibility, relationships with clients, and my ability to influence them (as opposed to exerting resource control, an ability that I don’t have). This definition differs from my perception during Week 1 which focused more on the strictly technical side of HPT (identifying gaps and resolving them). My new definition reflects my thoughts and work through this course, along with really understanding the competencies needed to succeed in a consultant role.

What did I gain from this course? I was able to gain a deeper understanding of HPT, and how much it relies upon my own competencies and capabilities. I was also able to successfully network working from what I learned through this course toward acquiring a practicum for an organization that focuses on human performance. This organization is a small business that offers organizational and leadership development services. I will be supporting them in defining their high-level approach to what they do, which is quite exciting. I think my biggest takeaway from EDCI-528 is how much emphasis there is on the concept of relationship-building and influencing, in obtaining the best performance possible — because I’m obviously not in a position of control over people or resources. It’s a subtle yet standout piece of insight for me as a growing contractor and consultant.

I’ve identified five areas of strength in terms of competencies and characteristics of an HPT practitioner, working from Stolovitzh & Keeps (2004):

  • I am capable of involving others appropriately and drawing from team diversity in expertise. Through my prior work, I have gained experience with drawing together the right people around a common strategy and building a bond of trust and credibility to effectively bring direct solutions to performance gaps. 
  • I am diplomatic and credible. I have past experience with convincing/influencing others to join a common strategy, working from my own credibility. 
  • I am principled yet flexible. I am known among my colleagues and peers for being tenacious when it comes to reasonable end goals and being able to successfully work around constraints and distractions to reach them. 
  • I am cause-conscious, not solution-oriented. Similar to the above, I focus on gaps in performance and the workplace and look at why and how they are happening.  
  • I have done performance gap analyses before during my prior work, so that is one area I have experience in. 

I have also identified five areas for improvement:

  • I can find it challenging to sort out priorities. I may find myself not seeing the forest for the trees, which is a discipline and self-principle I am continuing to work on. 
  • I need to build experience evaluating performance improvement interventions. I’m still new to data analysis – which is an important part of evaluation – and a big barrier to overcome for me is confidence and establishing a reliable workflow. 
  • I need to build experience in creating statements of performance intervention outcomes. This part of the HPT process is still new to me, and I need to boost my self-confidence in doing so.
  • I sometimes find it challenging to maintain a system perspective. Being new to HPT, I hope to improve my ability in creating and maintaining a holistic view of problems and their potential solutions. 
  • I might find the role of being a selector-designer-developer-implementor to be challenging (Stolovitch & Keeps, p. 84). I’m not sure how much I want to focus on actual development/implementation work as opposed to doing more analytic, consultant, and project-management work. Beyond my classroom teaching experience, front-line production work is not something I’ve gained significant experience in as opposed to managerial/supervisory roles. This is something I will need to clarify in the coming months and years. 

As I take a few initial steps into the HPT field, I will initially focus on developing my abilities to be systemic and competent in specific areas (creating outcomes and planning and conducting evaluation). I have a great desire to stay more on the side of analysis and management as opposed to doing production work, so being skilled in data analysis, managing people, correctly identifying gaps, and laying out easy-to-follow, articulate roadmaps are key to me.

And that’s it from me. I appreciate your time in reading my blog!



Stolovitch, H. D., & Keeps, E. J. (2004). Training ain’t performance. American Society for Training and Development.



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