Task analysis process, just as one can anticipate from its name, assesses the extent of completion of a task from a person, who is both an employee and a trainee at a time. Duration of the task, its complexity, allocation, frequency, the external conditions which shape up the situations in which the task is to be done and many more factors are also the included in task analysis. A critical and thorough task analysis is run by the professionals, who more often belong to the human factors and ergonomics fields rather than any other.
The importance of such analysis is of immeasurable extent since it affects the costs involved, efficiency, reliability, safety and effectiveness adversely. Generally task analysis finds its application in the last step of the process of training needs assessment, where one has to identify the difference performances for a particular task done by an employee before and after training. Just like its “parent process”, this one is also made to work after passing through a series of steps.
Steps to Task Analysis Process
- Defining the task
Identifying the task which is going to be under the analysis is the first of the task analysis process. For the purpose, one needs to define the job type and describe each and every bit of it, like expected procedure, desired success level, and some other things. Well! It is also that the analyst should be aware of some more evaluation techniques that could help him while the process progresses.
- Data Collection
One of the longest and most important steps in the task analysis process is data collection which requires the analyst to make use of different methods and techniques to gather information about the task under consideration. Since further advancement into the next steps of the process is only possible when one takes this knowledge side by side while moving through each step. There are many methods for the purpose of gathering information, and some of them are as described below:
- Job Description
Just as the name suggests, the job description is actually a narrative statement that covers most of the major details about the job. For an applicant, the description of job gives him the idea of his expected duties and tasks. Furthermore, the conditions under which the job will be performed are also listed in the same description.
For an analyst, an up to date copy of job description must be available, since that will greatly assist him in getting an idea of what it is all about. Moreover, if the current copy of the application does not hold valid and out of date, them it is important to prepare a new one by using different job analysis techniques.
- KSA Analysis
This analysis deals with an in-depth explanation of the minimum requirements of the job, whether it is knowledge, skill, abilities or attitude. This step covers a highly detailed list of the requirements that must be in order to carry out particular duties and tasks by an employee.
- Performance Standards
Performance standards let one get an idea of how well the employee is doing his job and fulfilling his duties. For the purpose, one can identify the performance discrepancies by taking a look at the objectives of the job, the importance that it holds for the cause of company and the standards, on the basis of which it is going to be judged.
Observing one while he is performing his job seems like one of the easiest ways but in actually, this method requires much more expertise in the field than other ones. Because it is possible that if the person, who is being observed, is kind of a person whose behavior changes if he knows that someone is observing him.
- Literature Reviews
One can also get such information by reviewing the professional journals that relate to the nature of the job, or even the best practices by doing a little research.
Making use of questionnaires for the purpose is one of the excellent ways, especially if you want to use an averaged response from all the respondents. You can ask them a few questions and anticipate the importance of task while keeping an eye on its objective and the time required for fulfilling it.
Interviews let you have a face to face interaction with the ones who are being analyzed as a part of task analysis. These are the best way to understand the native nature and personality of subjects as well as to gather information like down times, repairs, wastes, quality controls, late deliveries and the effects that all of these cast on the business.
- Defining Objectives
This step of task analysis involves the analyst to define a task goal. This goal is what, which determines that what were the desired results of a particular task so that it can be compared with actual data in upcoming steps. The idea of the objective at this stage is just a vague one, which means that you don’t need to add each and everything that can be considered as a goal at this step.
- Disintegrating the Primary goals
By using the primary goal discovered in the previous step as the guideline for this step, the analyst needs to break down the main goal into smaller sub-level goals. Each sub-goal, here, can act as a smaller unit which can help in identification in the procedure of achieving the goal. This step continues until all of the possible operations are dug out of the all the sub-goals and there is no need to further divide it.
- Finalizing the Analysis
The last step of the task analysis expects the analysts to compare all the gathered data to all that which lies in the practical life. In this step, he measures the mismatch level of both the domains and suggests some of the steps that can reduce this mismatch. And all this is done by keeping the divided sub-goals from the previous step in consideration.