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Training programs are generally more cost-effective when they target specific performance outcomes rather than teaching broadly applicable skills and knowledge that the learner then must figure out how to apply on the job.

A classic example is teaching learners how to produce invoices, customer feedback forms, and account information changes rather than focusing on the features and functions of software that can be used to produce those and many other deliverables. Another example is teaching participants how to negotiate contracts, resolve customer problems, or conduct successful feedback sessions with employees rather than generally applicable communication skills, which the learner must then figure out on their own how to apply.   Performance-based training focuses on specific outcomes and then sets expectations, provides feedback, introduces tools, rewards skill development, teaches new skills and knowledge, etc. -- all aimed at supporting behavior that produces the desired outcome. 

The Six Boxes Approach offers a great foundation for developing performance-based training.  We use analysis of the Performance Chain to target specific work outputs for improvement rather than generic behavior. By focusing on work outputs as program objectives, we not only make the training more directly relevant to those who produce those outputs on the job, but we make it easier to identify the specific behavior needed, including exemplary or best practices behavior.  This analysis drives us to define very specific skills and knowledge in a much more focused way, leading to training materials and procedures more likely to improve the particular job performance needed.

Applying the Six Boxes Approach to training analysis and design has the benefit that it often leads to leaner, less costly training modules, and defines additional non-training behavior influences (e.g., expectations and feedback, specific tools, etc.) that can be combined with training to produce better job performance.  The overall result is a greater impact on target performance at lower cost.

Training professionals can choose to focus on performance-based training analysis and design as a project in the Six Boxes Application Program.

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