April 6, 2022 | Mark Paradies

Going Beyond the Basics of Human and Organizational Performance (HOP)

HOP - Human & Organizational Performance

Have You Tried HOP? Would You Like to Take HOP to the Next Level?

HOP (Human & Organizational Performance) is a philosophy and a group of techniques mainly developed in the nuclear industry to achieve the peak in human performance.

HOP includes facilitated investigations and tools/techniques for operators and mechanics to use in the field when they discover that they are in an error likely situation (or might be in one in the future).

HOP techniques have been used for over two decades and are spreading beyond the nuclear industry.

What is Going Beyond HOP?

There are two main ways to go beyond the methods taught in HOP:

  1. Adopting a systematic, guided process that helps solve human performance issues when facilitating HOP investigations.
  2. Adopt stronger Safeguards that go beyond HOP’s focus on the people performing the work detecting error likely situations and applying strategies to reduce the error’s likelihood.

Let’s start with the second option first.

Strategies to Stop Human Errors

HOP has a plethora of strategies to detect error likely situations and then apply tools to reduce the likelihood of an error.

These methods of detecting error likely situations include:

  • Questioning Attitude
  • Error Traps & Precursors
  • Time Out
  • Attention to Detail

HOP methods emphasize people in the field self-monitoring performance and detecting when a trap or a reason for enhanced performance is needed and then applying the appropriate tool to improve performance. These tools to improve performance include:

  • STAR
  • Time Out
  • Validate Assumptions
  • Conservative Decision Making
  • Procedure Use and Adherence

Of course, there are many more strategies and tools that could be listed here and some strategies/tools may fit in both categories (a detection strategy and a performance improvement tool).

The key to these tools and going beyond them is that these tools focus on monitoring work in real-time by folks at the “pointy-end” of the stick.

The problem with this is that people performing work have a limited attention span and often use up much of their attention performing the work and have little attention leftover to self-monitor performance.

Thus, strategies to stop human error that focus upstream – that make work less error-prone or make errors easy to detect and correct, can be much more effective. Also, strategies that don’t require self-monitoring and are taught and applied whenever work is performed, can also be more effective.

What are these techniques/strategies? Let’s call them HOP 2. They are taught in our Stopping Human Error Course. See the outline of the course HERE.

We wrote a book about the techniques that include the HOP techniques and you can find out more about the book and the Stopping Human Error Course in this video…

The goal of the course is to have you develop a Human Performance Improvement Plan that is customized for the people and processes at your facility. Here is Benna Hughes interviewing Mark Paradies about creating a strategy and plan to Stop Human Errors…

The next Stopping Human Error Course is coming up on May 2-3 in Knoxville, Tennessee (right before the 2022 Global TapRooT® Summit that includes the Human Performance Best Practices Track). To register for the course, CLICK HERE. To register for the course and the Summit and SAVE $200 off the combined course and Summit fee, CLICK HERE.

Reactive Performace Improvement

In the video above, Mark and Benna talk about the proactive ways to stop human error but you also need to fix problems when incidents happen (especially precursor incidents).

HOP training teaches a method (Learning Teams) of getting the right people in a room and working collaboratively (with a facilitator) to discover ways to reduce the likelihood of errors.

A slide from the Stopping Human Error Course

As Mark and Benna discussed briefly in the video above, TapRooT® Root Cause Analysis helps people by providing guidance to explore the reasons for human errors. Guidance that takes them beyond the knowledge of the team members because of embedded human factors technology.

For people who are going to facilitate teams or frequently dig deeply into the causes of human error, we recommend they attend the 5-Day TapRooT® Advanced Root Cause Analysis Team Leader Training. It dives deeply into the fixable causes of human error and methods to analyze what happened, how it happened, the root causes of each Causal Factor, the Generic Causes linked to systemic problems, and proven ways to fix the root causes. It does all this without blame.

People working on an exercise in a 5-Day Class.

To see the dates for upcoming 5-Day TapRooT® Advanced Root Cause Analysis Courses being held around the world, CLICK HERE.

Being Proactive

Of course, the techniques we have briefly discussed can be applied reactively (after something bad happens) but we prefer that TapRooT® Users use the techniques PROACTIVELY (before an incident happens). We have been teaching this way to apply TapRooT® RCA since the early 1990s but we have a new course that exclusively focuses on proactive improvement and audits. The new course is called:

Audits & Proactive Improvement Using TapRooT®

Just click on the title above to register.

For more information about the course, CLICK HERE.

And to SAVE $200 off the combined course and Summit fees, CLICK HERE to register for both the Summit and the course.

Below is a video of Emily interviewing Marcus (one of the instructors and the course developer) about the new course…

The Next Step: HOP 2 – Taking Your HOP Program to the Next Level

If you would like to take your human performance program to the next level, you should learn to use advanced root cause analysis and develop a custom program to stop human errors using researched and proven human factors techniques – HOP 2. How do you do that?

1. Register for the Stopping Human Error Course coming up on May 2-3

2. Register for the Human Performance Track at the 2023 Global TapRooT® Summit on May 4-6.

3. Register for the 5-Day TapRooT® Advanced Root Cause Analysis Team Leader Training at the upcoming course of your choice.

But of all these, the first – the Stopping Human Error Course – is the one you should register for first. This eye-opening course will make it easy for you to strategize and plan your path to exceptional human performance by gradually implementing effective new techniques.

Courses & Training, Human Performance, Root Cause Analysis Tips, Summit
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