Sustainable Assessment Use – The Product

Tom GibbonsPreference Assessments, SustainabilityLeave a Comment

In the last post I listed 3 components that make up the typical usage model of assessments like the TMP:

  • The product
  • The expert
  • The end user

I also asked what people thought is the order of importance of those 3 components in enabling sustainable use. My perspective on that ordering is as follows:

  1. The end user
  2. The product
  3. The expert

What I find interesting with this perspective, when I look at assessment companies and how the typical business model actually plays out is that the ordering is:

  1. The product
  2. The expert
  3. The end user

More on this as we add posts to this series but for now let’s simply look at these components and see what they can/might offer to the the idea of extended, sustainable use.

Any assessment will have some kind of report generated, most often generated from the responses of the end user to a questionnaire of some sort. If the report has good face validity and utility then the possibility of extended use is embedded in the product. This however tends not to be enough to actually create sustainable use for most people. While this is mainly the result of HOW the product is typically used, the reality is that the product itself it usually not enough to create sustainable use. There needs to be something more.

With the TMP there are 2 primary things, ‘more’ than the report, directly related to the product:

  1. The Types of Work Model
  2. The TMP HUB, and most importantly the interactive applications

The Types of Work Model has been around longer than the TMP and is the researched high performance model that Dick McCann and Charles Margerison developed over 30 years ago and is the foundation of the TMP. The reason it can sustain the use of the TMP is that the model is about work and can be used over and over again to focus on work issues. This use connects to the profile itself and brings greater awareness of the value of working with the Types of Work Model itself as well as the preference material which is part of the profile.

The TMP HUB and the applications as well can be used over and over again and focus on the Types of Work Model, interpersonal communication, job preference match and a number of other work contexts. In addition, the short reports generated by these applications can be shared to other people’s HUB’s to provide additional data for conversations about improving work performance. In essence the product has been broadened and it is this that enables the product to potentially be sustained in its use.

Most assessment companies do not broaden their product, they deepen it or apply its content to other contexts. While this of course can have value is terms of sustainability, this deepening or alternative applications is typically not part of the primary product.  You have to access (buy) them separately. This creates a ‘gap’ in usage and this gap tends to be highly detrimental to sustainability. The reason for this is that it is almost always the expert that controls the use of these additional things that can be attached to the product. The expert determines if the end user will have access to these.

You may now have a sense why I have ordered the 3 components of sustainable use listed above the way I have. The end user has the most interest in the use of the product, not the expert. Therefore the product should enable the end user to play a critical role in sustaining its use.

So what then is the role of the expert in sustainability? That will be the topic of the next post… stay tuned!

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