6 Steps to a Solid Job Task Analysis

Karin Knutson ·

You hear it in many work conversations, on webinars, and even on blog posts – “We need to up skill our current employees. How do I know what to train them on?” Or, “Our new company push is to develop a training program for our skill worked force. Where do I start?”

Anyone who is in the process of developing any type of new training plan, identifying skill gaps, or updating old job descriptions knows that a well-defined Job Task Analysis (JTA) is the key piece to a successful project. Without a thorough JTA, all further projects dependent on this information will be inadequate and ineffective. Imagine building a custom house without an accurate blue print.

So what exactly is a JTA?

A JTA is a data-driven approach that begins with a thorough understanding of the job’s responsibilities and tasks, and the knowledge and skills required to successfully perform the job. More simply – it involves identifying the particular tasks and responsibilities related to a specific job.

But where do you start? What information do you need? Here is the process we developed from years of experience and countless JTAs:

  1. Identify Subject Matter Experts (SME) - This is your “go to” employee, the person who is the most knowledgeable in the role. There could be more than one!
  2. Interview SMEs - Identify the responsibilities and tasks of the position.
  3. Develop and Review Job Task Analysis (JTA) - Review the information with supervisors to get their input on the accuracy of the information.
  4. Verify Job Responsibilities and Tasks Performed - Verify all gathered information with SMEs and supervisors.
  5. Determine Skills Needed - What are the skills needed to be successful in the job?
  6. Finalize JTA

Another critical component of this process is review of internal documents, procedures, training plans, and curricula. Though some is this material may be a little outdated, it could contain some vital information. Find that hard copy of an old training plan or any procedure list that was an unfinished project from a few years back. The more you verify the information, the more accurate it will be.

A comprehensive JTA will be your road map to determine training needs, identify skills gaps, develop accurate job descriptions, and even hire appropriate employees, helping both your employees and your organization reach their full potentials.

All new training projects can seem daunting at the start, but with a proper road map, or JTA, the process is straightforward and yields successful results.