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First Things Fast: A Handbook for Performance Analysis Hardcover

ISBN-13: 978-0787988487 ISBN-10: 0787988480 Edition: 2nd

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 320 pages
  • Publisher: Pfeiffer; 2 edition (June 9, 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0787988480
  • ISBN-13: 978-0787988487
  • Product Dimensions: 9.3 x 7 x 0.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.5 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (9 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #575,058 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From the Inside Flap

Look before you leap—start smart with this engaging field guide!Foreword by Marc J. Rosenberg, district manager, strategic learning technologies, AT&THow do you figure out what to do? This book offers you strategies to answer that question. It's a hands-on guide to planning and consultation, with an emphasis on tools, tales, templates, speed, sources, and systems. First Things Fast is the quick start you need to surmount resistance to investigating performance. Allison Rossett offers you priceless tips on:
  • Accelerating analysis
  • Using technology
  • Overcoming organizational obstacles
  • Communicating with experts, customers, and colleagues
  • Presenting results . . . and much more!
"Rossett's book is a practical, down-to-earth set of guidelines from an accomplished professional who's obviously 'been there.'"—Joe Harless, author of Peak Performance System and The Eden Conspiracy"Rossett has produced an eminently readable, practical handbook that helps human resource professionals apply performance analysis methods fast. A friAndly, comforting, useful volume that we will definitely recommAnd to our clients."—Harold D. Stolovitch, professor, Universite de Montreal; president, Harold D. Stolovitch & Associates; and Erica J. Keeps, executive vice-president, Harold D. Stolovitch & Associates "This book is a must-have for anyone who is responsible for identifying performance and training needs. It's chock full of proven tips, techniques, practices, tools, and examples. And with Rossett's wonderful humor evident throughout, it's fun to read!"—Dana Gaines Robinson, president, Partners in Change; coauthor, Performance ConsultingYou'll get job aids, design templates, and implementation examples that direct you through the basics of performance analysis. A frequently updated, internet-based coaching and information system will complement and supplement the book ( Start smart with Rossett's guide! --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From the Back Cover

The world of learning and performance has changed significantly since the first edition of First Things Fast was published more than a decade ago. This thoroughly revised and updated second edition of the best-selling classic recognizes a world chock-full of technology, economic strains, and opportunities. How do learning and performance professionals plan in this shifting context? How do they take advantage of new human and Internet-based resources? How do they bring their recommendations forward and add more value, no matter where they work? These questions are addressed throughout this new edition.

This important resource is a practical guide that is filled with job aids, design templates, and examples offering step-by-step guidance to the basics of performance analysis.

This new edition includes:

  • New questions and templates that reflect the shift of learning and support from the classroom to the workplace, and the blends that provide learning and support in both environments
  • Fresh approaches for using wikis, blogs, and online surveys to gather information

  • Innovative ideas for tapping into the power of social networking and the possibilities presented for analysts

  • Information on the critical link between analysis and evaluation and new guidelines for both activities

  • A wealth of new illustrative case examples

  • Insightful commentaries from successful leaders in the field who explain how they use analysis to advance individual and organizational strategy

"Allison Rossett combines thought leadership for the profession with practical guidance. This book, the second edition of a classic in the field, is filled with proven practices and ready-to-use tools making this a resource you'll use frequently." -Dana Gaines Robinson, Coauthor, Performance Consulting ANDSTRATEGIC BUSINESS PARTNER

"What I appreciate about this book is that it is a straightforward, practical guide to planning, and it embraces new technology and the convergence of learning and work." -Nancy J. Lewis, Vice President and Chief Learning Officer, ITT Corporation

More About the Author

Dr. Allison Rossett, long time Professor of Educational Technology at San Diego State University, is in the Training magazine HRD Hall of Fame, was a member of the ASTD International Board of Directors, and was honored by selection as an ISPI Member-for-Life. Recipient of ASTD's recognition for lifelong contributions to workplace learning and performance and designated a 2008 LEGEND, Allison co-authored Job Aids and Performance Support: Moving from Knowledge in the Classroom to Knowledge Everywhere in 2007. In 2009, she released a new edition of her classic First Things Fast: A Handbook for Performance Analysis.

Rossett edited The ASTD E-Learning Handbook: Best Practices, Strategies, and Case Studies for an Emerging Field. She also completed a white paper for the American Management Association, Blended Learning Opportunities and another, more recently, on learner engagement, for Adobe Systems. She is the author of four award-winning books, including Beyond the Podium: Delivering Training and Performance to a Digital World and First Things Fast: A Handbook for Performance Analysis. Prior award-winning books are Training Needs Assessment, and A Handbook of Job Aids. Some of Allison recent articles are "Performance Support Tools: Delivering Value When and Where Needed," "Moving Your Class Online," "Confessions of a Web Dropout," and "Training and Organizational Development, Siblings Separated at Birth." She has conducted research and published articles on needs analysis, learner engagement, and persistence in online learning. Her client list includes IBM, HP, the Getty Conservation Institute, Fidelity Investments, Deloitte Consulting, BP, the IRS, Amgen, Royal Bank of Scotland, the US Army, Transportation Security Administration, BMO Financial, and several start-ups.

More of Allison's writings are available at

Customer Reviews

4.7 out of 5 stars
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See all 9 customer reviews
This book is a must have resource on your shelf.
Tanya Owens
Reading this book kept me focused on the goal of our analysis, which was to identify needs and solutions that would fill the gap.
It covers the basics of conducting performance analysis as quickly and effectively as possible.

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

26 of 26 people found the following review helpful By M. H. Bayliss on May 10, 2001
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Overall, this book is a straightforward examination of performance analysis that explains why p.a. is more practial than traditional "training." It's a godsend for people who have to implement a plan right away because of the abundance of checklists and templates. I have some minor criticisms though since I have read several books in a similar category. 1 -- the author does not write as professionally as others (Rothwell, for example, who wrote Beyond training and Development) and spends too much time touting her earlier books 2 -- often the information borders on the extremely obvious 3 -- the book is overpriced as many textbooks are. P.A. boils down to the fact that it's really a "casing the joint" type of strategy -- get a general idea of the situation before diving in. All this fancy terminology for such a basic idea... still, it can definitely save a company a lot of time and money to do this common sense approach before spending money on training.
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21 of 24 people found the following review helpful By Paul Harmon on November 4, 1998
Format: Hardcover
This book is a great help for anyone who is asked to analyze a performance problem. It provides a series of checklists and job aids to help someone figure out what's going on and how to fix it. It considers lots of problems and teaches you how to decide if the employee needs instruction, motivation or a changed environment. I really enjoyed this very practical and easy to read handbook; it avoids all the theory and jargon and puts the emphasis on analyzing human performance problems in a quick, efficient manner.
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17 of 19 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on September 29, 1999
Format: Hardcover
Rossett makes a very useful distinction in this book between performance analysis and training needs analysis. She recommends an action-oriented consulting approach that ensures the real problems and potential solutions are identified before selecting training as an intervention. Her approach is practical and recognizes the time and resource constraints that learning consultants, managers, and their companies operate within. I have ordered copies for all of my staff!
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful By "sostinkinhappy" on November 29, 2000
Format: Hardcover
This book serves as the first course at a performance analysis dinner-it whets the appetite and entices the reader to look further and deeper. It provides the reader with tasty morsels of information without weighing the reader down in the heavier technicalities of performance analysis. First Things Fast is a quick and easy reference for the professional trainer and one that I will keep on hand for future use. It addresses the situation as it is-the way things are-and provides concrete examples and solutions for those involved with the process. Because of the quick and easy reading that characterizes the book, I would recommend this book to those who are seeking a basic understanding of performance analysis without wanting to invest a great deal of time. I would also recommend it to those who want a quick reference for use in their performance analysis work (the templates are an effective starting point for the line of questioning which needs to occur). First Things Fast has the potential to be an extremely useful tool for those individuals who are in the position to decide what needs to be done and why.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Tanya Owens on March 11, 2009
Format: Hardcover
This book is a must have resource on your shelf. It's advice is timeless, examples practical, and the book is easy to implement. It is a go to book whenever I need a refresher. It also helps IDs and PCs get out of analysis paralysis and into the business of identifying performance gaps and determining causes and appropriate solutions/interventions.
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