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Task Analysis: A Foundation for Safety. Nov.19, 2004 Jon Stuart, Ph. D. Presentation Overview. What is task analysis? The benefits Critical components of task analysis – example Using task analysis across the organization Practical considerations. Task Analysis.

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task analysis a foundation for safety

Task Analysis: A Foundation for Safety

Nov.19, 2004

Jon Stuart, Ph. D

slide2

Presentation Overview

  • What is task analysis?
  • The benefits
  • Critical components of task analysis – example
  • Using task analysis across the organization
  • Practical considerations

Jon Stuart, Ph.D

slide3

Task Analysis

  • Your main goal is improving safety
  • A key component of improving safety is reducing human error
    • Reduce the number of errors
    • Put defenses in place to reduce their impact
  • Why use task analysis?
  • Because it builds a concrete, thorough description of what people do

Jon Stuart, Ph.D

slide4

Benefits of Using Task Analysis

  • Systematic (thorough)
  • Easy to learn
    • Demystifies human behavior; don’t need to be a psychologist
  • Clear communication of outputs:
    • To subject matter experts; to safety teams
  • Easy to adapt:
    • To different analyst styles; to a wide range of problems
    • To a high level or detailed approach to analysis
  • Foundation for many activities
  • Reduces design churn
  • First step for more complex analyses
  • Focus is on the human part of the system

Jon Stuart, Ph.D

slide5

Hierarchical Task Analysis (HTA)

  • HTA is the concrete representation of the actions taken towards user goals and the logical relationship between those steps.
  • Tasks are broken down into their sub-components, plans describe how all the pieces fit together
  • Components
    • Tasks (sometimes called goals or operations); Verb/action/qualifier
    • Subtasks
    • Plans
    • Task details

Jon Stuart, Ph.D

slide6

Using Task Analysis Across the Organization

  • Error reduction
  • Training Analysis
  • Documentation Design
  • Systems analysis
  • Others …

Jon Stuart, Ph.D

slide7

Error Reduction

  • Use the task analysis as the basis for reviewing the human aspects of the system – for the Critical Tasks
  • Develop the following task details
    • Performance shaping factors
    • Potential error
    • Hazard
    • Potential consequences
    • Severity
    • Likelihood
    • Mitigation strategy

Jon Stuart, Ph.D

slide8

Training Analysis

  • Use the task analysis as the basis for identifying:
    • What could be included in a training program
    • The areas where most training is required using DIF calculations
      • Task Difficulty
      • Task Frequency
      • Task Importance
    • Key components of competency based learning
      • Competency type, competency description
      • Procedural knowledge, declarative knowledge, strategic knowledge, attitudes
      • Outcome measures
      • Performance levels and required performance level

Jon Stuart, Ph.D

slide9

Documentation Design

  • Use the task analysis to structure the documentation around the user’s goals
  • Use the task analysis as a way of speeding the communication between systems designers and technical writers
  • Re-use the task analysis for later product updates

Jon Stuart, Ph.D

slide10

System Analysis

  • Use the task analysis as a communications tool between
    • Systems architects
    • Documentation
    • Testing
    • Marketing
    • Support
    • Human Factors
  • Use the task analysis as the basis for identifying”
    • Areas where tasks can be simplified
    • High risk operations
    • Areas where tasks can be allocated to machines

Jon Stuart, Ph.D

slide11

Practical Considerations

  • Scope of analysis
  • Depth of analysis
  • Experience of the analyst: time, quality of results
  • Availability of subject matter experts
  • Needs of other teams
  • Criticality of the project
  • Tools available

Jon Stuart, Ph.D

slide12

HTA – A Foundation for Safety

  • To improve human reliability you need to know
    • who the people are,
    • what they do and
    • what they’re using to accomplish their goals
  • A systematic process is required to analyze these aspects of the system
  • The results need to be easy to communicate
  • The results need to be easy to re-use
  • Task Analysis fulfills all of these needs.
  • AND It focuses on behaviour

Jon Stuart, Ph.D

slide13

www.TaskArchitect.com

Jon Stuart, Ph.D

slide14

Advanced Analysis

  • HAZOP
  • THERP
  • GOMS
  • Cognitive Task Analysis
  • Cognitive Modeling
  • Simulation of Human Performance

Jon Stuart, Ph.D

slide15

Other “Task Analysis” Methods

  • Task Flows
  • Event Trees/Decision Trees
  • State Diagrams
  • Data Flow Diagrams

Jon Stuart, Ph.D

slide16

Further Reading

  • 1. Annett, J., Duncan, K. D., Stammers, R. B., & Gray, M. J. (1971). Task analysis. Department of Employment Training Information Paper No. 6. London, UK: Her Majesty's Stationary Office (HMSO).
  • 2. Annett, J. and Stanton, N. (Eds.) (2000) Task Analysis, London, Taylor & Francis.
  • 3. Annett, J. (2003) Hierarchical Task Analysis, In Holnagel, E. (2003), Handbook of Cognitive Task Design, Chapter 2, pp17-35. Mawhah NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum.
  • 4. Shepherd, A. (2001), Hierarchical Task Analysis, Taylor and Frances, London.
  • 5. MIL-H-46855B

Jon Stuart, Ph.D