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is completed and appropriate rating scales are added, this preliminary job inventory is reviewed for accuracy and completeness by experienced job incumbents, supervisors, trainers, or other subject-matter experts. The next step is to administer the inventory to a large number of job incumbents to collect quantitative data on the time spent and the importance of tasks (in some cases, other data are also collected). These data are then analyzed, interpreted, and used for a number of manpower management purposes, including especially the development of training programs and the definition of career paths with specific details about the increases in responsibility at each level of advancement. This approach, although labor-intensive and time-consuming, provides a common framework for commanders, personnel managers, and trainers.
In an effort to streamline the occupational analysis process, the responsibility for the system was transferred to the Army Research Institute in 1994. The three biggest concerns of the users of the system at that time were (1) the need to shorten the time needed to obtain occupational data once a requirement was identified, (2) the need for a central on-line database to facilitate analysis, and (3) the need for timely analysis and easy interpretation and use of results.
In 1996, the Army Research Institute's occupational analysis group stated its goal (U.S. Army Research Institute for the Behavioral and Social Sciences, 1996:00):
The mission of the Occupational Analysis Program is to provide the Army's manpower, personnel, and training communities the individual task information critical to job design, analysis, and training development. It is through the integration of the requirements of these three communities at the military occupational specialty or job level, that the OA Program supports the field commander, the ultimate customer for occupational analysis in the Army.
Its definition of occupational analysis encompasses all aspects of work organization, performance, and training. Job analysis, which is central to creating an effective fighting force, is a critical subset of occupational analysis. In its Army application, it focuses on defining MOSs through detailed description of both the