tasks and the knowledge and skills required for effective performance.
Recent efforts to modernize the job analysis process and make it more efficient led to the development of a new computer-based survey system called Operational Data, Analysis, and Structure (ODARS). By combining psychological and computer methodologies, this system offers (1) automated surveys, (2) continuous data collection, (3) a centralized and accessible occupational analysis data base, and (4) flexible, easy analysis and report generation. ODARS has been used with some success in characterizing changing task requirements in selected MOSs and for developing responsive and targeted training programs (U.S. Army Research Institute for the Behavioral and Social Sciences, 1996).
The greatest use of occupational analysis is in the training function; task and knowledge lists are regularly reviewed to ensure that training is up to date. Training courses now are on a 6-to 8-year revision schedule. Experienced job incumbents and supervisors provide task ratings and updating. The goal is to obtain ratings by 100 percent of soldiers in small MOSs, and by every trainee attending a training school in one year for larger MOSs. There is limited capacity to validate task lists; it is assumed that raters are qualified subject-matter experts. Training developers analyze task lists and decide when, where, and how to train. On average, approximately 250 development hours are devoted to every instructional hour per program.
Consolidation of MOSs is an important current issue. A redesign is instigated by a "proponent office" at one of the 26 training schools, in response to one or more sources of pressure to change. These pressures occur due to changes in command, doctrine, technology, quality of human resources, performance problems, downsizing, and so on. Consolidation of MOSs is done on the basis of common knowledge, not common tasks, because MOSs are designed to have nonoverlapping tasks. There are no set procedures on how to design or redesign an MOS, and proponents have no formal training in MOS design. The recent drawdown in military personnel can have dramatic effects on this process due to attrition of professional expertise.
The occupational analysis staff has identified three programs