Self-Help Guides: Use Rapid Task Analysis

After determining the audience and focus of the Self-Help Guide (SHG), assemble stakeholders for a Rapid Task Analysis (RTA): a time for stakeholders to begin generating and organizing the content of the SHG.

The RTA Process

The Rapid Task Analysis methodology was developed by Conrad Gottfredson. It is a systematic approach to identifying job tasks and related concepts and organizing them into meaningful process. This process is very helpful in creating an effective organization for a self-help guide.

To begin the RTA, clearly communicate the intended goal and audience for the SHG. This information needs to be kept at the center of the RTA process at all times.  The participants in the RTA then bring their collective experience and knowledge to brainstorm a list of tasks and information needed in the SHG.

After fleshing out the information needed in the SHG, begin to group the information into logical chunks. These chunks will allow the audience to quickly scan the SHG for the needed information. Determine the logical flow or order of these chunks based on how the audience is likely to use the SHG. Carefully consider your audience when creating your labels for these chunks. 

Key RTA Concepts

Prepare for the RTA

Generate and organize a list of tasks

Identify key concepts