The Performance Model Charts

In the last post we described the AoPs – Areas of Performance – that “framed” the analysis of performance. The Performance Model Charts capture data – per AoP. One or more pages/charts may be used for each AoP.

Performance Models may be developed for an entire organization, a function, a job, a major or minor task, or a business process.

The Performance Model, ideally generated with the Analysis Team in a consensus meeting – less ideally via interviews and observations of Master Performers, provides an illustration of both ideal performance – and actual performance via a gap analysis. The information in the left half of a Performance Model describes ideal performance. This information includes:

• Area of Performance (AoP, also called a segment of performance)
• Outputs produced and their measures
• Tasks performed
• Roles and responsibilities for task performance
• Measures and standards of performance (at the level of Area of Performance, output, or task)

See the an example PM Chart below…

The analyst leads/facilitates the assembled Master Performers to identify and discuss all of the outputs within that AoP – and there may be one or there may be many. There is always a terminal output, such as an Analysis Report or a Business Case. There may be interim outputs leading to that terminal output such as interview questions, or financial projections data. It depends on how granular the AoP is.

For people in instructional design the ADDIE model is an example of AoPs – however I’ve always thought that ADDIE misses an up-front Planning AoP, and I’ve also changed the back-end of ADDIE – to be more process oriented. So if the second D for Development is the AoP in focus – what are the outputs and how are they measured? In my view they are the “Pilot-Test” materials – Pilot Test versions of content, the evaluation instruments, the TTT materials and Facilitator Guides, etc. Or it’s the WBT/E-Learning itself with the evaluation instruments for use in the Pilot (and later as well perhaps). Or, of course, a blend.

The information in the right half of a Performance Model also captures and articulates real performance via a gap analysis, including:

• Typical performance gaps (where standards for measures at any level are typically not being met by job incumbents)
• Probable causes of those gaps
• Differentiation of those causes into one or more of three categories of deficiency
– dE: deficiency of environmental support
– dK: deficiency of knowledge and skills
– dI: deficiency of individual attributes and values

These deficiency types are explained in more detail later.

Based on the Performance Model, the analyst and the Analysis Team is able to identify deficiencies in performance and to tell whether T&D is the appropriate way to address them. For deficiencies in knowledge and skills, the Knowledge/Skill Matrix is the way to start translating the identified deficiencies into prospective T&D. More on the enabling Knowledge/Skills in the next post.

Ideally the Performance Model is built during the Analysis Team meeting by the analyst and team. They start by defining the Areas of Performance (see the prior post).

Then for each Area of Performance, the group defines
• Performance outputs, key metrics/measures, and (sometimes) standards
• The tasks required to generate outputs
• The roles responsible for task performance
• Where the gaps are in performance
• The probable causes for those gaps, along with which of the three types of deficiencies are at work

Once the “ideal” outputs, output measures and the tasks are understood – often by creating a consensus with a team of Master Performers – the gaps can be clarified – the gaps of the non-Master Performers that is.

Where are the outputs “typically” as opposed to atypically – not up to the measures/standards – they ask themselves?

What are the “probable causes” – as opposed to the root causes – unless you’ve got the time to do root cause analysis in the time with the Master Performers?

And then what are the roots of those probable causes?

Is the cause of the performance gap due to a lack of environmental supports?
– Information/data
– Organizational structure
– Procedures/policies
– Tools/equipment
– Materials
– Task interference
– Feedback/Consequences
If so it would be a dE: Environment

Is the performance gap caused by a lack of the performer’s knowledge and/or skill?
Then it would be a dK: Knowledge/ Skill

Is the performance gap caused by a poorly selected individual who has neither the physical, psychological, and/or intellectual attributes and/or values to perform or learn/acquire the skill?
Then it is a dI: Individual Attribute/ Value

I use the typical deficiencies to build into training those circumstances that the learner/Performer will need to be prepared for. After all – they are typical issues that many have problems with.

Here is a blank format for the PM Chart for your use – this version has the role/responsibility columns when you are looking a mix of performers versus the singular focus on one performer in the examples above…

Is your target audience doing a “Lone Ranger” type of performance – or are they part of team efforts? A Call Center employee is typically working solo at their job. A Financial Analyst is often working as part of a team effort. Chose the right format for your PM Chart.

Performance, Performance, Performance
Even if the T&D to be addressed is the seemingly “un-pin-down-able,” nebulous, hip topic of “Diversity Appreciation,” there is a way to make it performance-based. I bring this up as many of my clients (in the 1990s) complained that there was often no direct applications of “Diversity” covered in the “appreciation type” courses they had on this topic. It was a Topic sans Task.

But there is a business application for diversity. So the first thing to do is to declare our PACT intent. Call the product “Applying Diversity at the TMC Company.” Otherwise, why bother if we are not going to affect people’s performance? Isn’t that why we care about diversity in the first place, to affect people’s behavior? Determine where the “Rubber of Diversity” meets the “Road of Task Applicability” in your Performance Context – and cover that. Provide Info- then Demos- and the Appos (Applications).

I believe there is always a performance context for all viable T&D. And if we can’t pin that down, it’s probably best to reinvest the shareholders’ equity in something with a more tangible return. On the other hand, we could just burn their money in the parking lot because that’s still cheaper in the long run than developing T&D that has no real affect on performance.

This configuration of data – in what I call the Output-Task Cluster – is what I use in my downstream Design efforts. The output is what we teach Learners to produce to the measures and standards – by teaching them the tasks – and their roles and others’ roles as appropriate – and then we teach them how to avoid or deal with the “typical performance gaps” – as they will be typical for the new performers as they are for the incumbents, Master Performers or not.

Of course there are enabling knowledge and skills that might be needed prior to learning the task performance – which I’ll cover in the next post. But I would “sandwich” those enablers with an advanced organizer based on the Output-Task Cluster on the front-end – and the detailed instruction on those outputs, measures and tasks on the back-end. If I am going to teach someone Active Listening I’d want to first frame the Performance Context of the Output-Task – including the typical performance gaps – then teach Active Listening within that specific Performance Context – and then teach how it integrates into process/workflow performance.

And if my Active Listening content is a separate course entirely – I’d need to put those advanced organizers in a separate module – just as I’d have the output-task training in a separate module. And then make my sandwich for the learner.

lean-ISD covers the PACT Processes for T&D/ Learning/ Knowledge Management
In Chapter 25 of lean-ISD, read about how the Analysis Team generates the Performance Model and the Knowledge/Skill Matrices in the Analysis Team meeting.

For more see my 1999 book lean-ISD…available as a free 404-page PDF at
Cover design and artwork by Geary A. Rummler.

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2 comments on “The Performance Model Charts

  1. Pingback: Instructional Design on the Output-Task Cluster – a.k.a.: Whole Task | EPPIC - Pursuing Performance

  2. Pingback: Target Audience Data | EPPIC - Pursuing Performance

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