Instructional Analysis of Performance Competence Requirements in the PACT Processes

Performance Competence

Performance Competence is the ability to Perform Tasks to Produce Outputs to Stakeholder Requirements


Performance Modeling

The heart of the analysis portion of the PACT Processes is the Performance Model. It allows the T&D to be performance-based. Data built into the Performance Model permeates all remaining PACT Processes.

The PACT Processes are project proven instructional design methodologies  for Training & Development – Learning – Knowledge Management – proven in hundreds of successful projects since the early 1980s.

PACT Analysis is one of 5 methodology sets – and is common to the 3 levels of Instructional Design – supported by common Project Planning & Management methods, models, tools and techniques.

About Performance Models

There are 4 types of analysis in PACT:

– Target Audience

– Performance

– Enabling Knowledge/ Skills

– Existing Training Assessments (for ReUse)

While each type of analysis is important, the single key to PACT Process success is performance analysis as documented through the Performance Model. Performance Modeling pins down the requirements of the performers within the scope of the intended project and creates Performance Models.

This is so much more than Task Analysis.

The Performance Model is the device (job aid/ tool) used to capture ideal performance requirements, and it provides a way to identify gaps from that ideal performance.  Gaps that lead to content from Master Performers how they avoid these potential gaps in the first place and/or what to do if it was unavoidable.

PACT is about much more than teaching/learning “here’s how to do this as simple as 1-2-3” as if there aren’t variables to contend with out there in the real world.

Here’s the 1-2-3 part…


Here below – is content for organizing the advanced organizers about what the learners/Performers might have to contend with – in the real world. More complex than 1-2-3.

The Performance Model, generated with the Analysis Team, provides an illustration of both ideal performance and actual performance via a gap analysis.


Performance Modeling

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)

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 

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

Areas of Performance

Each Performance Model chart represents one Area of Performance. Areas of Performance are major chunks or macro level responsibilities within a job; they segment performance within the scope of the project.

The trickiest part of building a Performance Model is defining a good set of Areas of Performance. To define them well, the facilitator must know how Areas of Performance are used in the downstream PACT Process, and also how the information in the Areas of Performance fits in with the knowledge/skill analysis methodology and the design methodology.


Building the Performance Model

The Performance Model is built in the PACT Processes – for Curriculum Architecture Design efforts, or for Learning Solutions efforts – during the Analysis Team meeting by the analyst and handpicked team – handpicked by the Project Steering Team. The Analysis Team starts by defining the Areas of Performance. 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



The Performance Model describes on-the-job performance―both ideal and actual performance. Building a Performance Model requires an interesting confluence of skills on the part of the analyst, especially in defining Areas of Performance.

Based on the Performance Model, the analyst is able to identify deficiencies in performance and to tell whether T&D/Learning/Knowledge Management 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. This is covered in more detail in the next chapter. In Chapter 25, read about how the Analysis Team generates the Performance Model and the Knowledge/Skill Matrices in the Analysis Team meeting.

For more on this see  my book: lean-ISD – available here as a free PDF.

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