My Performance Equation – Yours May Differ

I created this model/ equation back in the early 1980s – that I first used in 1983 when I was beginning to write my first book – that later, much later – was published as my 2nd book (lean-ISD) in 1999. The model had changed by then. But back in the day it was:

P = E x R

But I found it a little shy of setting up the full picture. Of the details. So it morphed.

I liked it as the letters in the equation were the first letters in the word PERformance.

It later became the model inside the next graphic.

Here Is The Graphic Inside The Above Graphic

And Here Is Side 2


This all evolved from my time at Motorola’s Training & Education Center – in 1981/1982 – where my role was to serve the corporate-wide worlds of Manufacturing, Materials and Purchasing and their top-priority needs for Formal Training – and my subsequent exposure to MRP (Material Requirements Planning) that begat MRP II (Manufacturing Requirements Planning) that begat ERP (Enterprise Requirements Planning).

It’s also where I got acquainted with CAD-CAM Systems.

And it is where I developed my first T&D Path – for Manufacturing Supervisors – where their incoming K/S and Experiences varied all over the map, necessitating a modular approach to their Learning (Training).

I wish I had a copy of that 1st map – it was on several flip chart pages, taped together with my carefully hand-drawn boxes and lettering – representing Events (your people may call them Courses). They were blended – and some were Social. But they were boxes I made up – and were not based on a rigorous analysis.

I was only able to conduct the rigorous Analysis after my client group – THE Manufacturing Council – bought in and signed-off on the concept.

The Events (called Modules by some – although I saw them more as modular Events) were titled so as to suggest what would be learned. It was my first attempt at TRUTH IN TITLING.

Which eventually evolved into three types of Event and Module and Lesson and Instructional Activity TITLES:

  • How to XYZ
  • XYZ
  • Overview of XYZ

Those were the visual cues I wanted the Learners and their Management to use when understanding how far, to what depth, this would go. The depths were: Skill, Knowledge and Awareness.

As not everything needed to be done at a Skill level – when something things (Training/Learning) in a modular approached – by design – led to others Learning/Training that built upon what came before – to ultimately create Performance Competence.


That’s generally why I have a problems with bite-sized chunks of content. Without an architectural design approach, they end up as a Pile of Modules, with lots of overlaps and gaps, that are not anywhere close to being a modular Curriculum (of any and all appropriate blends of Mode, Media and Formality).

But That’s When K/S Are At The Root of the Issue

I also wanted that early Performance Equation to allow me to shift the dialogue to the other variables/factors of Performance. So when the Analysis was read out and we collectively understood what Knowledge/Skills were required for Performance – and we could also determine whether or not those were in deficit and THE cause for Performance Discrepancies (or not) – and/or whether or not there were other variables at play.

Mostly there were other variables at play. And I needed some way to shift the conversation to those other variables – unless I was cool with wasting my clients (and my) time, going to Re-work City once the Training didn’t move any needle but the expense needle, etc.

And I was not cool with that.

Wasting my time, and Shareholder Equity that is.

Shared Understanding From a Shared Journey

I figured out that I needed the client on the Journey of Discovery – that they needed to be knee-deep in the Analysis efforts so that they too could logically conclude that “Training Ain’t Going To Fix This.”

I was tired of figuring that out and then battling the expectations that Training should fix this, do the Training at gun-point (figuratively speaking that is), and then battling the attacks on my Competence once we all discovered that that didn’t work.

Faulty Training (and me) needed to be avoided – and replaced by the Client owning the determination that it was other variables that needed to be addressed.

All of that was what I tried to put into that 1st book attempt, that became the 2nd book (lean-ISD) that with two other books (T&D Systems View and The Management Areas of Performance) – that got updated and expanded last year into my book 6-Pack.

For more on these books – available as both Paperbacks and Kindles – please go here.

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