L&D: Scalable Analysis of Performance Competence and the Enablers

Definition of Performance Competence 

If your L&D shop is attempting the transition to a Performance-Improvement-Oriented shop then you need to start with severals things defined – to guide everything else – and keep a check on well intended but distracting shiny fad objects.

One of those things, IMO, is the definition of Performance itself. Here is mine:


Yours may vary.

Framework for Determining Stakeholders and Then Their Requirements

IME – In My Experience – most of the time things go wrong and rework is called for – when the effort is not properly informed by the key Stakeholders. Upfront and throughout.

Many times a key, big, important and powerful, single “client” overshadowed and dismissed the needs and wants of others. Who came out of the woodwork at some late and inopportune time.

Did I mention, to add significant costs to the overall effort? Yeah – that too. 

Other Stakeholders who weren’t so obvious … unless you worked there … were also missed. Until one of the review cycles uncovered their needs and wants. At some late and inopportune time. Costing more. Yada yada.


Generating Consensus Data via a Group Process

That’s why my preferred route to gather my data-sets – they are going into a DATABASE so they cannot be changed – is to facilitate a group of Master Performers – and other SMEs as may be appropriate – to generate the data in a consensus manner.

Both ideal Performance data … and Gap data.

I’ve been doing it this way when I can (can’t always) since 1979. It works and is better, faster and cheaper than more traditional approaches and is much more feasible than expecting an analyst to observe and interview people and review documents and come up with data that can be reviewed as credible when reviewed and edited by others.

Why not just have Master Performers tell us so that we get the language, sequence, importance and measures, besides other things, right? The first time? And when they disagree they work it out right at the beginning? And save us all a lot of work, and headaches, cost and time?

I use this next format as the initial analysis – once I’ve helped the assembled team chunk out their Performance into what I label as: AoPs – Areas of Performance. Then those are used to derive, systematically and collaboratively and with consensus … the enablers.


This can be used to define Performance and gaps at any of the 4 levels:

  • Worker level
  • Work level
  • Workplace level
  • World level

Or if you prefer:

  • Individual level
  • Process level
  • Organization level
  • Marketplace Value Chain level

Determining the Enablers and Any Gaps

This is my model for the Enablers … which after the Process Design itself (the biggest Enabler to leverage often) includes both Human and non-Human (everything else) enablers.

The bones on the fish below are simply categories. For example, for Awareness/ Knowledge/Skill I have 17 sub-categories. 


Your models may vary.



Some Resources

ISPI Masters Series Article – lean-ISD – PIJ – 2001 – 14 page PDF – written as a companion piece to my 2001 Masters Series presentation at ISPI, this provides the background and an overview of lean applied to ISD – Instructional Systems Design – in the 5 methodology-sets of my PACT Processes for Training, Learning and Knowledge Management. Written in 2000, published in ISPI’s Performance and Improvement Journal in 2001.

PACT Alpha Phase Client-Stakeholder Interview Guide – 10 page PDF – is a job aid for the initial meetings with the client and other key stakeholders for a Training Request. Developed in the mid-1990, and published in 2002.

Performance-based ISD – ISPI PX 12-part Series – 2007 – 122 page PDF – an update in 12-parts to my 1999 book: lean-ISD – which covers my ISD methods: The PACT Processes for T&D, Learning and Knowledge Management. Published in ISPI’s PerformanceExpress during the 12 months of 2007.

Additional free Resources are located within that Tab in this site’s menu.

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One comment on “L&D: Scalable Analysis of Performance Competence and the Enablers

  1. Hi Guy, I liked the definition of performance competence – the ability to perform tasks to produce outputs to stakeholder’s requirements and the stakeholders being at the various levels.
    I appreciate for the thorough analysis and you have thought through the performance assessment processes at the individual level.
    I liked the Fishbone diagram on the enablers for both human as well as environmental assets.
    As you would know already, sometimes performance is also measured at the team level. Teams get awards for working together and the getting the job done. Perhaps, there could be team competence and team outputs measured at various levels. This is just my thought.

    Liked reading through your blog post. Thank you again.
    Cheers, Ramkumar

    Liked by 1 person

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