L&D/PI: Performance Modeling for Analysis & Assessment

Performance Modeling

I use this Performance Model format below – to capture both Current State Ideal Performance and the Current State Gapped Performance – as stated by and conceded to by Master Performers in a facilitated Group Process.

Analysis of what should be.

Assessment of what is and why.

Outputs/Measures & Tasks

I never did like Task Analysis – long lists of tasks – as if all were of equal value – and listed in some unknown sequence. I was glad I was taught differently in 1979.

I like to first understand the Outputs and Measures of Performance. But I’ve found that sometimes people don’t think about what they produce – they think about what they do. So my approach is flexible in terms of which column gets filled out first.


It is important IMO to understand the best out there and the whats and whys of less than best. And to not generalize the Current State to just one end of the spectrum.

Typical Gaps

The Typical Gaps are systematically derived from the ideal Outputs/Measures data.


Probable Cause(s) & Types

If we understand both how the Master Performers perform and their insights as to why others struggle – we can package both the guidance needed by others and help them both anticipate the barriers they will likely face in order to avoid them in the first place – and what to do if unavoidable in the second place.


Note: The Probable Cause column’s label is intended to acknowledge that we are not conducting exhaustive Cause Analysis – which may be necessary later.

But if you were to quickly identify the ideal and the gaps/causes – who else would you ask other than acknowledged Master Performers.

However … Always Trust but Verify when the Risks & Rewards are great.

A Few Resources

There are over 400 Resources – most are free – in the Resource Tab. Here are a few…

Job Aid

Perf Analysis Job Aid



CAD – Training Mag – 1984 – 6 page PDF – the first publication about Curriculum Architecture Design via a Group Process – published in Training Magazine in September 1984. Original manuscript (30 pages) – How to Build a Training Structure That Won’t Keep Burning Down.

CAD – NSPI – 1985 – 21 page PDF – this is the first national presentation on the Curriculum Architecture Design methodology which Guy Wallace delivered at the NSPI Conference on April 24, 1985 (the 1st presentation of this was done for the Chicago Chapter of NSPI the previous fall).



Models and Matrices- NSPI PIJ -1984 – 5 page PDF – the first publication of the performance and enabler analysis methods for ISD, from NSPI’s (ISPI’s) Performance & Instruction Journal, November 1984.



Modeling Mastery Performance and Systematically Deriving the Enablers for Performance Improvement – by Guy W. Wallace, CPT – Chapter 11 of the Handbook of Human Performance Technology – 3rd Edition – 2006.  This methodology was first published in this 1984 article in ISPI’s (then NSPI’s) PIJ in November 1984.



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