Don’t Work on The Means Without Clarity on The Ends

I don’t use the following phrase – often – or in isolation:

Task Analysis

I resist calling it Task Analysis as without the Outputs that the Tasks produce – it’s akin to Gilbert’s Cult of Behaviors.

Gilbert wrote about “Behaviors sans Accomplishments” (my words) where Accomplishments were the Results, or Outputs of Behaviors.

See his book: Human Competence (1978) and his BEM – Behavior Engineering Model, and this Job or Systems Engineering document (1970) from Gilbert’s and Rummler’s business, PRAXIS:

So I generally refer to both “Task Analysis” and “Cause Analysis” simply as “Performance Analysis” and sometimes “Performance & Gap Analysis.”

I try to keep it simple, because as an ISD and PI consultant, I am attuned to the fact that clients most often don’t like all of the specializations in our models and methods, so it’s best to use the K.I.S.S. principle…


Yes, I changed that a bit. :)

Back to Task Analysis – Sans Outputs

Doing Task Analysis without starting with the Outputs (the Accomplishments) doesn’t do anything for me. Back in 1979 and the early 1980s I saw the products of Task Analysis, and they seemed to be random list of Tasks. They had no logical order. My Performance (and Gap) Analysis always looked different in format and wording.

Here is one example from 1986:

Before that Analysis Output was produced – via a Facilitated Group Process, we (Ray Svenson and I) had worked with our Team of Master Performers to produce a framework of Performance. Here is that:

Then Comes the Knowledge/Skill Analysis

I have the same issue with Inventories of Knowledge & Skills (K/S). I’ve seen lists of these too, and no connection with what they ENABLE. I was taught differently – back in August and the Fall of 1979.

We always established the Performance Requirements first, and then determined/derived the Knowledge/Skills per chuck of Performance. Those chunks used to be called Accomplishments – but later I shifted the language to “Areas of Performance” (AoPs) – and yes, those could also have been called Key Results Areas, or Major Duties, etc.

Here is an example of the K/S Data that was systematically derived from all the Performance Data… in that 1986 effort…

And these were the K/S Categories used back in 1986… along with other codes used in the data capture/reporting efforts…

Those 10 Catgeories of K/Ss became 17 by the late 1980s…

These are the K/S Categories I’ve been using since the late 1980s…

Note: my business partners often did/led the Analysis efforts “their way” – using “their language” – and would then then ask me to do/lead the Design efforts.

It wasn’t until I had a staff member create a Database in 1994 to help us capture and manipulate the data for downstream purposes – that I was able to (sometimes) shift their Performance – and language/labels – as they didn’t want gaps to appear. But – it was hard to get them to shift to where I was taking the methods and language/labels.

Oh – and there’s an 18th Category – as well: “Misc.” – for whatever K/S Item didn’t seem to fit any of the other Categories. That’s been rare over the decades – but it has happened. And it’s not worth spending more than a minute or two in wrangling with it.

The K/S Categories are a means to the ends of the Enabling K/S data. Don’t loose site of that. Of course, my Design methods accommodate all of that. That’s Key as well.

To see a Past Post that has all of that data – from 1986 – please go here.

To see another example – from 1993 – please go here.

The School of PACT – 55+ Videos

For Free: School of PACT Video Short Series – 55+ “video shorts” on my PACT Processes for T&D/ Learning/ Knowledge Management.

Some Recent Webinars on Video and Video Podcasts

This video is from January 2021 and is 61 minutes in length.

This video is from September 2020 and is 42:43 minutes in length.

This video is also from September 2020 and is 50:06 minutes in length.

Guy Has Offered Training on These Methods to His Clients Since 1983

Performance Analysis leads to performance-based Knowledge/Skill Analysis and that all leads to performance-based Instructional Systems Design – or performance-based Learning Experience Design.

My 2020 book (#15) is available from Amazon as a Kindle and Paperback – here.


Leave a Reply

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.