Management Areas of Performance – Book Reviews

Early reviews for
“Management Areas of Performance”

Mark Graham Brown
Large government and corporate organizations continue to spend money on canned or custom-developed leadership programs that fail to produce effective managers. This book presents a proven methodology for determining the specific management competencies needed for success in your own organization. By using this approach, based on studies of your most effective managers, you will build the foundation of a program that will allow you to select and train a large cadre of effective managers and leaders.

John Coné
One of the great strengths of the book is that it is NOT about competencies.
You make an outstanding point that there is more to the job than just
possessing (or even exhibiting) competencies.

I really liked the book. Now, I have to be honest with you – it surprised
me that I did. I have never been a fan of “workbook” type books that
require me to do a lot of introspection and homework. Maybe that’s because
I’m lazy, or maybe because they require me to accept the models in the book
as I go along rather than deciding after I have read it all how well they
will apply to my world. Whatever the case, when I saw how your book was
organized, I figured I wouldn’t like the format and then I’d have to figure
out how to tell you that.

But it didn’t happen that way.

I think it is because of the way the book is organized, and perhaps also because you keep things relatively simple. You don’t ask me to buy into a complicated and unusual model; but one that is pretty straightforward and logical. I also think that using the technique of directing people to the chapters that apply to them the most (as you do in Chapters 4 and 18, for example) prevents us from having to slog through work that we are not sure goes to the heart of our concerns. That is a brilliant move, and I wish more authors used the approach.

Thanks for the chapter summaries. They keep the reader on track and tell us
what you as the author think are the key points of each chapter. The intros
also do a great job of keeping us oriented.

The book reads easily and is very clear and concise.

Judy Hale
I do like the way you have grouped the areas of performance. You have developed a useful tool and process to help identify, define, and evaluate managerial competencies.

Margo Murray
How I spent my holiday weekend ….Actually several enjoyable hours of it were spent reading your new book! Congratulations on completing this comprehensive treatment of an essential subject. Here are some general impressions:

It will be very useful as a handbook and desk reference for managers, especially newer ones
► I like the flexibility to access and use the sections most relevant to a current role or responsibility
► Some chapters will serve as excellent checklists, for example the troubleshooting ones

I found myself many times thinking, “I wish I had written this book when my management experiences were being tested and improved.”

Joe Sener
I like the model. It will help organizations on several levels:

► Clarity of what should be the responsibility of each level of management
in the organization.
► The recognition that different individuals will be better at some of
these AoP’s than at others — and that is not only OK but that diversity
adds strength to the organization.
► A detailed description of the skills required of each role at the
individual contributor line as well as an assay of those skills at the
organizational level.
► A recognition of the time required at the Management Support level which
is seldom, if ever budgeted for by the organization but is just assumed
that we will find the time for it. I believe that upwards of 40% of my
time is spent just managing Human Assets.

Darlene Van Tiem
Tremendous performance management tool! Competence is key to inspiring, challenging, and coaching employees. Every leader should require Management Areas of Performance as part of a performance assessment empowering their managers to develop competencies, thus improving competitiveness and organizational effectiveness.

Comprehensive, well organized, and motivational.

Actually, I think that it is a terrific succession planning, career development, and employee development piece. You have presented, in detail fashion, the full set of competencies. You have not glossed over issues and made it a simple book.

Frank Wydra
I like where you are going with Management Areas of Performance and I believe it will prove a useful workbook for many who are trying to move beyond training and development and into the bright, glowing work of human performance technology. You can quote me on that, if you so choose.

The book was downloaded 2223 times in the first 4 days it was available…get your free PDF copy at

There are also 4 related Podcasts and a link to a dedicated Blog for readers who wish to share questions, thoughts, and resources!

The 5-Tier Enterprise Content Architecture of the PACT Processes

The PACT Process’

“Enterprise Content Architecture”

sorts and stores your legacy content as well as your new modular content…not modules.

In PACT the term “Module” is a temporary design device used in CAD – Curriculum Architecture Design efforts…usually for “critical job performers in critical business processes” with high Risk/Reward issues and a desire by the internal client…and therefore by my client too…and now me…to address the Performance Competence capability of the Target Audiences with Formal Learning/ Training/ Knowledge Management.

And to inform/train and direct them to the tools of the job…including all of those learning tools that are really performance tools…for their directed informal learning needs AND their non-directed informal learning that will happen as they perform…hopefully getting better and better each time they do that particular performance cycle.

Since we always used this 5-Tier inventory framework/structure (going back to the mid-1980s) our clients saw the “reuse potential” go way up for each CAD effort they had us or others do. It was right there in each design.

Reused legacy training/instructional content on the T&D Path. We even “reused” the designs for “content-not-yet-built-but-already-designed-at-either-the-CAD-level-or-at-the-MCD-levels-from-prior-PACT-efforts. That’s when they saw the promise. Right at the front end of the T&D Path.
The T&D Path
The front end of the T&D path…or the top depending on the “path’s/menu’s” physical orientation…always starts with…self-paced…or Structured OJTs…addressing…
Orientations to the T&D/Learning/Knowledge Management systems and approach that I’ll be in….and then right into orientations about my new Company, Division/Business Unit, Function, Department, then to my new job, and then to the intra and inter departmental Process Performance teams that I’d be working on and what they are all about…performance-wise.
The “Advanced Organizers” Just Keep On Coming from Tier 1 Content
Then back to more about MY JOB including all of those Processes that I work in…from the context of the overall Enterprise Process Performance Architecture…and all of the Areas of Performance that break out from the processes that involve my job title.

And then a quick overview of the Outputs and key stakeholder requirements and Tasks for me and the others in any cross-functional/multi-job title effort…

Wow! But if done right and with not too much overkill in the bulk amount of content…and by informing me of how to find more on anything later…you can really put the learners/Performers
in their PERFORMANCE context. And do it just-in-time, quickly, and online if that makes sense. Now-a-days it usually does.

And now the learner, me, is ready for a few more Survival Skills that the immediate front-end of the Path is typically intended to address. Now it might be time for a face-to-face or voice-to-voice meeting with my boss using a structured interview provided in my next T&D Event on the Path – that will help ME figure out MY immediate assignments and upcoming assignments, from someone who may or may not have given it a lot of thought, or have time for thinking it out now.

Just in case…we structure this and put the onus on the learner/Performer.

Then the next step is a little collaboration between the boss and myself as we planned my T&D using the LMS to produce what is sometimes called an IDP…Individual Development Plan…starting from right where my last T&D Event ended. The boss could have had me do my own plan in a non-collaborative manner and then reviewed it in a discussion when she had the time, but my boss said she only did it that way if the timing was a real problem. Then she’d have delegated her role to someone else available and appropriate.

Later I found out that everything on My T&D Path to that point had been Tier 1 content. I can see it in the ECA they use here for “self-access” for both push and pull learners/Performers.

It doesn’t always work that way. Some of the more dangerous jobs around here have safety and/or security content BEFORE the structured interview with their boss or team lead. But not my job.

ECA Ent Content Arch
What’s Next on the T&D Path? Tier 2 Content.
What’s next are a bunch of Tier 2 Content online that walked me through each Areas of Performance for the Processes where I’ll be contributing. These were more in-depth advanced organizers.

Not only did it lay out the AoPs and their Outputs and key requirements/measures by stakeholder…it listed all of the Tasks per output with a Role/Responsibility Matrix that clarified all of the roles and who was responsible for what. And then it provided what it called the “typical performance issues” and their likely causes and an overview of the tips I’ll learn about in later content…in the “how to” content…on how to avoid these type issues and/or how to deal with them if un-avoidable or un-avoided.

And then it gave me lists of varying lengths of what it called enabling “awareness/ knowledge/ skills” that I’d need to master before getting to the “how to” content. For each Area of Performance – the AoP.

I understand that for some jobs in my new company, especially for internal transfers/laterals and promotions, that the candidates actually take some of this training before they and the organization agree on the job change. I guess if it scares off some potential internal hires then everyone wins. And some even get further into the Curriculum Content…they take some of the enabling content, known as Tier 3 content.

That’s where I’m off to now.
Tier 3 Content
The Tier 3 content is mostly online content. With a lot of static data from live sources and archived files on PDFs. And more interactive online content providing information for awareness, and highly interactive content for real knowledge-building and some basic skills-building.

The content that isn’t online is usually either a S-OJT or a U-OJT. Structured On-the-Job Training and unstructured OJT…but at least there’s a name/title to provide a little guidance. We have more U-OJT than S-OJT. Some of the OJT regardless of there being structure or not may require a Designated Coach versus a Coach.

And then the content in Tier 3 that isn’t online or deployed via some sort of OJT is in traditional group-paced, facilitator-led. Sometimes the facilitator has to be designated too. Otherwise local management can assign the delivery to anyone they choose…and live with the consequences I guess.

It provides more timing flexibility except when it might create risks regarding compliance issues. At least that’s their story.

But most of the content that is deployed via traditional group-paced, facilitator-led methods is reserved for the content of Tier 4 and Tier 5…the “how to” content.
Tier 4 and Tier 5 Content
Tier 4 and Tier 5 Content are a mix of blends of media deployment types, like the Tier 3 content. And while online content, both static and interactive, dominates the CONTENT warehouse shelves, there are more S-OJTs and Group-Paced offerings here than in Tier 3 content.

And I figured out that there is one offering between these two Tiers…for each Tier 2 offering. For every Tier 2 there is either a Tier 4 or 5.

So what I’ve been doing since the Orientations at the front of my T&D Path/IDP is getting in-depth Advanced Organizers in each Tier2, taking some of the key enabling K/S content BEFORE getting to the “How To” content. And some of this is obvious, especially for the short content chunks. But some of this is going on in some of the longer T&D Events where there is some mixing of Tier 2 and 3 and 4 or 5 in the same Event.

In looking at some of my “paths” through all of this content, several of the Tier 3 content items served me multiple times as enablers for more than one AoP. And as I look at the remaining T&D items on my path I’m betting that I’ll notice that more and more.

I think that’s why the people here seem to have a common/shared language for everything – processes, outputs, tasks and even the ISSUES! They seem totally in-sync.

I guess they’ve been down this path that I’m on, in at least a similar manner. There does seem to be a fair logic to it all. Very performance oriented – and not content oriented. Even the gaps in the curriculum warehouse are labeled.

And that I’m told will start you on a more effective Informal Learning effort. I know there is more to my job than what’s been covered in formal content. And I sure feel fully prepared to dive into those now-chartered waters.

The only place that this approach wouldn’t work well is where the entire job is bleeding/leading edge stuff. And those jobs are probably the exception rather than the rule at most places.

Learn more in my book, availble as a free 404-page PDF: lean-ISD

Go to:

Performance Competence By Design – Not Learning By Chance

When Informal Learning – Learning By Chance – was not a viable business option…

CAD – Curriculum Architecture Design efforts are typically large scale, or just critically important process targets, where the goal is to model ideal performance requirements in terms of Process, the Areas of Performance within that “process” and its one-or-many Outputs and their Measures and the associated Tasks and Roles/Responsibilities.

Once that “Performance Competence” has been defined by a team of Master Performers…they continue by systematically deriving all of the knowledge/skills, using 17 categories.

Next, existing T&D is assessed for its re-use purposes in this CAD.

After a “gate review” with the Project Steering Team to review the data and seek approval or changes to it before it is used in the systematic Design process for this level of ISD, the Design Team meets to develop a T&D Path of T&D Events and Modules (books and chapters). That designs identifies the T&D Path…or Path with many mini-menus arranged visually to help communicate the T&D/ Learning/ Knowledge Management learning continuum…

…that is always “as flexible as feasible and as rigid as required” to meet the “just-in-time” needs of the varied learners/Performers in a job, process team, etc., to become Performance Competentnot to learn some things.

My experience-base in this area of ISD comes from 74 CAD projects since 1982. The full list follows. Quick overviews of each project are available on my web site at

The CAD Project History of Guy W. Wallace….

#74 Eli Lilly Global Clinical Trial Process 2004
#73 Norfolk Naval Shipyard Production Zone Managers and Supervisors 2003
#72 Verizon Consumer Sales Center Personnel 2001
#71 GTE Service Corporation/Verizon Billing Center Personnel 2000
#70 General Motors University Brand Management—Europe 1999
#69 Eli Lilly and Company District Sales Managers 1999
#68 General Motors University Brand Management—North America 1999
#67 BankAmerica Corporation Financial Relationship Managers 1998
#66 General Motors University Internal Controls 1998
#65 Siemens Building Technologies, Inc. Sales Engineering 1998
#64 General Motors University MFD Area Managers 1998
#63 General Motors University Global Dealer Auditors 1998
#62 BankAmerica Corporation Retail Branch Personnel 1997
#61 Eli Lilly and Company Leadership and Management 1997
#60 General Motors Tool & Die Supervisors 1997
#59 Bandag, Inc. Franchise Dealership Management
Personnel and Bandag Sales Personnel 1996

#58 Amoco Coaching and Support 1996
#57 Amoco Project BEST 1996
#56 Bellcore Tech Web Masters 1996
#55 General Motors Product Engineers 1996
#54 Sphinx Pharmaceuticals Combinatorial Chemists 1996
#53 Valuemetrics, Inc. Associate and Senior Associate 1995
#52 Ford Motor Company Engineering 1994
#51 AT&T Network Systems Global Contract Management 1994
#50 Novacor, Corunna Site Operations Management and 1994
Self-regulated Team
#49 Spartan Stores/ISSC Companywide HQ Staff 1993
#48 Data General Sales 1993
#47 Abbott Laboratories Market Management, Product 1993
Management, and Sales Management
#46 Hewlett Packard Order Fulfillment (Order Processing, 1993 Quotes, Collections)
#45 Amoco Team Training 1993
#44 Imperial Bondware/Federal Paperboard Sales Training 1993
#43 Commerce Clearing House (CCH) Sales Representative and Sales 1993
#42 AT&T Network Systems Product Management and Market 1993
#41 Ford Design Institute Engineering 1992
#40 Detroit Ball Bearing Field Sales Managers 1992
#39 Digital Equipment Corporation Program Management 1991
#38 British Petroleum—America Front-line Retail Personnel 1991
#37 General Dynamics Electrical/Electronics Assembly 1991
#36 General Dynamics CATIA System Designers 1991
#35 General Dynamics MRP II – Manufacturing Personnel 1991
#34 General Dynamics Software Engineering 1991
#33 Hewlett Packard Information Technologists 1991
#32 AT&T Network Systems Marketing Personnel 1991
#31 Occidental Petroleum Labs Laboratory Personnel 1991
#30 NCR Supply Line Management 1990
#29 Square D Quality Training 1990
#28 General Dynamics Composites Bonding & Fabrication 1990
#27 ARCO Alaska AMPS 1990
#26 Hewlett Packard Information Technologists 1989
#25 General Dynamics Quality 1989
#24 Ameritech Network Services Management 1989
#23 Ameritech Distribution Services Second-level 1989
#22 AT&T Network Systems Network Systems Sales 1989
#21 Northern Trust Bank (Chicago) Trust and Financial Services 1988
#20 AT&T Microelectronics Product Management 1988
#19 AT&T Network Systems Switching Business Unit Sales 1988
#18 Dow Chemical Safety Training 1987
#17 NASA Middle Manager 1987

#16 AT&T Network Systems Product Manager 1986
#15 Illinois Bell Second-level Manager 1986
#14 Illinois Bell Data Technician 1986
#13 Multigraphics In-Branch Sales Orientation 1986
#12 Dow Chemical Secretarial/Administrative 1986
#11 Dow Chemical Top Operator 1986
#10 MCC Powers Fire and Security 1985
#9 Alcoa Labs Scientists, Engineers, Technicians, 1984
and Administrative#8 AT&T AETM 1984
#7 AT&T Switching Technician 1984
#6 Burroughs Information Specialists 1984
#5 Westinghouse Defense Electronics Technical Operators (WICAM/IAG) 1983
#4 Channel Gas Industries/Tenneco Fixed-rate Personnel 1983
#3 MCC Powers ATC Branch Personnel 1983
#2 Motorola Design and Manufacturing Engineering 1982
#1 Exxon Exploration USA Geologists/Geophysicists 1982

For more about CAD and the other PACT Processes for T&D/ Learning/ Knowledge Management, see my book…lean-ISD which is available as a free, 404-page PDF on my web site at: