Performance Mapping and Gap Analysis: A Sustainable Evidence-Based Process for Driving Real Results

Performance Mapping and Gap Analysis: A Sustainable Evidence-Based Process for Driving Real Results

Bonnie Beresford (Bonnie Beresford & Associates, LLC, USA) and Milica Vincent (Volkswagen Group of America, USA)
Copyright: © 2020 |Pages: 24
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-7998-0054-5.ch001

Abstract

When the learning and development manager of a financial services firm wanted to improve organizational performance, she stated, “I want to understand what the best performers do, and make the rest more like the best.” By studying high-performing salespeople, the organization discovered behaviors and practices that such performers did that made them more successful than their colleagues. Using a structured performance mapping process, the team documented the unconscious competence of in-role experts. A gap analysis of all performers objectively identified, quantified, and prioritized curriculum and performance support needs. This case study follows the journey of an organization that adopted this evidence-based process and now executes the gap analysis every third year to ensure continued relevance amid organizational and industry changes. The approach has yielded a highly regarded curriculum, the elimination of development costs for unneeded courseware, a reduction in training time, and changes in hiring profiles.
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Setting The Stage

One of VCI’s most important job roles is the Business Development Manager (BDM). These individuals are the face of the company to the dealers. BDMs are field salespeople who compete with banks and other financial institutions to earn the dealers' financing business. Each BDM has an assigned geographic territory with an average of 24 dealers per territory. The time BDMs spend with the dealers building relationships and building a business is critical to their success, so time spent in training needs to be fiercely justified as being able to close a known performance gap.

In 2013, VCI Academy had an existing curriculum and certification program in place for BDMs. It was assumed that new courses and new certification requirements would be required every year. Historically, curriculum decisions were made based on opinions and a quick survey of managers, asking them, “What sort of training do your BDMs need?” The new leader of the Academy, Paige Barrie, was not convinced that the training content was addressing the things BDMs really needed. Before embarking on the next year’s curriculum plan, she wanted a more objective approach to quantitatively uncover performance gaps and to determine what BDMs really needed to succeed at their jobs.

Key Terms in this Chapter

Captive Finance Company: A subsidiary whose purpose is to provide financing to customers buying the parent company's product. In the automotive industry, their services include providing financing to consumers and dealerships. A captive finance company can be a source of significant profits for the parent organization.

Performance Gap: A quantified gap on a particular task, computed as the difference between the percentage of respondents who rated a task as important versus the percentage of respondents who rated themselves as proficient. In other words, if a task is important but performers not very good at it, it is a gap.

Performance Map: A performance-based task analysis for a particular job function that starts with a definition of measurable success, as defined by high performers in that job. Each task is written using observable, action-oriented verbs. For each task, the map also includes inputs, outputs, tools, frequency, risk, and difficulty to learn. Performance maps often form the foundation for a curriculum plan and can be the basis for a gap analysis.

High Performer: Individuals who consistently perform at high levels as determined by objective measures.

Behavior Engineering Model / Six Boxes: The Behavioral Engineering Model (originally presented by Thomas Gilbert in 1978) and the Six Boxes Model (Carl Binder’s practitioner revision of the BEM) present the variables affecting performance, categorized by environmental and individual factors. This model extends thinking beyond traditional skills and development.

BDM: Volkswagen Credit’s Business Development Manager; the individual who sells VCI products and services to VW’s dealer body.

Bloom’s Taxonomy: A hierarchical classification of levels of intellectual behavior that represent the goals of the learning process.

GAP Analysis: A survey of job performers and their managers that investigates, task by task, the relative importance of each and the performer’s proficiency at each. The term is often used to encompass both the survey and the analysis of the data.

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