The framework for diagnosing performance problems of paid professionals has been available to leaders for nearly fifty years.  Dr. Robert F. Mager and Peter Pipe first developed and published the Performance Analysis Flow Diagram in 1970.  This simple model offers a systematic process for troubleshooting performance problems.  The flowchart has served as a guiding source for the work of human performance technologists and leaders across the globe. 

Wait.  Who?  What?

That is exactly the point.  The resource developed by Mager and Pipe is an example of brilliance of which most people have never heard.  This tool could be and should be used by every person who leads others in a for-profit environment.  But it’s not. 

With great honor to the work of Mager and Pipe, The Volunteer Performance Analysis Model is a simple, linear tool that guides the leader of volunteers through a different level of Discovery.  Asking the right questions when Coaching and observing volunteers’ work unveils the root cause(s) of the volunteer’s shortcoming in their task performance and behavior. 
These insights lead to a more targeted solution that best honors the passions of the volunteer while upholding the integrity of the organization.            

The Volunteer Performance Analysis Model rests upon a few basic principles.  Since the head, heart and hands are the potential sources for performance shortfalls, the model assumes that one or a combination of the following are the root cause(s):  1) the volunteer doesn’t know, 2) the volunteer can’t do, or 3) the volunteer doesn’t care.  Leaders can confidently distill all performance and behavior challenges down to this triumvirate of reasons.  The model also acknowledges that from where the root causes emanate
could be either a) internal to the volunteer or b) external to the volunteer.  Essentially, the reason(s) the volunteer is not performing to expectation is/are coming from within them or influenced by an outside source. 

The resulting six potential root causes for unmet volunteer performance expectations lead to a recommended solution.  Yes, continued learning and preparation is evident in the mix.  So is parting ways with a volunteer. 
They have their place in the model.  These two solutions are viable for
some volunteer performance challenges while dispelling the notion that
they are the only answers to all issues that arise.  

The best way to more deeply understand how The Volunteer Performance Analysis Model applies to assessing and diagnosing shortfalls is through the voices of volunteers and leaders of volunteers included in the book, "Engaging the Head, Heart and Hands of a Volunteer."  Listen to their stories to more clearly see how the best solution becomes apparent after methodical analysis.   

Leaders are forewarned . . . the model describes external sources for performance shortfalls, and the exterior obstacle may prove to be the leaders themselves.  If the root cause is outside the volunteer and not the leader,
the circumstance is often directly within the leader’s influence. 
Leaders are warned in advance so they can be prepared to assume their part of the responsibility for volunteers who are perceived as not meeting expectations.  The model requires a measure of introspection and humility from the leader.  Leadership self-awareness is built in to the framework.  Volunteer performance analysis is less about placing blame or skirting responsibility and more about ensuring every volunteer has full opportunity to serve at their best.

guiding leaders of volunteers to feed the passion of those who choose to serve


becoming a volunteer performance analyst