A BOM – Bill of Materials – For An L&D Path

An Architectural Approach to Content for Performance

Which includes Learning before the moment of need which is sometimes in addition to at the moment of need Performance Support… is best served with an Architectural approach – or Content Configuration approach – rather than an Artistic approach to content creation and configuration. IMO.

And for that approach to a modular curriculum – not a collection of modules – a BOM – Bill of Materials kind of thinking needs to be in place, among other things.

This post is going to explore BOMs.

ReUse Event Map and 5-Tier Inventory

A Path or Menu of Performance-based Learning Experiences

Of many blends of modes and media.

In my PACT Processes all BOM elements/items are the building blocks – at one level – and add up to become what I call Instructional Activities, which roll-up to become Lessons, which Roll Up/Add Up to become Events, which Roll Up to be part of a Development Path or Menu… a.k.a: Learning Paths.

To me they are – or should be called: Performance Competence Development Paths No Kidding.

No kidding.

Here is a lock-step Path…

CAD Path Call Center Sales

Being lock-step was appropriate for the Performance Context/Situational Context.

But’s that typically not the case.

Here is a Path/Menu Combo…

CAD Path Supervisors

This Path had a Path after this – for the Zone Manager. The original intent was to do the next two levels after that for the Production organization, then take those 4 across the other Functional Areas of the shipyard, but funds ran out. There was/is a war going on.

Some Job Title Performance Expectations “variance” is quite high – and a more Menu-like Path is more appropriate.

And here is a Menu…

CAD Path Prod Mgrs

Each Performance Context is different. I always focus on Jobs and then go Macro and Micro from that position in my data-set logic.

PACT Data Logic

BOM – Bill of Materials

The elements of a Product or System.


Bricks 1

The BOM items in my PACT Processes for T&D/Learning/ Knowledge Management include Performance Clusters and Knowledge/Skill Items.

The Performance Clusters

The Performance Clusters are clusters of data about the Area of Performance, the Outputs and Measures, the Tasks and Roles/Responsibility data. You can see them organized on this example Performance Model chart…


There are 2 clusters above.

The data-set would also include the Gap Analysis data (not shown on this example).

Knowledge/Skill Items

Knowledge/Skill Items that are also included in my BOM-type thinking are captured and reported out on a K/S Matrices… organized by K/S Categories

TMC KS Matrix Example

Here are the K/C Categories in my model…

K-S Categories

A Curriculum Architecture Is Not Merely a Collection of Courses or Modules

Bricks 2

Analysis should be quick – because it is to the Point and the next Point and the next…

PUSH-PULL Content - By Design

These 5 Tiers – of my inventory scheme – are just one of 4 sets of data to be captured.

But this one side of that 4-sided box is our focus today.

Push-Pull and The 5 Tier Content Inventory Framework

Can you see some of the Content you last wrangled with – in this 5 Tier Sort?

Not every course, workshop, webinar, etc., includes all types of Content – but across a Curriculum – a Path or many – all of these should be present.

I have been categorizing content in this manner since the early 1980s.

Clients that maintained the approach after a CAD effort into their ADDIE-like methods to produce content found they were able to share some content “as is” and much more “after modification” bringing certain benefits.

PACT 7 Business Reasons for Embracing

IME and the experience of many of my clients.

Here is the low cost way to learn more about this.


Or you can engage me to assist you and your team in adopting and adapting the PACT Processes for T&D, Learning and Knowledge Management.

guy.wallace @ eppic.biz

(remove the spaces)

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Remembering Rummler

Annual Rummler Booster Shot

Today is the anniversary of the birth of the late Geary A. Rummler, PhD.

I would normally get my annual booster shot at the ISPI Conferences (and NSPI before that) – every April. But since Geary passed away in October of 2008 – that last time I saw and spoke with him was at the ISPI Conference in 2008 – video below.

Here are 4 videos for your Booster Shots…

Video 2008


Video 1981


Video 1986

This 1986 Video is on Performance Engineering…


Video 1986

Another video from 1986 on Needs Analysis…


I hope you get something of value from these Booster Shots!

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Part 6 of 12 – My 12 Boxes for Leveraging Enterprise Process Performance Improvement

Personal Values 

Part 6 in this monthly series will focus on the enabling Human Asset Attribute of:

Personal Values

Personal Values - are very personal, and are tough to generalize. Inappropriate to over-generalize. They can include “items” such as a “like” or “dislike” of any of the other human assets.

I could like or dislike – based on my Personal Values – any of your Personal Values, or your Physical Attributes, your Psychological Attributes, etc.

I can like or dislike  - based on my Personal Values – any of the Enterprise’s Mission, Vision, Value Stream, Organization structure, People in key positions, management, computer systems and software, buildings and campuses, products/services, culture, etc., etc., and etc.

Personal Values - are but one of the many variables – boxes – in my EPPI model for Performance Improvement.

EPPI Fishbone v2012 - 1- The Process

From Wikipedia:

Personal Values

According to Morris Massey, values form during three significant periods:

  • imprint period – from birth to 7 years
  • modelling period – from 8 to 13 years
  • socialization period – from 13 to 21 years

Personal values provide an internal reference for what is good, beneficial, important, useful, beautiful, desirable, constructive, etc.

Values generate behaviour and help solve common human problems for survival by comparative rankings of value, the results of which provide answers to questions of why people do what they do and in what order they choose to do them.

Over time the public expression of personal values that groups of people find important in their day-to-day lives, lay the foundations of law, custom and tradition. Recent research has thereby stressed the implicit nature of value communication.

Personal values exist in relation to cultural values, either in agreement with or divergence from prevailing norms. A culture is a social system that shares a set of common values, in which such values permit social expectations and collective understandings of the good, beautiful, constructive, etc. Without normative personal values, there would be no cultural reference against which to measure the virtue of individual values and so culture identity would disintegrate.

Wyatt Woodsmall points out that “‘Criteria’ are used to refer to ‘the standards on which an evaluation is based’.” Values relate then to what one wants and in what order one wants them; criteria can only refer to the evidences for achieving values and act as a comparative standard that one applies in order to evaluate whether goals have been met / values satisfied.

Values are obtained in many different ways.

Note: this next section – still from Wikipedia – shifts from Personal Values to Cultural Values – which in the EPPI model is included in the Culture & Consequences segment (box) in the Environmental Asset Enablers. As one of the key influencers/pressure points that either reinforce or attempt to extinguish Personal Values (rightly or wrongly) we’ll continue with this deliberate or inadvertent shaper of Personal Values and Behaviors.

From Wikipedia:

Cultural Values

The Inglehart-Welzel Cultural Map of the World, constructed by sociopolitical scientists Ronald Inglehart and Christian Welzel based on the World Values Survey.

Individual cultures emphasize values which their members broadly share. One can often identify the values of a society by noting which people receive honor or respect. In the United States of America, for example, professional athletes at the top levels in some sports receive more honor (measured in terms of monetary payment) than university professors. Surveys show that voters in the United States would be reluctant to elect an atheist as president, suggesting that a belief in a God is a generally shared value. There is a difference between values clarification and cognitive moral education. Value clarification consists of “helping people clarify what their lives are for and what is worth working for. It encourages students to define their own values and to understand others’ values.” Cognitive moral education builds on the belief that students should learn to value things like democracy and justice as their moral reasoning develops. Educationist Chaveen Dissanayake says personal and cultural values can vary according to the living standards of a person.

Values relate to the norms of a culture, but they are more global and abstract than norms. Norms provide rules for behavior in specific situations, while values identify what should be judged as good or evil. While norms are standards, patterns, rules and guides of expected behavior, values are abstract concepts of what is important and worthwhile. Flying the national flag on a holiday is a norm, but it reflects the value of patriotism. Wearing dark clothing and appearing solemn are normative behaviors to manifest respect at a funeral. Different cultures reflect values differently and to different levels of emphasis. “Over the last three decades, traditional-age college students have shown an increased interest in personal well-being and a decreased interest in the welfare of others.” Values seemed to have changed, affecting the beliefs, and attitudes of the students.

Members take part in a culture even if each member’s personal values do not entirely agree with some of the normative values sanctioned in the culture. This reflects an individual’s ability to synthesize and extract aspects valuable to them from the multiple subcultures they belong to.

If a group member expresses a value that seriously conflicts with the group’s norms, the group’s authority may carry out various ways of encouraging conformity or stigmatizing the non-conforming behavior of that member. For example, imprisonment can result from conflict with social norms that the state has established as law.

For more from Wikipedia on these two topics – please click – here. – to continue with Cultural Values.

Back to Personal Values.

Remember – Personal Values - is but one of many Enablers.

You don’t have to worry about all Values – only those that truly differentiate.

And which Enablers, that if lacking/that if inadequate, are the Inhibitors, and really inhibit Performance Competence?

At any level?

That’s what we can use to leverage Performance – for Measured Results – for Performance Improvement for ROI.

Here’s the 12 Boxes in the EPPI Model…the 12 Levers… the 12 Points of Foci in EPPI…

EPPI Fishbone v2012 - 1- The Process

What are the key Personal Values that really enable Performance Competence?

And what is your definition of Performance Competence – and how do you measure that?


The bigger picture…

Rocking Review Around the EPPI 12 Box Model Clockwise

Besides “The Process” itself – there are the Enablers. But in my view – always start with the Process.

The enablers are either adequate or inadequate in the context of the needs/requirements of the Process. So start there. What is the Process and what are its Requirements – what enables it? And are those enablers adequate?

In Rocket Science it would be:

  • the Rocket Ship also needs fuel and a fuel storage and delivery system. Are those Enablers adequate?

Start with the Process itself and it’s Gaps – and then, as needed, look to the Process Enablers – and any Gaps there.

The Enablers are again of two types:

  • Human and Environmental.

The Human Assets are:

  • Awareness, knowledge, skills
  • Physical attributes
  • Psychological attributes
  • Intellectual attributes
  • Values

Awareness, knowledge, and skills - come in many types and varieties. Further complicating the performance context/ situation, one performer might need to be only aware of what other performers need to know much more about, while yet another group of performers may need to have an actual skill level.

Physical attributes - include “items” such as the five senses: sight, hearing, touch, taste, and smell; as well as height, weight, strength, endurance, etc.

Psychological attributes - include “items” such as positive attitude, aggressiveness, risk taking, cautiousness, detail orientation, big picture orientation, etc. Many Models exist.

Intellectual attributes - can include “items” such as conceptual thinking, concrete thinking, strategic thinking, process thinking, etc.

Values - can include such “items” as customer satisfaction orientation, teamwork, diversity, fairness, honesty, work ethic, family, etc.

And the Environmental Assets include:

  • Information/ data
  • Tools/ equipment
  • Materials/ supplies
  • Facilities/ grounds
  • Budget/ headcount
  • Consequences (+/ –)

Data & Information - includes all of the work orders and instructions, the policies/procedures, and all data/information needed to enable job holders to perform.

Materials & Supplies - provide all of the materials and supplies needed to enable job performance.

Tools & Equipment - provide the tools, equipment, machinery, and vehicles needed to enable performers to perform at a level of mastery.

Facilities & Grounds - provide the buildings, grounds, facilities and utilities for communications/power/water/and so on, as needed to enable performance.

Financial Systems - provide the capital and expense budgets, and the headcount budgets to management, needed to enable and support job holders in performing.

Culture & Consequences - provide and reinforce the enterprise cultural norms, and all of the management reinforcements (and extinguishments) needed to encourage (or discourage) performance.


The Process View and the Enabler Views I propose here are intended to be used in a scalable manner, for looking at the

  • Worker/Individual, and/or the…
  • Work/Process, and/or the…
  • Workplace/Organization-Enterprise, and/or the…
  • World/Mega-Social Responsibility

And the Enabler Provisioning Systems – don’t look like this as structured in the graphic below – but perhaps this frame might help you determine who the Provisioners of Enabling Assets may be at the root of any Gaps in the key Value Stream Processes or in the Enabling Processes – that from an ROI viewpoint – should be addressed.

The EPPI HAMS and EAMS Model

Where does this – or these kind of things – happen in the Enterprise? Who “owns” the responsibility for this/these?

Is it centralized, or distributed, or some mix (appropriate or not)? Is it in “enough control” with tolerable variability – or does some or all of it need to be “tightened up?”

Next Month we segue from the Human Asset Enablers side of the equation, to the non-Human, or Environmental Asset Enabler of : Data & Information.

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Avoid NAI – Non-Authentic Interactivity

What Do I Mean?

First – let me answer my own question with a question. Two questions.


Does most Formal Learning most always feel to the Learners as if it were really meant for someone else’s job?

Does it NOT resonate with them because it is too generic and not specific enough – in the application exercises, and the demonstrations and the information? 

And a 3rd – most important question…

Does much of it still then transfer anyway and have a positive benefit – somehow making it a wise investment?

If no, it is then just an expense – and not necessarily a wise investment.

Unless you got lucky that time.

The REAL QUESTION here is: Does what you Learn Formally most often FAIL to transfer?

Is it because it feels as if it were somebody else’s job – because it isn’t authentic enough? You can be engaged and give it high marks on the Smiles Tests – what some call Level 1. You can Ace the Test at the end and prove your Knowledge – what some call Level 2. But none of it may feel adequately ready to Adopt as is, and you might not feel adequately prepared to Adapt it back at the ranch so to speak, back to your Performance Context.

Is perfect Authenticity required in Instruction to make the leap from Levels 1 and 2 to Levels 3 and 4?

No. It’s just got to be close enough. For it to have a prayer of transferring.

The R for the I is another issue for another day – here my focus is on the waste of L&D Resources due to the lack of authenticity of the learning content.

The awareness  building, knowledge creating, and skills building content that I frame – level-set – in my designs as Instructional Activities of 3 types:

  • INFOs
  • DEMOs
  • APPOs

Example Lesson Map


But it’s what feeds the design that is critical in getting to enough Authenticity.


More on that later. Soon.

Non-Authentic Interactivity in ILT

  • Information
  • Graphics
  • Definitions
  • Analogies
  • Concepts
  • Models
  • Stories
  • Demonstrations
  • Case Studies
  • Roles Plays
  • Simulations
  • Written Tests
  • Performance Tests
  • Etc. Etc.

These are examples of some of the Sub-Types of Content in my own ISD models – that I feel need to be authentic enough – or they are a waste to develop/buy – and then even more is wasted, much more to deploy or enable access.

Non-Authentic Interactivity in Elearning

  • Clicking and Dragging and Dropping ANYTHING!

Avoid Non-Authentic Content By Modeling Performance and Deriving the Enablers

Can you imagine some of the authentic content for the items listed above – as amended by your own lists of such, of course…

ABC Sales PM Chart Example

That’s just one part of the job.

Can you imagine the items for the entire job?

AoPs Sales Rep

Focus on Performance Requirements – and Enable Them

That’s my motto.

Along with:

Avoid NAI in Learning

That’s Non-Authentic Interactivity that NAI.


Success in Level 1 & 2 won’t guarantee any success at Levels 3 & 4/5. It’s got to be authentic – enough?

How to tell?

Pilot Test

Pilot Test – Beta Test – Field Test … or whatever you want or need to call it… do that.

To insure that your expense is a wise investment however you measure your R for the I.

Which means measuring at transfer and over time.

Not forever.

Smart measurement.


Book info – here.

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