The 5 P’s of Planning

Just Plan It! Then Do It!

Instead of: Just Do It!

Unless it really is that easy – and the consequences for not planning are nil.


There is also The 6 P’s of Planning.

But that’s simply a slightly vulgar version of the 5 P’s version.

And recall Ike’s words of wisdom:

“Plans are nothing. Planning is everything.”

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ROI Is Mostly Affected By The Targeting Before ADDIE Starts

Or SAM. If ADDIE is not your thing.

My thing is an ADDIE-like MCD. More on that in a moment.

It’s Too Late Baby

By the time an ADDIE or SAM or SAT or some other ISD model starts – the ROI potential or not – is pretty much set. If there is nil or none or negative – that’s not something a stellar ADDIE effort can impact for improvement.

Yes – you can screw up in the ADDIE process after Targeting – and miss the Potential. But the Potential Improvement and it’s value – the R in ROI- is a matter of the existing situation – the current state compared to the best possible (not impossible) future state.

That’s the possible R in the ROI equation.


You can screw up the Implementation – the delivery or access of the learning content – or Performance Support – by making it unpleasant and/or different from other Learning experiences of the Learners.

You can screw up the Development effort – and rely too much on one SME – when the research shows that they will miss up to 70% of what a novice needs to know and be able to do. Ya better test that stuff – don’t you know.

You can screw up the Design effort – and feed ‘em with a firehose, and not chunk, sequence and reinforce to the needed levels.

You can screw up the Analysis effort – by focusing on topics versus tasks – and by task I mean task-sets within a process – and not focusing on the outputs or products of behavior and cognition – of the individual and/or the team. Too often the focus is on Topics and not Tasks. And sometimes the focus is on narrow Tasks without the big picture of upstream and downstream and not of all Stakeholders but just on the Customer.

Bottom Line

My point is – quit worrying about the ROI of something you didn’t target in the first place. 

Focus on Transfer – by making sure your Analysis uncovers the authentic performance requirements and situational variables – the Performance Context.

It’s not about Learning. It’s about Performance. Even in a Learning Organization.


This is my ADDIE equivalent.


I address this Targeting up-front in Project Planning & Kick-Off – and at each GRM – Gate Review Meeting – at the end of 4 of the 6 Phases of MCD. See the up-side-down Traffic lights in the graphic above (Go Lights). Where the targeting and mid-course decisions are given a GO (or not).

MCD is covered in both of the following books.

This book from 1999…

1999 lean-ISD Book Cover

And this book – from 2011…

2011 d Pb MCD

See the Resource Tab for PACT Resources – including books – both FREE and FOR A FEE.

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Five Grand – If You Can Meet the Learning Styles Challenge

The Learning Styles Challenge

The Learning Styles Challenge payout has recently been increased from $1000 to $5000!

That is, if any person or group creates a real-world learning intervention that takes learning styles into account–and proves that such an intervention produces better learning results than a non-learning-styles intervention, they’ll be awarded $5,000!

LS Challenge 5k

From Will Thalheimer’s Blog

Special thanks to the new set of underwriters, each willing to put $1000 in jeopardy to help get the word out to the field:

Learning Styles Challenge Rules

We’re still using the original rules, as established back in 2006. Read them here.

What is Implied in This Debunking

The basic finding in the research is that learning interventions that take into account learning styles do no better than learning interventions that do not take learning styles into account. This does not mean that people do not have differences in the way they learn. It just means that designing with learning styles in mind is unlikely to produce benefits–and thus the extra costs are not likely to be a good investment.

Interestingly, there are learning differences that do matter! For example, if we really want to get benefits from individual differences, we should consider the knowledge and skill level of our learners.

What Can You Do to Spread the Word

Thanks to multiple efforts by many people over the years to lessen the irrational exuberance of the learning-styles proliferators, fewer and fewer folks in the learning field are falling prey to the learning-styles myth. But the work is not done yet. This issue still needs your help!

Here’s some ideas for how you can help:

  • Spread the word through social media! Blogs, Twitter, LinkedIn, Facebook!
  • Share this information with your work colleagues, fellow students, etc.
  • Gently challenge those who proselytize learning styles.
  • Share the research cited below.

History of the Learning Styles Challenge

It has been exactly eight years since I wrote in a blog post:

I will give $1000 (US dollars) to the first person or group who can prove that taking learning styles into account in designing instruction can produce meaningful learning benefits.

Eight years is a long time. Since that time, over one billion babies have been born, 72 billion metric tons of carbon pollution have been produced, and the U.S. Congress has completely stopped functioning.

However, not once in these past eight years has any person or group collected on the Learning Styles challenge. Not once!

Research on Learning Styles

However, since 2006, more and more people have discovered that learning styles are unlikely to be an effective way to design instruction.

First, there was the stunning research review in the top-tier scientific journal, Psychological Science in the Public Interest:

Pashler, H., McDaniel, M., Rohrer, D., & Bjork, R. (2008). Learning styles: Concepts and evidence. Psychological Science in the Public Interest, 9(3), 105-119.

The authors wrote the following:

We conclude therefore, that at present, there is no adequate evidence base to justify incorporating learning-styles assessments into general educational practice. Thus, limited education resources would better be devoted to adopting other educational practices that have a strong evidence base, of which there are an increasing number. However, given the lack of methodologically sound studies of learning styles, it would be an error to conclude that all possible versions of learning styles have been tested and found wanting; many have simply not been tested at all. (p. 105)

To read more about what they wrote, click here.

Two years later, two of the authors reiterated their findings in a separate–and nicely written–article for the Association for the Study of Medical Education. You can access that article at: Here’s the research citation:

Rohrer, D., & Pashler, H. (2012). Learning styles: Where’s the evidence? Medical Education, 46(7), 634-635.

A researcher who had once advocated for learning styles did an about face after he did some additional research:

Cook, D. A. (2012). Revisiting cognitive and learning styles in computer-assisted instruction: Not so useful after all. Academic Medicine, 87(6), 778-784.
Of course, not everyone is willing to give up on learning styles. For example, Furnham (2012) wrote:
The application of, and research into, learning styles and approaches is clearly alive and well. (p. 77).
Furnham, A. (2012). Learning styles and approaches to learning. In K. R. Harris, S. Graham, T. Urdan, S. Graham, J. M. Royer, & M. Zeidner (Eds.), APA handbooks in psychology. APA educational psychology handbook, Vol. 2. Individual differences and cultural and contextual factors (pp. 59-81). doi:10.1037/13274-003

A quick cursory look–today–through the PsycINFO database shows that scientific published articles on learning styles are still being published.

Learning Styles in the Workplace Learning Field

Guy Wallace, performance analyst and instructional architect, has been doing a great job keeping the workplace learning field up on the learning-styles debate. Check out his article in eLearn Magazine and his blog post update.

You’ll note from Guy’s blog post that many prominent thought leaders in the field have been suspicious of learning styles for many years.

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Will’s post is – here.

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Instructional Architecture IMO

Architecture – Like Engineering – Is Structured and Is Not Whatever 

I read from time to time the word architecture in the Instructional Space – that some call Learning and others (like me) might call Performance Support.

What’s in a name? Is a Rose, a Rose, a Rose?

But I digress. But only slightly.

Instruction Architecture in an Enterprise Learning Context – versus an Educational Learning Context or a Personal Learning Context – IMO – should be Concerned With

  • Performance Improvement by the existing metrics
  • Authentic Performance Improvement Transfer
  • Authentic Performance Improvement Mastery
  • Authentic Performance Improvement Practice/Application
  • Authentic Performance Improvement Outputs, Measures and Tasks
  • Authentic Performance Improvement Task Enabling Awareness/ Knowledge/ Skills
  • Content Architecture Paths, Events, Modularity Rules and Templates
  • Enterprise Content Architecture Taxonomy/Framework
  • Enterprise Content Architecture Taxonomy/Framework enabling tools for storing and authoring and updating

It Takes a Logic

My logic – really a sub-set of it that focuses on PACT – my ISD system…

My PACTLogic.

PACT Data Logic

But Architecture – and Engineering – require something like this Logic above – otherwise you’ll have whatever, whenever and however.

Maybe that is OK….

But if not – you need to address that.

Nothing New

Much of this architectural approach to ISD/ Instruction – was first published back in 1984 – and written in 1983.


Here is a recent Blog Post about those two articles from 1984.

Links to the two articles

CAD – Training Mag – 1984 – 6 page PDF – the first publication about Curriculum Architecture Design via a Group Process – published in Training Magazine in September 1984. Original manuscript (30 pages) – How to Build a Training Structure That Won’t Keep Burning Down.

Models and Matrices- NSPI PIJ -1984 – 5 page PDF – the first publication of the performance and enabler analysis methods for ISD, from NSPI’s (ISPI’s) Performance & Instruction Journal, November 1984.

And then all of this – as evolved – was captured in my 1999 book … lean-ISD

Quote from the late Geary Rummler in 1999…

Lean-ISD - Rummler

Dr. Rummler also designed the cover and back cover for the book.

The book received a Instructional Communications award from ISPI in 2002.

Quote from Miki Lane in 1999.

Lean-ISD - Lane

Get a free 410 page PDF copy of lean-ISD – here – and/or the 410 page paperback version – here.

Bottom Line

Architecture and Path/ Event/ Instructional Activity design – is much more than naming topics and aligning them into some semblance of a Path.

Path is sometimes the wrong approach.

Sometimes a Path – and that guidance is needed.

Sometimes it needs to be more of a Menu – with little guidance.

As Always – It Depends

It depends on the Performance Context and the individual’s level of Performance Competence.

Just as Buzz often says…

Buzz Thoughts...003

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Monday Morning Quarter PACT #14

Take a Quarter Hour or Less

To develop your ability to adopt and adapt the PACT Processes for ISD – to meet your Requirements and Constraints.

For Performance Improvement and positive ROI when properly targeted.


B7- Analysis of Other Enablers

Video Shorts B7- Analysis of Other Enablers – 4:13 minutes

Reminder – this is just one video of a collection of over 55 free “School of PACT” videos, that in combination with free books, articles, presentations and for fee books intends to enable the practice of performance-based Instructional Systems Design. To improve Performance Competence at the worker level, the work level, and the workplace level. For Individual, Process and Organizational performance improvement.

You may view them in sequence – or bounce around to eventually do just some or all of them.

See the Resource Tab or The Pursuing Performance Blog and the EPPIC Web Site for additional free resources – here.

See the entire School of PACT video collection Index – here.

What is PACT?

PACT is performance-based ISD… at 3 levels… with common analysis and project management approaches, tools and techniques… to speed the ISD process… to be effective while being efficient…

PACT Logo w 5 Methodologies 2

Other PACT Resources

See all of the EPPIC Videos on YouTube – here.

Books for free – here.

Books for sale – here.


This MMQP Series

This Blog series will post each Monday at 8 am east coast time (USA).


Go for it – here – Monday Mornings!


The benefits?



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Part 10 of 12 – My 12 Boxes for Leveraging Enterprise Process Performance Improvement

Facilities & Grounds

In part 10 in this monthly series – we will focus on the enabling Environmental Asset Attribute of:

Facilities & Grounds

The Facilities & Grounds “Provisioning Systems” in place in any enterprise either provide these resources to the Process/ Processes’ needs – or they do not.

More on them – the Provisioning Systems – the HAMS and the EAMS in the EPPI approach to PI – Performance Improvement.

The Facilities & Grounds Systems provide the buildings, grounds and facilities (utilities for communications/ power/ water/ etc.) needed to enable performers to perform at a level of mastery.

This Environmental Asset Management System responds to needs of the Process, reflected in the analysis data, by providing non–human “facilities/ ground” assets of the following type/ nature:

  • Office Building
  • Parking Lot
  • Office spaces
  • Conference rooms
  • Storage rooms
  • Restrooms
  • Water Lines
  • Gas Lines
  • Phone System
  • Lighting
  • Receiving Dock ramps
  • Etc.

These are typically fairly easy to determine, based on adequate details about the Process itself and other insights such as its projected work volume and variability.

And not all Facilities/ Grounds are equally critical to the needs of the Processes. Determine which are most critical and assess the adequacy and assuredness of their provisioning systems.

Ask yourself – given those targeted Processes you were asked to mentally list earlier for your Acid Test of this content:

  • Is this enabling system itself currently Performance Competent?
  • Might this enabling system be an area for Targeted Improvement?
  • Do we understand well enough how this system is or is not enabling our Processes and meeting the Requirements of our Customers and Stakeholders?
  • What would I look at and where would I go and who would I talk with to determine the answers to these questions?
  • What is the Return value of addressing this issue for some level of Investment – as in ROI?


Back to the Big Picture of EPPI’s Performance Enablers 

Here are the 12 Boxes of the EPPI approach … in non-Box form …

…start on the left with the Process itself… and then on to the enablers…

EPPI Fishbone 14 Variables

Frames … Boxes … Buckets … Accomplishments … Areas of Performance … Key Results Areas … Major Duties … Responsibilities …. whatever ….

It’s complex. It’s a system.

Within a system of course….

Facilities & Grounds

The appropriate items in this category are just one set of enablers of a Process or set of Processes.

And it’s important to understand the difference between all data and key data – that are the key Data/Information that really enable Performance Competence. And what’s really critical versus necessary versus superfluous.

And what is your definition of Performance Competence – or the end goal – and then … how do you measure that?



How you measure that is unique to each situation – except for the bottom line, accepted financial metrics related to Return on Equity (ROE), and/or return on net assets (RONA), etc., etc. Business measures.

The bigger picture…

Rocking Review Around the EPPI 12 Box Model Clockwise

Besides “The Process” itself – there are the 2 types of Enablers.

But in my view – I would always start with the Process. Is there a Process – and is it adequate to the demands of all of the Stakeholders – including but beyond THE CUSTOMER(s). And their Customers and other stakeholders.

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 a flight plan, instrument data, technical,blueprints, wiring diagrams, computer systems instructions, etc., etc.

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:

  1. Human
  2. Environmental


The Process View and the Enabler Views I propose here are intended to be used in a scalable manner, for looking at what is necessary at the following levels of Enterprise Performance …

  1. Worker - a.k.a: Individual, and/or the…
  2. Work - a.k.a: Process, and/or the…
  3. Workplace - a.k.a: Organization-Enterprise, and/or the…
  4. World - a.k.a: Mega-Social Responsibility

Human Assets and Human Asset Management Systems

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.

The HAMS – the Human Asset Management Systems “provision” these to the Processes as needed – adequately, or not.

The HAMS are covered after this next section.

Environmental Assets and Environmental Asset Management Systems

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 EAMS – the Environmental Asset Management Systems “provision” these to the Processes as needed – adequately, or not.

The EAMS and the HAMS are covered in this next section.

And Then What?

And then after determining which of the Enablers are in need of attention – I use the following model to determine how “these things” happen – and where and who – in my client organization.

Here are the Provisioning Systems mentioned earlier – the HAMS and the EAMS … I use this next model as a tool/template to determine who actual “owns” or “co-owns” or “doesn’t own but should” – the roles and responsibilities for Provisioning the right “stuff” to the right processes at the right time, cost and quality …

The EPPI HAMS and EAMS Model

“Stuff” being the HA – Human Assets and the EA Environmental Assets REQUIRED. By the Processes.

Nothing more. Nothing less.


These Enabler Provisioning Systems – which 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.

Next one would estimate the Costs of Non-Compliance to see if it’s a Big Enough Deal – and as appropriate – the Costs of Compliance – and then one can make a wise or foolish Business Decision – from an ROI viewpoint.

Should the gaps in the enablers be addressed?

Where does this – or these kind of things – happen in the Enterprise? What’s the Enterprise Model for EAMS and HAMS? 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

Next Month we look at another of the Environmental Asset Enablers category – those classified as from : Budgets & Headcount.

The Big Picture of EPPI – for Performance Improvement 


It’s not about Learning – even in a Learning Organization. It’s about Performance.

Focus on Performance – and Enable That.

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