Reflecting on TQM – Total Quality Management Back in 1982

39 Years ago today I met with Bill Smith, an engineer at Motorola, often credited with starting Six Sigma at Motorola.

I was there to discuss with him my training development assignment – intended to be a modular series of self-paced training modules on the 7 Basic Quality Tools. Micro-learning from back in the day if you will.

These modules were components of my first CAD – Curriculum Architecture Design effort – as an employee. I’ve done 76 as a consultant – as of November 1982. I’ve told the story of that first CAD effort for Manufacturing Supervisors across Motorola’s 5 Business Sectors (SBUs) – here.

Bill was helpful and gave me a armful of documents that he had a secretary reproduce for me – that I picked up later as I traveled back and forth from my current office to my new office. You can see that on the day that I first met with Bill Smith – I was also packing my cubical office – as MTEC was moving from The Gould Center (with a huge Picasso sculpture outside the front door) to HQ’s 6th floor – the Tower.

I got my Performance Orientation as an ISDer – on day 1 back in August 1979 – from Rummler, Gilbert and Mager resources that I was asked to read as part of my OnBoarding into the world of Training, Performance-Based Training, in my first job out of college with my Radio-TV-Film degree from Kansas University. That was at Wickes Lumber in Saginaw MI. I was also introduced to NSPI (now ISPI) in September 1979.

My 2nd job, at Motorola, which started in June of 1982 after my wife got transferred, gave me an introduction to VR – Variability Reduction – the forerunner of Six Sigma – and Lean of the expanding world of TQM – Total Quality Management.

That gave me a somewhat unique perspective as an ISD Consultant – starting in November 1982 – as I was able to analyze Performance – ideal and gaps – with a different mindset than my fellow ISDers/IDers – a mindset heavily influenced by Ishikawa’s Diagram and later I came to realize that my frame was probably influenced by Gilbert’s BEM as well. Those ideas – and probably many others – morphed into this graphic…

I sometimes present that graphic … as this next graphic … as I always anchor my Instructional products (Group-Paced, Coached, Self-Paced modes of Instruction using any blend of Media) back to the authentic Performance Competence requirements of the learners/Performers … Back-on-the-Job …

My approach to performance-based Instructional Analysis – has always been the Secret Sauce for me, professionally, for 4 decades now.

I’ve been influenced by many thought leaders in Performance Improvement (PI) – by many names for PI, going back to my first days in the business.

Lucky me. My deeper orientation to Quality at Motorola prompted me to write this White Paper in May of 1982 – the “White paper” idea/lable coming for NBC’s video White Paper about Japanese Quality. On June 24, 1980, Americans widely viewed a NBC documentary called “If Japan Can… Why Can’t We.”

The program, part of NBC’s White Paper series, prominently featured Dr. W. Edwards Deming.

Deming had just recently refused to come visit us at MTEC – because our response to his question, “Will your CEO be there” – as “no.” We thought he was quite arrogant. But he was right.

MTEC White Paper 1982 – 39 page PDF – a white paper I wrote while at MTEC – Motorola’s Training & Education Center – in May 1982 where I proposed combining the concepts, models, methods, processes, tools and techniques of Geary Rummler, Neil Rackham (of SPIN Selling fame) and of Deming, Juran and Crosby (and other quality gurus). This led to my boss taking that idea and changing it to become a Geary Rummler Do-It-Yourself Consulting Kit – which after I left in October 1982 became the training course created by Geary Rummler called OPS (Organization Performance Systems).

It’s Not All About Learning. It’s All About Performance.

My 15th book – published a few months ago – goes into the greatest detail – and covers how to conduct performance-based Instructional Analysis throughout the Instructional Development process.

See more about this book – here.

And/or see my Author’s Page at Amazon – here – for information about all 15 of my books.


Instructional Currentz with Alex Salas

Video #003 in This New Series

I asked Alex if he would chat with me about his L&D academy: eLearning Launch.

This video is 33:15 minutes in length.

Links to Alex and eLearning Launch:

The eLearning Launch YouTube Channel:

Follow Alex:

Twitter: @StyleLearn

See the collection of Instructional Currentz videos here:


Wednesday HPT Video Matinee

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In 2017 I started using Skype to enable me to broaden my reach beyond F2F recordings. Then in 2020 I started using Zoom.

Again, I have posted each of these videos on YouTube. They, unfortunately, are on multiple YouTube sites. Please use this link to the Index – here.

Guy’s HPT Video Series

The HPT Video Series … formerly known as the HPT Practitioner and HPT Legacy Video Series … was started by Guy W. Wallace in 2008 as a means of sharing the diversity of HPT Practitioners, and the diversity of HPT Practices in the workplace and in academia.

The full set of videos – over 125 – may be found and linked to – here.

HPT – Human Performance Technology – is the application of science – the “technology” part – for Performance Improvement.

As the late Don Tosti noted, “All performance is a human endeavor.”

Whether your label for HPT is that, or Performance Improvement, or Human Performance Improvement, it is all about Evidence Based Practices for Performance Improvement at the Individual level, the Team level, the Process level, the Department level, the Functional level, the Enterprise level, and at the level of Society/World.

HPT Practitioners might operate at any of these levels, as this Video Series clearly demonstrates.

Although ISPI – the International Society for Performance Improvement is the professional home of many HPT Practitioners – the concepts, models, methods, tools and techniques are not limited to any one professional affinity group or professional label.

ISPI just happens to be where I learned about HPT – and has been my professional home since 1979.

This Series Has Evolved Since 2008

These videos were first posted on Google Video, then they were moved to Blink, and now they may all be found on YouTube. And my name for them has changed as well…

HPT Practitioner Video Podcasts and HPT Legacy Video Podcasts

– Practitioner Series – short 2-10 minutes, following a script. Intended to show the diversity of HPT and HPT Practitioners. (2008-2018)

– Legacy Series – longer 15-40+ minutes, also scripted, with added stories of other NSPI/ ISPI’ers from the earlier days of the Society or others who were of great influence. Intended to capture the stories of the people who influenced us. (2008-2018)

– HPT Video Series (2019+) – is a continuation of the first two types of videos in this series, but with less focus on capturing NSPI/ISPI members – and expanding out to any and all who use Evidence Based Practices in Performance Improvement regardless of any affiliation with ISPI or not.

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It’s All About Adding Value vs Subtracting Value

IMO. However you and your clients measure Value Added (as well as Value Subtracted).

At the Worker, Workflow, Workplace and World (Societal) levels.

For if you don’t add value, and you subtract value, and you’ll eventually drive your unit, function, Enterprise bankrupt.

That’s why many L&D function are driven to look at ROI, or ROE, or RONA, etc., as they wish to get on THAT side of the Balance Sheet.

“What’s a Balance Sheet?” some may ask.

THAT’S an issue IMO too. Not understanding how Score Is Kept. THAT’S an issue to be remedied ASAP IMO.

L&D Is a Cost Center

Even Cost Centers vs Profit Centers are there to ADD VALUE. Otherwise they’d be cut and cut quickly. Gone.

T&D/ L&D/ LXD units are usually Cost Centers – and if they do not add enough value – that shows up elsewhere in a Profit Center – they should be cut – and their Product & Service Offerings – should be outsourced. Or the Cost Center will be rebuilt and repurposed to meet the Value Add Criteria.

L&D is not put into place because it feels good (too often). It’s not on the payroll and balance sheet because it’s simply expected, or honorable, or because leaders JUST LOVE LEARNING.

It’s not on the Organization Chart because it’s a necessary evil.

It’s there to Add Value in improving the performance of the other units and processes of the Enterprise – be they part of Cost Centers that roll-up eventually to some Profit Center.

The Critical Importance of Results

Let me Point you to something the late Geary A. Rummler wrote in 1969 … a 6 page PDF … and that I presented in a 2011 Blog Post – here.

And this from Rummler – that was in a handout I got in 1981…


Go For Performance – Short Video Series – 072

T&D: My Instructional Development Model or framework, used for planning and managing the ISD effort always starts with Phase 1- Project Planning & Kick-Off; 2- Analysis; 3- Design; 4- Development; 5- Pilot Testing; and finally, 6- Revision & Release. Go for Performance Impact!

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Monday’s Short Videos on pb-ISD and PIBI

pb-ISD refers to performance-based Instruction – and – PIBI refers to Performance Improvement Beyond Instruction.

Some Short Videos

Stop Costly Turnover…

Managerial Work Break Down Structure…



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