Are You Averaging Your "Content Quality" Up or Down?

Is your approach to content creation averaging the quality of that content up — or — down?

I use the term Master Performers in my ISD efforts when I seek systematic input and involvement in my Analysis and Design and Development and Pilot-Test efforts..

I also use the term SME. But probably differently than you do.

I have been burned and I have learned.

Most of the Master Performers that I have dealt with as an external ISD/HPT consultant…in over 125 ISD projects…didn’t have much Formal Learning on their way to the top. It was all Informal…what I call: U-OJTUn-structured on-the-job-training. They usually like that term. It’s the same as sink-or-swim.

But they do appreciate the efforts of their Enterprise in addressing the informality of it all. They are often, as Master Performers, called in to bail out the non-Master Performers…their peers or subordinates AND sometime their bosses… usually in sticky situations of significant risk. This would help to off load that burden. They especially like to see this for their subordinates and peers. They would usually like to keep bailing out their bosses however.

And…most of the SMEs – Subject Matter Experts – that I worked with early in my career, BEFORE I understood the difference…were not Master Performers. And that fact typically manifested itself in my project efforts as unnecessary REWORK.

So I always ask my Project Steering Team to name the Master Performers that they’d prefer to see used for “data input/manipulation and review.” And I always warn them about GIGO…garbage in/garbage out…or…good input/good output. This is THEIR project so it’s up to them as to how well they resource the effort.

The new “Collaborative systems/tools” available that are being used to create and disseminate “Instructional Content” need to be used carefully…with caution…as in “who authors your content will directly impact it’s quality…the completeness/ accuracy/ appropriateness of it.”

Most SMEs put too much content in as they don’t understand the performance and what is really required and not required. Master Performers will put in the least as they know all too well that no one has time for fluff.

The Analysis and Design Teams of the PACT Processes begin a “Community of Practice” if one didn’t exist prior. This has happened often in the past without my client even being involved…they just decide to become a network…and interact in whatever manner they can find, that is feasible for them…

…because they are Master Performers…and they don’t wait for the Enterprise to do something for them. They just do it for themselves.

And of course…that is the exemplar. They are the exemplars. We want everyone (perhaps) to be like them. To perform as they do.

We would like to capture whatever we can about their performance, even if we have to hear them have heated agreements in the dialogue that the PACT Processes facilitate in the Analysis and Design and other structured meetings. And then we’d like to bottle it…in our deployment mechanisms as T&D/ Learning/ Knowledge Management “Instructional Products” for just-in-time and just-enough content to enable…

…Performance Competence.

And that’s why I use Master Performers versus Subject Matter Experts.

For more on this approach see leanISD, my 404-page book, available as a free PDF at
Achieve Peak Performance – To Protect and Improve the Enterprise!

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