The PACT Processes and Workflow

I’ve been doing analysis of processes and peoples’ performance within those processes since 1979. It’s how I was taught to do it, or rather it led to my current practice.

We started with a Gilbert-like “Accomplishments” approach to WBS – Work Breakdown Structures as they are called in engineering circles. But I was always thinking more linear. Which is now referred to as Workflow.

I thought Accomplishments such as:

  • Plans Developed
  • Reports Prepared
  • Reports Reviewed
  • Staff Recruited
  • Staff Oriented

…too often approached the whole aspect of “performance” by grouping “like” things. And then determining the enablers.

I preferred looking at processes. And finding the redundant enablers within them in a second step also…so I didn’t lump all planning together or all reports reviewing. I wanted to tease them apart.

So I really liked the process approach of Geary Rummler and the TQM – Total Quality Management movement, especially when they both kind of merged, back in the early and mid-1980s at Motorola. (Another story from the past to be told.)

I always wanted to know if the planner was developing plans (or otherwise participating in planning) in multiple settings…and I wanted to understand “planning” (or “whatever”) within the processes contexts, not in isolation – or pulled-out-and-grouped.

So I couldn’t call it Accomplishments although it’s a similar concept in that they are both segmentation schemes. And I couldn’t use Major Duties…another popular label.

All other labels carried their own baggage of specific-or-general/non-specific meanings – so that I was compelled to create a new one: Areas of Performance – AoPs.

(And- yes I know it should be “A’soP.”)

AoPs are used to further break-down large, complex Processes. Even less-complex processes.
For example – if ISD is a process then A-D-D-I-E could be the AoPs. ADDIE is the workflow, especially if like me your process is linear because you are going to get it through it in a linear fashion without all the re-do-loops of REWORK. At least most-of-the-time.

And within each are “clusters of Outputs-Tasks” data – and other related/attached data. Of course ADDIE is missing an upfront planning phase – although some tell me they see that as part of Analysis.

Whatever…so long as it is a set of tasks leading to the Output (the ISD plan) that meets stakeholder requirements.

The “Output-Task Clusters” for the AoP of Analysis could include, by “Output” –

  • Stakeholder Interview Guides
  • Target Audience data
  • Performance data
  • Enabling K/S data
  • Existing T&D Assessments for Reuse data
  • Analysis Report
  • Project Steering Team Gate Review Presentation
  • Analysis data Updates
  • Next Steps Updates

Of course if your rapid ISD methods are “sans” Analysis tasks or outputs…or are extremely abbreviated…then you would be accelerating right past any of this straight into Design/Development.

I just hope your short-cut’s “rework cycling” doesn’t extend your actual time lines and costs well past what they could have been with a less “haste-makes-waste” approach.

And I hope you don’t anchor everything on a general Competency model that has been validated via “face-validity” means.

Because Reports Reviewed is valid.

But where exactly can you go with that from here?

It’s not about Learning. It’s about Performance Competence.

For more on my approach, using the PACT Analysis methods, see my book: lean-ISD – available for free as a 404 page PDF at

And see the resource tab for many other related references and resources.

One comment on “The PACT Processes and Workflow

  1. Pingback: Instructional Design on the Output-Task Cluster – a.k.a.: Whole Task | EPPIC - Pursuing Performance

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