Learning Is JUST One Part of the Process Puzzle


VR – one of those acronyms from the TQM – Total Quality Management movement of the early 1980s.

One part of the puzzle.

Variability Reduction.

The goal of SPC – Statistical Process Control back in the 80’s. The goal of today’s Six Sigma version of: SPC plus.

Find the best way to do something/anything, and standardize on that. And get it into statistical control. Or enough control…

Want to try to get the scriptwriting process into statistical control “within” the “Develop Script for Weekly Comedy Program” process at many TV shows? For 8 writers and then the temperamental cast? Box that on the process map and move on. All you can do is set a deadline, and set an audience target, and….

Hope they get creative. Encourage all sort of Informal Learning. And some directed-Informal Learning. And darn little Formal Learning…formally/otherwise known as Training…to create SKILL…or Education…to create KNOWLEDGE…or Communications…to create AWARENESS. Or whatever labels you use for these distinctions/differences-of-intent. And give them access to the Data-Glut and collaborative tools.

But mainly they gotta hit a deadline and it better be good. Otherwise leave them alone!

But the folks in the Finance Department? Who sign employees up and cut paychecks or program direct-electronic-deposits? And report to the IRS? And get you that W-2 on time every year so that you can enter a process owned by the IRS (or your countries equivalent? Sorry. I am a gringo from the suburbs of Chicago and then KC.) Don’t give them access to the Data-Glut and collaborative tools. Not as part of their job. Not with a communicated expectation of using these tools to figure out how to do

Innovating while Executing

Let their supervisor do that and find best practices to “pilot-test” as part of her/his job. Don’t distract them from PERFORMANCE and their role in it. Yeah, they want to. But let them wait until they walk out the door. You know they can’t wait to get home to reconnect. To their Social Network.

I’m a child of the sixties. I get it. Jesse Colin Young and Get Together. With IT support. Thanks IT guys and gals!

This child of the sixties would like everything to be much clearer…

  • what the stakeholders demand and want and the consequences for meeting those, or not, and how we are measuring our compliance to those and predicting our future success or failure ?


  • what processes are best practices and when to situationally vary and WHEN TO NOT VARY…and what best practices and lessons learned are applicable in this portion of the WORKFLOW ?


  • and what is my role in team efforts and individual contributor efforts and how will my performance be measured ?


  • and what awareness, knowledge and/or skills are needed by the learner/PERFORMERS? And where can I get Procedural Guidelines – Job Aids/Performance Aids…via EPSS (ala Glory Gery) – or laminated job aids taped to the equipment/machinery (ala Barry Booth) ?


  • and where to go to get anything more than INFORMAL LEARNING


And…address situations where there is a lack of process and practice clarity…because…

Where is there is no goal, there is no ultimate PERFORMANCE COMPETENCE target.

And to quote author Lewis Carroll from his “Alice in Wonderland” – “If you don’t know where you are going, any road will take you there.”

IT and ISD and IPDs and many other acronyms have the promise to get us there. The enablers are there. It’s now up to us to use them to create Performance Competence for ROI. For the sake of the Stakeholders. Figure out your puzzle.








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