Project Planning for performance-based ISD Efforts

I’ve always had a bias towards Detailed Project Planning…

…in that I wholeheartedly believe that it is a key to success…

…among other keys.

I started writing about Project Planning and Detailed Project Planning in our firm’s quarterly newsletter – R.A. Svenson & Associates Inc.’s “Management Update” – sometime in the early-mid 1980s.

Here are some “clippings” from a 1986 Chicago NSPI publication: Performance & Instruction. NSPI of course is the National Society for Programmed Instruction from 1962 that then became the National Society for Performance & Instruction that later became the the International Society for Performance Improvement of today.

In 1992 I again published in our newsletter Management Update but we had become Svenson & Wallace Inc. – or as we marketed ourselves: SWI.

By 1992 I had been using my 6 phase version of ADDIE for 10 years as a consultant working with Fortune 500 firms on some very interesting ISD projects!

In September of 2001 I was invited to speak to the ISD students at Purdue in Lafayette Indiana about real-world ISD efforts…and I chose the “Project Planning” is critical – spin on my talk.

One of the key things I learned about in 1979 was the WBS – Work Breakdown Structure. Which I use in my minds eye as well as on more tangible visuals.

I see every project as a progression of micro and macro activity clusters…patterns/cycles… within larger patterns/cycles…think of the patterns/cycles within the macro efforts of Analysis efforts or Design efforts…

…at the micro level it all about that interview or that analysis meeting or that gate review meeting…or getting the Design Document published and disseminated…

Activites such as:

  • project plan development
  • conduct of analysis
  • conduct of analysis review and establishment of design criteria
  • conduct of design
  • conduct of design review and establishment of the criteria for the next step
  • conduct of development
  • conduct of development review and establishment of the criteria for the next step
  • conduct of pilot-test
  • conduct of pilot-test review and establishment of the criteria for the next step
  • etc.

It’s a pattern. Of “prep it/do it/document it/ review it” through some logical (hopefully) progression of steps…at the phase level.

My PACT Process are linear. None of my clients wanted us to miss something the first time through and then have to go back for rework. REWORK! I hate it. You should too. Lean-ISD is about being lean…

PACT has 3 levels of ISD…and common to each are analysis methods – and common to each are also project planning and management methods.

Making it easier to learn and master and then coach others…

As well as easier to plan, monitor and manage….

CAD efforts, my version of large scale/critical job or process “Training Needs Analysis” -usually follow the 4 phase model below…and take 2-3 months unless the effort is really accelerated…to 3-4 weeks.

MCD projects, my version of the ADDIE-level of ISD, are also quick…but their cycle time depends on the amount of performance-based Instruction and Information isn’t available for REUSE and will have to be developed or acquired.

IAD efforts follow the same 6 phase approach as MCD – but are most likely going to combine phases or eliminate them entirely – especially true when the content is what I call…More of the Same…more policy modules, more product knowledge modules, etc. Where we already know that the design has “instructional integrity” from the efforts that proceeded “more of the Same.”

For more details about Project Planning and the PACT Processes, see my book: lean-ISD, available as a free 404-page PDF at:

Book cover design by Geary A. Rummler.

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One comment on “Project Planning for performance-based ISD Efforts

  1. Pingback: My Building Block for L&D Project Planning | EPPIC - Pursuing Performance

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