I have used a version of the Performance Model my entire career in the T&D/ Learning/ Knowledge Management world…for I was taught a “performance-based approach” to ISD…back in 1979.
The Performance Model is central to being performance-based and business oriented. But it takes more than that for the department now often known as “Learning” to become focussed on terminal Performance versus an “enabler” such as content intended to accomplish LEARNING.
In my model, there are 3 steps in making a smooth segue from training to performance.
Those three major steps are:
1st- being very effective in producing performance-oriented T&D in terms of reducing life cycle costs and increasing returns…Total ROI. If you don’t have credibility here yet, don’t move on to #2.
2nd- being aligned with the enterprise leadership, and being used in the support of critical enterprise challenges, where there is significant return-on-investment, and value add, and/or for high-penalty risk issues are at stake. You need to do well in these highly visible arenas with communications and training & development. Here’s where being excellent at #1 pays off and enables you to take that final step to #3!
3rd– being able to easily add to your analysis approach methods/tools to determine both “the requirements” and the “actuals/gaps” regarding all other process/human performance variables. Conduct your performance consulting within instructional consulting efforts, all the while delivering excellence in response to instructional needs in critical high-stakes areas. Later, change the name of your department, after you’ve earned it.
Step 1– Smoothly Segueing from Training to Performance
Produce performance-based/performance-relevant communications when the goal is awareness. And pb education when the goal is knowledge. And pb Training when the goal is skills and performance capability. And pb certification when you’ve got to make absolutely sure that they CAN DO IT!
The goal is always total ROI and total Value Add, over the life cycle. Not simply first costs and first returns. Don’t build it if you are not willing to administer and maintain it over the anticipated and needed life cycle!
What is T&D?
Training and Development is known by many names. Some names are:
- Knowledge Management
Too many names unfortunately cause confusion in the marketplace, for suppliers and customers alike. If your goal is improved performance as measured by enterprise metrics, then it really doesn’t matter what you call it, as long as it provides sufficient returns for its actual costs. Total ROI.
Unfortunately, too much of the T&D produced today, by any of it’s various names, isn’t going to move the needle on the dashboard upward one iota. Unless your’re looking at the costs scorecard meter.
What is performance-based T&D/ Learning/ Knowledge Management?
Performance-based content are not random topics. They are structured content and activities, derived from a model of performance, and tested/proven against their ability to create the appropriate awareness, knowledge and/or skills related to performance requirements of specific target performer populations. The ultimate measure is job/process/enterprise performance improvements that meets all of the key metrics of the business.
It is blended as needed, not just because it could be.
Years ago I heard a young, neophyte ISDer, enamored with On-Line Learning, define “it” for her assembled audience of other new ISDers – “to always be interactive and always be blended.”
Too many in that audience might unfortunately have believed her, but I was polite at the time. Hogwash is the polite term. Her Masters in Education completion was only weeks away. Yikes! Too many confuse the channel with its content. And interactivity with learning.
If the learning goal (related to a real performance goal) is awareness, then I might be able to learn by reading a “page turner” off of the Internet, or in a booklet, or in a journal, etc. Knowing that I, as an engineer, need to always run my purchases through Purchasing, ALWAYS, and not make a phone call to a vendor to place an order on my own, simply requires awareness creating content. Please don’t blend that and include interaction! Pleeeease!
As always, it depends. But “it” always needs to be performance-related/performance-based. Or else “why bother?” Indeed!
The diagram above portrays our use of the Performance Model’s AoPs to systematically derive the enabling K/Ss. Note that the Performance Model is used to also systematically derive all of the OTHER enablers of peak performance.
This helps to insure that all identified “items” (topics and things) are truly performance related, and then we even know exactly what the topic should cover and enable, as well as the environmental things needed. Down with “the history of purchasing and their need to control costs and leverage our purchasing muscle.” Up with “here’s what you need to do when you are performing X, Y and Z.”
Any Piece of Instruction is Part of a Larger Instructional System
Performance-based content and activities should “hang together” and have a “face-validity” about their sequence in terms of when the learner gets them, their pre-requisite relationships and sequencing, and how deep they go (to the awareness, knowledge, or skill levels).
My PACT Processes for T&D (and for learning/ knowledge management/ etc.) address this as if T&D was just like other engineered products.
Designing performance-based T&D/ Learning/ Knowledge Management
I see ISD (Instructional Systems Design) as an engineer might…at 3 levels:
- The Systems Engineering/Architecture level
- The New Product Development Level
- The Sub-Assembly level
The Systems Engineering/Architecture level
The systems engineering/architectural level of ISD in my PACT Processes is what I call CAD– Curriculum Architecture Design.
ISD was intended to produce a system of instruction, not just one course. But most applications of ADDIE are one-offs, and are not based on a systems view of all of the instruction that might be required.
The unfortunate result is a “pile” of instruction, a hodge-podge with gaps and overlaps that detract from ROI and Value Add. This is only a problem if the investors wanted returns for those costs. Do yours?
The New Product Development Level
The new product development level of ISD in my PACT Processes is MCD– Modular Curriculum Development/Acquisition. This is the traditional ADDIE level. It includes, as the CAD level does as well, a front-end planning and alignment (kick-off) element.
One of the things I never liked about the traditional ADDIE model is that it suggests to the unknowing /inexperienced practitioner that you start with “analysis” and not “analysis in a planning mode.”
The MCD level of PACT builds/buys chunks of content at the module or lesson level and add up to a course/workshop/etc. An intact chuck of instruction.
Ideally these are done after the CAD lays the entire set of curricula out, be they…
- Knowledge Management
But sometimes it is necessary to get on with an MCD effort without the CAD effort prior. And our methods work that way too; less than ideal, but hey, we do live in the real world … I’ve got one foot planted firmly in reality and the other foot planted in idealism. Just my nature. Pragmatic Idealism!
The Sub-Assembly level
The sub-assembly level of ISD in my PACT Processes is IAD– Instructional Activity Development/Acquisition.
These IAs, the sub-assemblies of a module/lesson/course, are the objects. Some are unique, some are shareable and other are core. Some are info, some are demo, and others are appo (an “application”).
Core IAs is for everyone in a particular enterprise. Shareable IAs have more than one target audience, but not everyone. Unique IAs relates to only one target.
Info IAs provide information. Demo IAs provide demonstrations. Appo IAs provide application opportunities, easy or hard or darn difficult practice exercises or tests.
PACT’s 5 Tier Inventory framework uses “modules” that contain/house the IAs and use an SKU (stock keeping unit) coding system, to make it easier for ISDers to reuse content and store any new build content at this “object level.”
EPPIC ISD Resources On the Web
Besides offering my 3 books, including my book: lean-ISD, the EPPIC web site has the following resources that might help you in your ISD journey to achieve peak performance when the root issues are awareness, knowledge, and skill related:
-Lean-ISD White Paper
-How to Build a Training Structure That Won’t Keep Burning Down
-The Detailed Project Plan
-Performance Modeling & Human Asset Enabler Analysis
-Areas of Performance
-Debriefing the PACT Processes Analysis and Design Meetings
-The Training Factor in the Quality Equation
Plus many, many others!
These are two-page job aids for the PACT Practitioner. Print them 2-sided and use as job aids!
– Performance Model
– K/S categories
– K/S Matrices
– CAD Design
– MCD Design
These presentations have been given at major conferences and at smaller gatherings/local chapter meetings
-Designing for the ISD Life Cycle (ISPI)
-Push-Pull Knowledge Management (ISPI)
-Lean-ISD (Training 99)
-Project Management (Purdue University)
-CAD (ISPI Columbus Chapter)
-Performance Modeling Workshop (ISPI Des Moines Chapter)
These are articles from new PACT Practitioners about their experiences and lessons learned in climbing the learning curve. An automotive industry practitioner’s story and lessons learned.
And a financial services industry practitioner’s story and lessons learned.
There are too many articles within these quarterly newsletters (going back to 1997 and numbering between 12 and 64 pages each) to list.
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