Assess How Well You Are Designing for the Life Cycle in Your Approach to ISD

For years I’ve been writing, presenting and consulting with my clients on improving their ISD systems, processes, methods, models, tools and techniques for improved business results for their stakeholders. It doesn’t matter what you label your efforts… learning… training… development….

One model I developed to help improve operating efficiency of your “organizational entity” looking after the INFORMATIONAL and INSTRUCTIONAL needs of the workforce in all of their workflows…

…is the DFLC – Design for Life Cycle applied to Enterprise “T&D/ Learning/ Knowledge Management” type organizations and efforts.

Thinking about ISD existing within a system, as one of the core “performance competence” sets necessary…

…with many “outputs-as-inputs” criss-crossing internally between the “various systems” with the T&D SYSTEM…as well as exchanges of outputs and inputs externally to the department, function, business unit and Enterprise…

…it IS a complex effort to first implement and then manage.

One aspect of our business as “product and service managers” with ISD outputs as our products/serices is the need to look beyond first costs and retuirns and look to life cycle costs and returns.

Total ROI for a time-window of your organization’s choosing (3 years – 5 years – ???) is a better yardstick.

Here is a presentation that I’ve given publicly a couple of times in the past.

Of course, if you believe in learning for the sake of learning…and not exclusively for the sake of the shareholders…then you and I are operating from a totally different value-set.

And you have no need to continue with this as that is my “bottom-line” when it comes to learning. Total ROI.

Sources of the RETURNS…

Here are some of your cost contributors as well as contributors to the “value” of your end products and what they do for your customers and how well you meet theirs and other stakeholder requirements.

In my model there are 7 variables to scrutinize and address as needed…IF there is sufficient ROI for “bothering.” Again, I don’t believe in improvement for the sake of improvement…not if there is a negative ROI as a result.

The RED ARROW interfaces are the keys to defining the inter-relationships and needs for improvement.

And the more complex your “T&D SYSTEM” is…the more that this is probably relevant to you.

Here is what “DESIGNING for X” means in an ISD context…

A little more about the “links” that bind…

And, as “one size does not fit all” you’ll need to look at all of this from a situation that is fairly simple or vastly complex.

Do this APPO by by yourself or with a colleague.

Click on and save or print out the following 4 slides/graphics for the “application exercise” -APPO…

Debrief yourself…

You should have determined your targets for improvements with that APPO. And are able to put some numbers and words to the worth of the RETURNS… the avoided RISKS and achieved REWARDS of your forecast.

Not all RETURNS are quite quantifiable. Only your customers and stakeholders can really discuss the pros and cons and the facts and figures and emotions regarding the value of the RETURN side of ROI…and then only after they determine the probable investment costs…the “I” in ROI.

You’ve now got targets with an estimate of the RETURNS.

So what?

Well now that you have targets you can think about the interrelationships of those targets’ processes’ capability to perform to meet all of its stakeholders’ requirements AND desires…as well as assess the current capability of the human and environnmental enablers available to get the process job done.

To see the RETURNS from a stakeholder perspective…might be enlightening. Figure out who they are and what THEY WANT.

Adapt the criteria above (left side) as needed. Now review the 7 slides below and answer the question in red for each:

If you addressed this, what level of Investment might this take?

APPO #2…if you haven’t done it allready…

Use the following for this APPO…


Again, debrief yourself…

The goal was for you to walk through a systematic review of how well your current system addresses life cycle VALUE for your Enterprise and quickly pick targets and estimate both RETURNS and INVESTEMENT costs for establishing ROI for a longer period of the life cycle than is typically done in looking at ROI.

For more on this and other systems/process/performance-based approaches to ISD see the resources at:

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