Reuse Strategies & Tactics via the PACT Processes

I have been going after REUSE of Instruction/Information in my ISD efforts since 1979 when I first started in the Training biz. As I developed and evolved what became the PACT Processes I discovered that my Design Concepts and Methods required thinking about Content Chunks -what is now called Objects – at both the Macro and Micro levels – and levels in between.

Then that led to thinking and changes in my Analysis Concepts and Methods as well.

And I needed to facilitate the learning progression of awareness to knowledge to skill to performance competencewhere Performance Competence is the ability to perform tasks to produce outputs to stakeholder requirements.

If I designed and developed my content on Tasks and/or Topics RIGHT, I could give the Individual Contributor the build up to Skills and Performance Competence, and (as way of example only) give the Manager the build up to Knowledge, and give the Vice President the build up to Awareness.

Build it once – and then take it apart and give the other Target Audiences just what they need – to their level of need. Or build up to knowledge levels but keep thinking about the future potential to take it further than Knowledge to Skills and Performance Competence someday. I thought: Can I make my Design concepts and practices ROBUST to those potentialities?

So I strove for “modularity” concepts and practices in all three levels of the PACT Processes – from my macro to my micro ISD methods.

In CAD – Curriculum Architecture Design I might share T&D Events/Learning Events across multiple T&D Paths with different Target Audiences -say certain Policy/Procedural content for the various Managers’ T&D Paths – say for Marketing, Engineering, Manufacturing, Sales, Service, Finance, Information Technology and Human Resources. Aren’t there many Tasks/Topics that they would need to share? Such as Strategic Planning or Operations Planning & Budgeting and other Leadership Areas of Performance and many Support Areas of Performance.

That’s why there is almost always the ETA step of Existing T&D Assessments for Reuse in the Analysis Phase of CAD before Design. To salvage prior shareholder investments and avoid unnecessary costs.

That thinking led to the development and use in many consulting engagements of the Management Areas of Performance model – a starting point for customization in Management CAD efforts. Tested in 20+ CAD projects by myself personally – and many other field tests/acid tests by my business partners, employees and clients who learned the PACT CAD methods both formally and informally. And then that led to the Management Areas of Performance book.

In MCD – Modular Curriculum Development/Acquisition I might share Task/Topic content between T&D Events at the Lesson Level or at the Instructional Activity Level. And hopefully not have to do a lot of rework for that reuse. Or at a minimum – minimize the rework if unavoidable.

If your concept of Reuse requires NO REWORK then all you can ever create are generics – vanilla content that probably is so watered down that it is probably useless for even a single use.

If it was all designed/developed RIGHT the designers and developers could do a lot of “plug and play” with the content objects, which by this level of ISD in PACT would be Lessons and Instructional Activities.

And this means reuse of prior designs, using them more as templates, with more-or-less consistent patterns of content flow – which the learners/Performers would eventually “discover” and use to their advantage – scanning and speed reading and skipping ahead when appropriate to their needs.

Can’t all Policy content be the same in pattern? Can’t all Product Knowledge be patterned similarly? Shouldn’t they be – for speeding both development by the ISDers – and the Users/learners? Or should we let the ISDers get creative and do-their-own-thing-their-own-way?


As always it depends – at least in my view. There are plenty of other places to use your creative juices – but not everywhere. They don’t allow product designers in their own ADDIE-like New Development Process do so. They use CAD (Computer Aided Design) tools with standard parts inventories to speed development and lower costs.

An Aside
Reminds me of a lesson I learned at Motorola in the early 1980s at a Purchasing Conference at a time when the Prime Rate was over 20% – and the cost of capital was huge!

The speaker talked about Toyota and how after WWII they were so broke that they built all of their car designs using 7 different fasteners – in fact the CEO had to approve any new fasteners – and therefore that just didn’t happen. Necessity being the mother of invention – saved them from holding dozens or thousands of additional fastener parts in inventory at a lower cost back after the war in the late 1940’s and 1950’s which was still too much in their way of thinking – and at a much higher cost today.

The audience, probably about 100 people, gasped quite loudly after the speaker continued. And at General Motors he told the assembled, they use over 19,000 fasteners across their product lines. Who has the cost advantage?

The point to these Purchasing People – don’t let the engineers kills us in our costs of inventory! Support the coming CAD systems with their standard parts inventories!

As an ISDer in the room who was tasked with supporting the Manufacturing, Materials and Purchasing worlds within and across Motorola, I got it. And saw its implication to ISD.

But I Digress.

In IAD – Instructional Activity Development/Acquisition I might again share patterns of design and therefor content for many types of Tasks/Topics. IAD is a subset of MCD. The concept here is that maybe the client needs those Product Knowledge demos in time for the Sales Conference right now!!! And later we’ll build around those to create the regular T&D. But we just don’t have time now to do the complete job.

So I had to think about how to build components of instruction and perhaps later build out the rest of the course. Product Knowledge Demos (of product features and benefits) isn’t all of the instructional content necessary for Performance Competence – just a piece-part of it.

Think of those Product Knowledge Demos as providing only the “BB” in the following graphic…


That led to my invention in 1990 of the Lesson Map of Instructional Activities – used for the first time in a Labor Relations for New Supervisors course for Illinois Bell – that was then reworked slightly for Michigan Bell, Indiana Bell, and Wisconsin Bell after they heard about this 3-day course where we changed the paradigm from “Reading the Contract” (boring!) to Here is the Scenario, Use Your Real Contract to Quickly Figure Out What You Can and Cannot Do”(action!). An article that I and business partner Pete Hybert wrote in a past CADDI newsletter describes the project – see page 2.

The Lesson Map format enabled me to facilitate a Design Team to take the Analysis Data that they had generated and create a design.

Here is an example Lesson Map (of Instructional Activities)…

Here we are teaching and learners are learning about AAA and BBB and CCC and it could be in Group-Paced or Self-Paced or Coached deployment modes using one or many types of media. Could be exclusively E-Learning. Could be exclusively Coached in Structured OJT. Or it could be a blend of a little E-Learning up front, some Classroom learning in the middle and the some Structured OJT learning with a coach to wrap it up.

And note the build up of increasingly more difficult Appos. This is where that gap analysis data from the Performance Model “of typical gaps and causes” become extremely valuable. Shouldn’t we be teaching and the learners/Performers learning about the typical issues that they will most likely face on-the-job??? Shouldn’t they be that well prepared – that Performance Competent by their learnings?

Everything isn’t as easy to learn as A-B-C. Throw in some monkey wrenches into the mix of content. Some sand in the gears. Do it in the Demos and the Appos after informing them in the Infos.


In this next example
we’ll take the case of a Sales Rep for the American Boat & Canoe Company.

Here are their AoPs…

After you’ve defined the Performance Competence of this job – following this analysis framework – and captured from your Master Performers and other Subject Matter Experts the Outputs produced, the measures/metrics and standards from the various Stakeholders of the performance context, and then the associated Tasks (this is well beyond traditional ISD’s Task Analysis) – and then a quick gap analysis from the ideal performance – then you are ready to derive the enabling K/Ss.

The list of enabling K/Ss in PACT is 17 – 18 if you count the fact that the learners/Performers need to also know “about the Performance Competence itself” as well as these other enablers. Detailed definitions and example “items” are here.

Enabling K/S Categories
0. Performance Requirements
1. Company Policies/Procedures/Practices/Guidelines
2. Laws, Regulations, Codes, Agreements, and Contracts
3. Industry Standards
4. Internal Organizations and Resources
5. External Organizations and Resources
6. Marketplace Knowledge
7. Product/Service Knowledge
8. Process Knowledge
9. Records, Reports, Documents, and Forms
10. Materials and Supplies
11. Tools/Equipment/Machinery
12. Computer Systems/Software/Hardware
13. Personal/Interpersonal
14. Management/Supervisory
15. Business Knowledge and Skills
16. Professional/Technical
17. Functional Specific

Which of these might be best addressed in a consistent pattern approach? And for which would that probably be most inappropriate?

Or can they all be addressed – designed and developed via a consistent – but flexible – PATTERN?

And whom does that not benefit? The learners/Performers? The ISDers? The shareholders paying the freight?

Hmmm. Double Hmmm.

In this next graphic the Lesson Map calls out the Instructional Activities (the last/lowest level of design in PACT is the IA Spec) for a Lesson for our Sales Rep. Where they are to learn first about A – and then B – and then C.

But where there are a slew of Bs to learn.

Where both the “A” and “C” Tasks/Topics can be handled by one set of Infos-Demos-Appos…

Now I need to “tag” my designs and my developed content with something that goes way beyond SCORM tagging. Which is needed but insufficient to increasing Reuse with zero or a bit of Rework.

PACT Tagging of Content
The PACTLogic is a data logic. For all content in any singular or blended media deployed in any manner is but a collection of data, just as in the Computer Aided Design (that CAD) all of the standard parts of their inventory are tagged. Just as SKUs (Stock Keeping Units) tag everything we buy at any store now-a-days, in the IT days of today – where the concept of tagging has gone beyond more-hard-goods products such as hammers and nails and stoves – to lesser-hard-goods of boxes of cereals and bananas – to less-hard-goods of Instruction for Formal or Informal use.

We tag in PACT down to the IA level – PACT’s “last/lowest level of OBJECT in our object design and development approach.

And of course we/you could tag at lower levels such as for stock photos, diagrams, text. etc., etc. for the components of the components.

Final Points
MCD and IAD could be labeled MCD/A and IAD/A for the addition of the “Acquisition” word after the D for Development. I do that sometimes when I wish to reinforce the concept of Reuse – for we can acquire from our own inventories of both designs and developed content and use AS IS or AFTER MODIFICATION as appropriate to our needs.

Sometimes page-turners of static Information is very much OK – anything else carries too much of an unnecessary expense. Not everything has to be Instruction – information can be quite instructional itself. But if that is not adequate, then go the extra step. But not always – for:

As always, it depends.

And- we don’t need to start from scratch each time we approach development, rapid or not – for haste can sometimes make waste – and lead to the kind of REWORK that I really hate – the unnecessary kind of rework.

Nor do we need to reuse in whole – which is what SCORM really facilitates – but is inadequate to achieve the potential of Peak Performance of REUSE of Instructional Content.

SCORM folks – steal these concepts and take yourselves to the next level!!!

And better yet if Instructional Development was always thought of as “needing to be robust enough for use in building Performance Competence of the learners/Performers – or else, why bother?


When you do ISD via the PACT Processes you need to think about all of this and then do it. And if using the RADD approach – you’ll need to think and do similarly as well.

Good luck to you on your way to REUSE CITY! And – avoid driving into the heart of REWORK CITY as much as you can! Stay on the periphery if you cannot avoid it entirely.

The book lean-ISD covers the PACT Processes extensively and is available as a free 404-page PDF at:

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One comment on “Reuse Strategies & Tactics via the PACT Processes

  1. Pingback: Target Audience Data | EPPIC - Pursuing Performance

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