Graphics and Models for Advanced Organizers for Preparing Learners for Learnings

Example-Set 1


This “Product Management Functional Model” above is from 1986 and was intended to begin the “demystification process” for the trainees (Learners today) for the very complex job of Product Managers in the “old” AT&T – just after the MFJ – the Modified Final Judgment (MFJ)–the from 1984 AT&T antitrust consent decree between the U.S. Justice Department and Ma Bell.

There were Product Managers from 4 (and then 5) Business Units, each organized further into SBUs (Strategic Business Units) and then Product Families. Covering over 250,000 individual/orderable “products.” There were about 1100 in the Target Audience.

The PM model then divided the “job/role” into 8 segments. Any PMer had responsibility for a slice of one segment, more than one segment – all the way up to the whole enchilada…all 8 segments. For one product to many products. It was this kind of job complexity AND job responsibility VARIABILITY that screamed for clarification and demystification.

Screaming to me the analyst and designer for a graphical model for my analysis interviews and later teaching all of this in a few of the Courses of the Curriculum Architecture Design I designed and delivered – mostly just in the Pilot-Test sessions – and then for many, many deliveries when I couldn’t off-load that tasks to others inside or external to my client organization.

Here is the T&D Path for the Target Audience – this is an updated version from a CAD Update project in 1989:

The 1000 Series were intended for “On-Boarding” new-to-the-job PMers. This series culminated in the 1251 Event/Module. The topic of a prior Blog Post or two.

The 2000 and 3000 Series were for incumbents with prior experience who needed “On-Going” development.

Within the 1000 Series were 4 key “modular” Events from this “modular” Curriculum. They were self-paced – which “back in the day” typically meant “on paper” versus “online.”

Here they are laid out on my desk…

The very first T&D Event on the Path – 1001 – was a combo (“blended” in today’s language) of a Self-Paced Booklet and a Video to both orient one to the entire Curriculum and to How You Are Going To Get Through It.

That was then followed by a series of “Organizational Orientations” for the piece-parts of the very complex AT&T organization. Then came the 1050 Series.

1051 addressed the PM Model (which had been slightly overviewed in Event 1001).

The Learning Objective stated it simply: to become familiar with the eight functions of the PM Model. Familiar here because in a building-block fashion of the succeeding Events/Modules – we were going to get deep soon, very soon.

This began the demystification of the JOB after having the ORGANIZATION demystified.

First things first in my approach to ISD.


The Event (or Module as we tagged it back then) had a “fold out” showing the entire PM Model as the Learner paged through reading about the component pieces.

Hopefully they then understood the inherent complexity of this beast of a job – Product Management and were beginning to get a clue about the variation of the JOB RESPONSIBILITIES that was driven by the product family/product’s complexity and also where it was in the Product Life Cycle (another model for another day and another Blog Post).

But just to make sure we did a fictional PM Novel – 60 pages of a year-in-the-life of 3 Product Managers…Bob, Carol and Allen.

All from the same fictional BU/SBU. Each with the same job title – but very different responsibilities. They met at work and after work (for a beer) to discuss their jobs – and our Learners Learned as our main fictional characters learned and demystified their own jobs.

If that didn’t scare the new-hire back to where they came from – nothing would. In fact this was soon used in the hiring process to help candidates decide whether or not they would be good in the job – a job requiring a high level of ambiguity tolerance.

Square-peg and Round-peg people need not apply for a Polygon-peg job. Or should at least be fairly-well warned before venturing into a job world such as this. It is not for the timid-of-heart.

1053 was intended to be a DIY (Do-It-Yourself) demystification of your own LOCAL ORGANIZATION – because if we tried to do it – and then write it down – and then publish it – it was guaranteed to be out-of-date before the ink got dry. Today a collaborative Wiki would replace the booklet approach for deployment/providing access.

1054 addressed development of your customized T&D Plan…also known as an IDP…Individual Development Plan. You walked yourself through a Planning Guide and downselected which T&D Events/Modules now made sense.

It was only at this point in the learning progression…in the T&D Path…that anyone/everyone could be better positioned and slightly knowledgeable about THEIR job and organization and product responsibilities to develop a Training/Learning Plan that would make any sense and have a prayer of being close-to-on-target.

Anything done prior to this stage was going to be reviewed later as a total waste of time.

There were many, many other graphics/models that I created to help with the other piece-parts of this particular set of ISD projects. I worked with this client on this and for other Job’s CADs and ADDIE-like development efforts from 1986 to 1991.

Example-Set 2

In my Labor Relations course development efforts, covered in a prior Blog Post, I used these two models to help the Learner. Again for an Advanced Organizer.

The first was intended to demystify the Process for Labor Relations…

The second was to demystify how we were going to get into LEARNING about Labor Relations – which was a very different approach from how T&D was done within this client’s organization…

Example 3
Not a “set” but a singular graphic. For an Inbound Sales Call Center.

We used this as part of the Advanced Organizer-set of graphics/models – to help the learners figure out the what and the how of Learning.

We’d teach this with a couple of Products/Services – simply as “fodder” in exercises to first master the performance model tasks.

Then we would “pile on” all of the other P/Ss so that Learners would be able to practice this model – in all of it’s real-world “complexity and variability” – every time they learned about a new product/service.

By the time they were done they’d been in dozens and dozens of APPOs (applications) – one type of Instructional Activity of the PACT Process for T&D/ Learning/ Knowledge Management.

Graphics need to both make sense at first-blush – and help make more sense later – the further you get into the content topics/tasks. To do so you’ve got to have a sense of the Performance. From the analysis of a more complete understanding of the topics/tasks.

Which unfortunately is too often too lacking in many Rapid Design/Development approaches to E-Learning or any type of Learning deployment. Not all. But most.

And, if as the Research indicates – that one shouldn’t trust the views of a SME/Master Performers on how they do what they do – then why is it that most Rapid Development approaches suggest how to work with your SME – or worse – let the SME build the content themselves. Yikes!!!

I hope those are for content: topics/tasks that have low, low, low RISK and/or REWARD.

But then, why should the shareholder’s equity be invested in that type of content in the first place? If you were the single shareholder and it was YOUR MONEY – is that where you would invest it?

Doesn’t make any sense to me.

Graphics/Models Expertise
I’m not a great graphic designer – but I don’t think that for my end-purposes it was ever necessary.

Try it for the Learners. Have them redo whatever doesn’t work quite well enough “in your Pilot-Test” sessions. Somebody is bound to have an eye for graphics and models that convey enough of the essential essence.

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One comment on “Graphics and Models for Advanced Organizers for Preparing Learners for Learnings

  1. Pingback: Does Engaging Learning Always Need to Equate to Fun Learning? | EPPIC - Pursuing Performance

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