The 5 Component Pieces of The PACT Processes for T&D/ Learning/ Knowledge Management

ISD – Instructional Systems Design (or sometimes ID – Instructional Design) is often thought of as ADDIE – Analysis-Design-Development-Implementation-Evaluation. I’ve always thought of that as too limited. ADDIE is the ISD world’s New Product Introduction” process. Almost every business has one. It takes a product from concept to GA – General Availability (a term I’ve borrowed from the Telecom industry). Then the processes and functions that exist “take care” of on-going administration, deployment, maintenance, etc. Hopefully they do that very well.

Back in 1982 I assisted in my first CAD – Curriculum Architecture Design effort. I was presented with the analysis data and asked to design the Curriculum Architecture (another term borrowed from Telecom – AT&T – Bell System Center for Technology in fact – see the front of my book “lean-ISD” for more about the origins of the concepts that I “ran with”). The analysis data was in a familiar format – for I had learned to do “Performance Modeling” and “Knowledge/Skill Analysis” back in 1979. I took the performance data and structured that by asking the two analysts, Ray Svenson and Karen Kennedy, about the appropriate sequence for learning the major task sets (which I later started to label as Areas of Performance).

That framed the CAD’s T&D Path. I then created categories for the enabling K/S that had been derived from a systematic review of the Performance Model data, once that step was completed.

The result was a “blueprint” (printed on large blueprint paper stock) for the Target Audience to use to guide their learning in sync with their work activities – for more of a just in time approach to training/learning. There were 229 Modules of Content to be deployed via a S-OJT (Structured on-the-Job-Training) with designated coaches to use the S-OJT Materials (Coaches Guide and a Learners Guide) to develop Performance Competence. Back then it was our first formal CAD project.

And as most CAD efforts do, that one led to many ADDIE-level efforts to now create the content that the CAD effort had logically defined. Systems Engineering leading to Product Development.

So I worked with the headquarters group (Training) to take the CAD analysis and design data and build out a few of the Modules as examples of output and process – so that they could build the CAD out themselves. As one might imagine, the 7 Regions were plenty skeptical that a handful of people back in HQ could develop the 229 Modules fast enough to meet their needs. So they took it upon themselves to generate the content, per the CAD’s content configuration – a divide and conquer strategic and tactical approach. Given the CAD’s configuration they avoidced spending enormous time creating duplicate content. Overlapped and gapped content. Just what you might get from open-ended/open-authored wikis where anyone can develop anything and put it anywhere. Avoid Wiki Chaos!

The PACT Processes is for T&D/ Learning/ Knowledge Management
That first CAD effort was for Geologists and Geophysicists in the Exploration Unit of a major US oil firm. Decades later the effort would have been referred to as a Knowledge Management effort. The group was going to go from over 25 years experience to just over 5 years experience in about 5 years due to the expected retirement of the WW-II vets who ran the show in those years. That was the burning platform so to speak. And in the world of oil exploration – a burning platform was well understood as a RISK to be AVOIDED! At almost any cost.

That first CAD effort did not have any existing T&D to contend with. That was a factor I later learned to incorporate into my evolving methodology-set for instructional analysis and design…design at two levels. CAD and MCD.

Then the third level came about, the IAD level, when a client (in Telecom again) asked if we could do a CAD level effort and go right into building the Product Knowledge modules “demo” components ASAP for a National Sales Conference. Skip Phase 4 of CAD. Skip Phases 1-3 of MCD. And then later he’d want us to circle back and do the skipped Phases. He just had an immediate need that he saw we could help him meet. He had seen our efforts at a CAD for Sales Management – and had approached me about a CAD for the Sales Reps – but with a twist.

So that’s what we did. That was in the mid-to-late 1980s.

PACT Analysis
We conducted the Analysis effort to generate the analysis data-set I was using at that time. I cannot remember if I was allowed to use the Collaborative Approach or forced (by circumstance) to use the Traditional Approach.

The Traditional Approach is where the analyst (or team of Analysts) does individual or small group interviews and observations of tasks and behaviors of the scope of Performance for the effort. That often takes weeks and when the Analysis Report is published – it – the content – is “owned” by the Analyst.

In the Collaborative Approach the analyst facilitates a team of handpicked (for both their credibility and their political acceptability to the members of the Project Steering Team) Master Performers and other SMEs, to systematically develop the analysis data, the performance data, and the enabling K/S data. That can be accomplished in a 1-2-3-4 day meeting.

That analysis data , regardless of how it was generated, is used in the 3 levels of ISD “design” in the PACT Processes.

PACT Planning & Management
Doing any of the PACT Processes well, the CAD, the MCD or the IAD efforts, requires careful planning and paying attention to the plan over the life of the effort. In the case of an ADDIE-like level of effort, MCD of the PACT Processes, we follow a 6-Phase model, a derivative of ADDIE if you will.

We use a template of Project Plans that all following the following structure…

Our Project Plans are detailed, but can be built quickly using standard templates that are editing as needed. We might have 6 Project Plan templates, one each for:

  • CAD – done via the Traditional Approach
  • CAD – done via the Collaborative Approach
  • MCD – done via the Traditional Approach
  • MCD – done via the Collaborative Approach
  • IAD – done via the Traditional Approach
  • IAD – done via the Collaborative Approach

The #8 item – Project Tasks/ Roles/ Schedule – is presented in the following chart format…

I never try to schedule every task – only those tasks where there are “meetings of people” that everyone’s calendars must sync with in order to be feasible.

After 25 years of tracking actuals-to-plan for the time and costs associated with conducting both CAD and MCD (and IAD) projects, I have developed the ability to estimate the effort and schedule required much more accurately. I’ve learned better when and how to anticipate issues that might arise and their likelihood given the early on interactions with my prospect or client.

This following chart is something I’ve been evolving since the mid-1980s. Because I use the PACT Processes for ISD efforts, my efforts have been much more predictable and reliable.

All of this is covered in my writing and presentations, many of which are available as a free PDF download at – including 4 related books.

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