T&D: 7 Steps of PACT CAD’s Design of the T&D Path or Map or Menu


CAD – Curriculum Architecture Design is an ISD – Instructional Systems Design – process, but is not ADDIE – Analysis/ Design/ Development/ Implementation/ Evaluation ISD. That – is at the product level of design/development of ISD.

cad graphic

CAD is at the systems engineering level of “product line” design of instruction and information – to enable human performance – for targeted jobs – in targeted or all of their processes. Designing the flow and timing of content – enabling better timing of the participation in training/development – and the appropriate points in the process for evaluation of the progress being made.

cad - pots 2012

CAD has 4 Phases to guide formal adaptations or informal adaptations/approaches, hybrids, adopting some methods/tools/techniques and adapting others.

cad p2 sub-phases

If you have met all of the exist criteria of Phase 2 Analysis – you are ready for Phase 3 Design.

cad p3 sub-phases

Design is where a Design Team using all of the analysis data – is facilitated through the 7 design steps. That typically happens in one multi-day meeting. Of course there are preparations done prior and documentations done post.

cad dtm 7 steps


The 7 Design Steps of CAD are framed in the following 7 steps:

1- Establish the Path
2- Sort the AoP Data Sets: Output/Tasks/R&R/Gap Analysis Data
3- Sort the ETA Data
4- Sort the EKS Data
5- Modularize Data
6- Eventize Modules
7- Clean-Up and Finalize the Path


Note: This set of design steps works IF the analysis data needed – is available in the “configurations” of 1- Target Audience Data: demographics, etc. – 2- Analysis data organized by outputs-tasks-role/responsibilities/gaps – 3- Enabling Knowledge/Skill Data – 4- Existing Training & Development: for its reuse potential in this targeted effort.


This analysis data always ends up inside the design elements – in The PACT Processes. All of the design elements below the Event Level are “housed” in an inventory scheme of 5 Tiers…

eca 1-of-4


Those 5 Tiers are:

Tier 1: Organizational Orientations
Tier 2: Performance Orientations
Tier 3: Enabling K/S
Tier 4: Shared Performance “How To’s
Tier 5: Unique Performance “How To’s

The 5 Tiers “inventory” both the designs of content – and the actual content – at the Instructional Activity level and Lesson levels (not addressed in a CAD effort) – and at the Module level of CAD projects – in that a T&D Path is composed of Events which are composed of Modules…a modular design of Events (Courses, Workshops, Sessions, WBTs, etc.).


The logic of PACT – is a data logic.


Data is framed in the PACT Processes per the next diagram…

PACT Data Logic.png


Back to the 7 steps…

7 Design Steps of CAD

1- Establish the Path– This is how you can begin the team process with “the end in mind.” A shared “end in mind” mental model of this T&D Path thing that you are here to design/create/build.

I always present a “build-up picture” of where we are going to produce and how, by first talking about the T&D Path of T&D Events – the terminal goal of our design process – as a tight, sequenced path of content when and where necessary – and a looser, menu of content – when appropriate. With a blend of all kinds of deployment means and mechanisms – currently available and practical for the learner/Performers, and hopefully, thereby appropriate.

Organized to help each learner/Performer and/or their managers downselect from the T&D Path to create a T&D Plan…unique given the performance expectations of each learner/Performer and their incoming education and experiences and knowledge/skills.

A T&D Path is a “learning continuum” in that it lays out a set of content in a structured and orderly manner – so that the learner/Performer and/or their manager – can sort through all of the content relevant to their jobs – and downselect the Events and arrange and time the order for participation/completion (unless a sequence and timing is mandated by the Enterprise to comply with external regulations or internally imposed requirements).

When designing one the designers and the Design Team needs to have a frame of reference that they share – otherwise this tends to become a swirl where little gets done. The process is not clear and/or adhered to.

That’s why establishing the Path – establishing a shared frame of reference, is important. And basing that on a review of the Target Audience data. What is it about the “knowns” of the target audiences’ incoming (for new hire) and/or current (incumbant) knowledge/skills levels compared to the needs of the processes that they perform within – that would suggest some deployment modes/methods over others? Which are feasible modes/methods given both the Performance Context and the Learning Context for that Target Audience?

Here is how I frame the T&D Path so we can attend to the remaining steps with a shared mental model of what we are going to develop over the course of the Design Team Meeting…

Every T&D Path has a beginning – and a middle – and an end.


The Beginning – Middle – End concept is simply a framing devise that we are going to use to sort our analysis data into to rough out a sequence of content for the target audience. If your project is addressing several target audiences then you should be attempting to produce multiple T&D Paths. Trickier – but doable.

So it helps a team to discuss this after they see the next bit…that Beginning and its Beginning-Middle-End as additional framing of everyone’s mental models for a T&D Path.


Every T&D Path that I’ve ever produced for a Job (versus a Process) has this kind of front-end…subdivided into 3: The Beginning’s beginning-middle-end.

Where the Beginning of the Beginning is all about: Orientations to the Organizations of the Enterprise. From top down the organizational chain – from My Enterprise, My Division/Business Unit, My Function, My Department, My Job, My Teams and My Team’s Processes. Or something like that.


Where the Middle of the Beginning is all about: Orientations to the “My Areas of Performance” unique for My Job – this series of content that further details what was covered in the My Job “content.” If a PACT analysis effort did not precede the design effort – then this portion of the design will be weak – and not performance targeted – and not necessarily gap free.

Where the End of the Beginning is all about: giving me the immediate survival knowledge and/or skills necessary for someone new to this job. This is where variation by design occurs, where a T&D Path becomes more Menu-like.


For some jobs, this is where this segment of the Path covers either “the whole job” or “part of the job to-get-you started” – as appropriate to the job. For an airline pilot – they need the whole job covered. For a part-time sales clerk in a clothing store where there will always be a seasoned sales clerk on duty as well – they need part of the job covered.

This is only important as that changes the remaining B-M-E segments of thee T&D Path.

The “Beginning of the Beginning” orients the learner/Performer to their job context, from top of the house to the individual contributor role for critical roles. The content created for the most critical of target audiences is then available to others and might end before getting to their job level “advanced organizers.” That is what the Beginning of the Beginning is all about.


The “Middle of the Beginning” is all about a deeper dive into “My Job” – addressing “My AoPs” – which are the Areas of Performance that framed the analysis prior to any CAD design steps.

As the ideal Design Team is a subset of or the whole Analysis Team (with “no new” players) they already understand and trust the AoP framework and the data details that it represents.


If a detailed PACT analysis wasn’t done – or the analysis effort gathered data in a different data configuration – then this is step is harder to do and define the result with great confidence. This portion of the T&D Path can be defined without a proper PACT analysis that correctly frames the Areas of Performance, but that may lead to risks. Risks which are either tolerable or not. Let that be your guide with your clients. They get to decide what is a tolerable risk and what is not.

The content objects defined here are merely advanced organizers – for the enxt series of training/learning about the job’s performance expectations and when and how one will learn “how to do it” further down the path.

Next the “End of the Beginning” is framed, discussed – so that everyone knows where we are collectively headed.


After the “B-M-Es” of the Beginning are described/discussed the Middle of the T&D Path and the End of the T&D Path are described and discussed. If possible – a lot of drawings may be needed on the flip chart paper or whiteboard. And depending on which “way” the End of the Beginning went – whole job or partial job – the Middle of the T&D Path – picks up at a very different spot. So it can be short or very long relative to the length of the entire Path.

Which is a good thing!

The final task is to estimate/guess – the cycle time for: 1- the Beginning, and 2- the Middle, and the 3- the End. And – are there more than 3 “phases/stages” of the path or map or menu that seem appropriate at this stage – some framing that links this to something in their real world? If so, use it.

The “segments/phases/stages” of the Path and their cycle times will be reviewed and adjusted at the end of each of the 7 design steps IF it seems appropriate to the Design Team to do so. Which we will now continue with…design step…

2- Sort the AoP Data Sets: Output/Tasks/R&R/Gap Analysis Data . I warn people that I train/certify to do this that some on the team might not like processing these decisions quickly and that is the goal: to quickly sort of “outputs/measures/tasks/roles responsibilities/gap data” into the B-M-E of the T&D Path framework – already “established” in the minds of those participating in the CAD design steps.

But if they were part of the Analysis Team – they might be able to be encouraged to let the team go full-steam-ahead on this and then step back and survey the results. That’s the facilitator’s role: to push the group to quickly process – and then step -back and examine – and tweak as needed.

I have print outs of the analysis data configured in a different format from how it was captured and reported out for review. It’s often printed out on light Blue paper. And on 1/2 or 1/4 paper sized pages which we call Slip Sheets.

We also tape flip chart paper and paper a couple of conference tables end to end (sometimes 3 tables are used). We mark the top-sides: Beginning – Middle – End – and create a visual to go along with the shared mental model we attempted to develop across the team earlier.

Once all of the “Output/Task Clusters” – as I call this data-set – are sorted onto the Path – the Path is re-visited/re-examined for its logic and the timing of B-M-E. Update as necessary.

3- Sort the ETA Data: Now that the “Output/Task Cluster” data has anchored the T&D Path design in a performance orientation, it is time to see how the existing T&D that was assessed in the ETA – Existing T&D Assessment part of the analysis phase, is to be used “as is” or after modification” within the design.

If these existing T&D “products” indeed cover the Task Training then they replace (consume) the O/T Cluster data with them. I have pages with this information on it printed out onto a deep gold paper. I staple the light Blue pages of the O/T Cluster data onto the back of the Existing T&D Assessment Page which is in Gold.

4- Sort the Enabling K/S Data: K/S Item data are printed out on white paper – usually in 1/2 or 1/4 pages sizes – which we then refer to these too as Slip Sheets. These then sorted into a sequence per the AoPs that they enable. That means they precede the AoP data on the path – because they are an enabler. Sometimes they are deemed to be covered adequately in the ETA Sheets on the Path. They are then stapled/affixed to the ETA Sheet. Or they are left alone on the Path in a sequence deemed appropriate given the AoP Tasks that they enable.

5- Modularize Data: Mod Specs are printed on green paper – full size. Once all of the ETA Data is represented and the remaining AoP data and Enabling K/S data is visible on the table top (representing the T&D Path) on Gold paper – the first AoP data on the Path can be placed/stapled onto a Module Spec Sheet and then the next slip sheet of either AoP data or K/S data is examined to see if it goes into any of the Mod Specs produced so far – or does it get it’s own Spec Sheet (destined PERHAPS to be a stand alone chunk of content someday – IF a priority).

The each and every slip sheet is examined in a similar manner. Until all slip sheet have found a home in 1 Mod Spec. These are now sequenced into a path or a set of mini-menus on the path.

Mod Specs are like Book Chapters. Now that you have the chapters figured out – it’s time to specify the Books – the Events in PACT-terms.

6- Eventize Modules: Event Specs are printed out on yellow paper. All Modules are examined, starting with the first on the Path, and placed into an Event Spec. The first Module goes into the first Event Spec. All others go into an existing Event Spec of a new one is created just for it. These are placed on the Path in a sequence relative to all ETA Sheets and other Event Specs – continuously. To check the logic of it all!

7- Clean-Up and Finalize the Path: When everything has turned gold or yellow on your table top version of the T&D Path – you are in the home stretch (near the end). All that is left is final sequencing, truth-in-title changes (still just working titles), numbering on the Path, determining the mode of deployment for each Module within the Event, estimating the length of each Module and adding them up per Event – to sum total the estimated length etc.

The B-M-E of the Path might be changed to 2-3-4-5-6 segments. I’ve had up to 10 that made sense to the Design Team – and that number of segments of a T&D Path I always leave up to them. Who else would do something more appropriate for that Target Audience?

The example T&D Path below has 4 segments…

CAD Path Supervisors


What are those boxes on the T&D Path? They are the modular T&D Events…some of which exist… and some are gaps or partial gaps.


For more get the free 404-page book PDF of “lean-ISD” at  https://eppic.biz/free-book-pdf-lean-isd/ – plus the hundred or so other resources available there as well!


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