PACT is not your father’s ISD.
It may not be appropriate for some organizations.
When it is appropriate, it’s often necessary to “sell” stakeholders on trying it – and then to move carefully through the implementation process to ensure success.
When to Implement the PACT Processes
When an organization wants to develop the capability to conduct PACT-like approaches to ISD, there are several things to consider.
First: is the ISD organization at a state of readiness to learn, adopt, adapt, and then embrace the PACT approach for conducting ISD projects? Other questions to ask along this line are
• Does the ISD organization perceive its status quo as an opportunity for change?
• Can the ISD organization work using structured processes, or would the use of such processes be counter to the culture of the organization?
Second: are the ISD organization’s customers ready for the use of this highly structured approach?
• Do customers perceive ISD’s status quo as an opportunity for change?
• Can the customer organization work using structured processes?
What it boils down to is this: for an organization to successfully implement the PACT Processes, it is necessary that
• There be a motivation for change, especially within the ISD organization
• There be a willingness to use a highly structured approach to designing and developing T&D, both on the part of ISD and ISD’s customers
• ISD professionals and PACT project participants be willing to work hard to implement the PACT Processes
Sometimes the proper climate for implementing the PACT Processes has already been established because the organization is engaged in other re-engineering initiatives. These initiatives may be business process re-engineering initiatives or enterprise resource planning initiatives. The PACT Processes offer a similar approach and similar benefits for ISD.
When the right climate exists, and when the ISD organization and its customer base can pass these preliminary qualifiers, then it may be appropriate to further explore how to implement the PACT Processes.
How to Implement the PACT Processes
The PACT Processes have many benefits, but someone in the organization with the appropriate amount of authority must recognize those benefits and be willing to take a chance on a new way of designing and developing T&D. Finding such a person―a project champion―is a key step in implementing the PACT Processes for T&D.
The champion will believe in T&D. The champion will also believe that T&D decisions, like others affecting the organization, should be rational and business-oriented. The champion will most likely believe in engineered processes, and so be able to recognize the nature of the PACT Processes.
The champion will believe in learning by design, not learning by chance.
When ISD management is behind the use of the PACT Processes, and when a project champion is available, it’s time to try a demonstration PACT project. The project should be one that is meaningful, addressing a critical job or job family. The goal will be to do the project as efficiently as possible in order to be able to showcase PACT’s accelerated, cost-effective features. Among these features, of course, is the Project Steering Team.
After the demonstration project is over, ISD and the project champion share the lessons learned and the results of the project with the overall organization. And when the project goes well, as it almost always does, Project Steering Team members are likely to be new advocates for the use of the PACT Processes within the organization.
Transferring the PACT Processes Technology
The model found to be most successful in transferring the technologies and methodologies of the PACT Processes is shown in the graphic to the left.
3 major Steps and – conducted across 5 Stages – to logically ramp up to whatever targeted capability and capacity was desired.
The 3 steps are simple. Define your Processes, and then define and develop/purchase your Infrastructure, and then develop your Practitioners.
The 5 stages deal with the reality of the complexity in getting this accomplished.
The PACT Processes Technology Transfer Model involves five stages to accomplish the 3 Steps.
1. Technology Transfer Start-up
2. Demonstrating Curriculum Architecture Design
3. Certifying Practitioners in Curriculum Architecture Design and Installing Appropriate Infrastructure
4. Demonstrating Modular Curriculum Development
5. Certifying Practitioners in Modular Curriculum Development and Installing Appropriate Infrastructure
Stage 1 – Transfer Start-up
During the first project stage, Transfer Start-up, a preliminary but very detailed plan is developed to transfer these lean-ISD technologies of the PACT Processes for T&D.
The preliminary plan outlines how the remaining stages will be conducted, by whom, and when. The plan clearly establishes the purpose of the project and the process to be followed. The detailed plan is sanctioned by a Project Steering Team fat the end of State 1 for continuing with Stages 2, 3, 4 and 5 of the PACT Process Technology Transfer – PPTT.
ISD management and key individual contributors should receive an early orientation to the PACT Processes for T&D to better compare PACT and traditional ISD. They will have many questions and perhaps a challenge or two. Then they should read all that they can about PACT. They can do this by reviewing lean-ISD methodology materials from EPPIC and other PACT sources.
In parallel with Stage 1, Stage 2 can be jump-started by beginning the selection and recruitment of the first wave of PACT learners.
Stage 2 – Demonstrating Curriculum Architecture Design
In the second stage, a performance-based Curriculum Architecture Design is produced for demonstration purposes. Key observers are selected for their potential to be included in the first wave of PACT Practitioners who will internalize and extend the use of these methods.
Certified PACT Practitioners demonstrate the use of the PACT Processes on a pilot project or two and allow stakeholders an opportunity to see the processes in action. A great deal of learning happens in this effort; therefore, it is crucial that the future practitioners and their management get the insights and understanding that can only come from “living” in a project. Their insights are about the minor pain―and the tremendous gain―from the PACT approach.
The demonstration project allows internal customers to see the process and work products for themselves. It also allows customers to assess the return on investment.
For the target audiences, the demonstration Curriculum Architecture Design project identifies all of the gap T&D required and assesses all of the existing T&D as appropriate to the needs of the on-the-job performance requirements.
Based on the identification of gap T&D, management prioritizes training to be developed, then resources the development and deployment of the high-priority T&D. And because the training needs and priorities have been identified using the PACT Process of Curriculum Architecture Design, the training designated for development is high-leverage T&D, to be built because it’s appropriate for the needs of the business―not just because some ISD professional uncovered a T&D need.
Stage 3 – Certifying Practitioners in Curriculum Architecture Design and Installing Appropriate Infrastructure
The Curriculum Architecture Design project in Stage 2 provides an opportunity for learners to observe one CAD project’s key activities. In the third stage, a first wave of early practitioners are trained and certified in Curriculum Architecture Design. This training and certification happens in skills-building PACT workshops that focus on the CAD project manager, and the analyst and designer roles.
Later practitioners may be developed as specialists, such as
• PACT analysts
• Curriculum Architecture Design designers
• Modular Curriculum Development designers
• CAD/MCD project planners and managers
After seeing PACT in action, specific aspects of PACT Process tools and techniques are adapted to the organization’s infrastructure. For example, there may be language and labeling issues to address. There will probably be integration issues―with other company systems, policies, or procedures―that may require some rewiring of either other systems or PACT. For an example of other T&D systems with which the PACT Processes must be integrated with “Other T&D Systems” unique to each situation.
Stage 4 – Demonstrating Modular Curriculum Development
In Stage 4 of the implementation of PACT, a performance-based Modular Curriculum Development project is demonstrated. This MCD builds a selected event from the Curriculum Architecture Design developed in Stage 2. The selected event addresses an area of real need for the business and demonstrates the complete MCD process.
Stage 5 – Certifying Practitioners in Modular Curriculum Development and Installing Appropriate Infrastructure
In Stage 5, a group of early practitioners is trained and certified in Modular Curriculum Development. The MCD project in Stage 4 has already provided an opportunity for the learners to observe one MCD project’s key activities prior to attending skills-building PACT workshops focused on the MCD analyst and designer roles.
In addition, an effort is made to integrate the Modular Curriculum Development process into the organization’s infrastructure.
PACT is just a subset of the processes needed.