Breaking It Down – Phase 1 of MCD – The PACT Processes Equivalent of ADDIE

As a consultant in the early 1980s selling ADDIE-like ISD services I found it necessary to “fix” the typical ADDIE model for planning and pricing my team’s ISD efforts.

It was missing Project Planning activities and outputs – which some would claim (back in the day) that those were part of the Analysis methods/ activities of ADDIE. Not clear enough was my thinking.

And if certain steps were missed or done inadequately – that would lead to “iteration” something that created “rework” and loss of potential profit margin. It’s just no good as a consultant to be working for zero or less-than-zero profits. Eventually the place goes broke.

So my ADDIE-like model – MCD – Modular Curriculum Development/Acquisition – became the following:

With it I could do ABC (Activity Based Costing) to determine (estimate) my time expenses and out-of-pocket expenses and then create a fixed fee Proposal to go along with my Project Plan – I always separated the two – so that my client could keep the price as-private-as-they-wished, but share the Project Plan with everyone involved. And I always preferred Fixed Fee to Time and Expense projects. Clients did too!

And I always felt that the detailed and public Project Plan would allow everyone a better view and increase the likelihood that everyone would adhere to the scheduled demands of the Plan for their roles/ responsibilities. It seems to have worked very well over the past almost-three-decades.

Here are the Tasks for Phase 1: Project  Planning & Kick-Off – a starting point – for editing as appropriate…

************** MCD Phase 1 Tasks***************

MCD Phase 1 – Project Planning & Kick-off

1.1 Preproject Planning

1.2 Initial Project Planning

1.3 Phase 1 Gate Review

1.4 Phase 1 Completion and Transition


MCD Subphase 1.1 – Preproject Planning

1. ISD reviews the request for T&D coming from any request screening process used within the company. If the request is potentially appropriate for a Curriculum Architecture Design project, ISD management assigns a CAD project manager and plans for a CAD project. If the project is most appropriate for Modular Curriculum Development, ISD management assigns an MCD project manager and initiates the MCD project.

2. The request for the prospective Modular Curriculum Development project is reviewed with the original requester and other key stakeholders using the PACT Process Client/Stakeholder Interview Guide to clarify

•The customer’s business process and human performance situational needs

– Problems and opportunities

– Desired outcomes (training and other)

– The type of deployment platform desired for delivery

•Constraints of time, budget, and approach

•Nontraining issues to be addressed

•Intended target audiences

•Existing T&D to be assessed for use

•Other key stakeholders to be involved in the project along with their interest and level of involvement

3. The project manager clarifies with ISD management the logical owner of the project (if different from the original requester), and discusses the appropriateness of that individual for the role of Project Steering Team chairperson. With ISD organizational guidance, the project manager identifies all other appropriate organizational interfaces and all key stakeholders for potential project involvement as members of the Project Steering Team or other MCD project teams.

4. The project manager clarifies with the original requester any issues regarding the project’s logical ownership, if the owner is different from the requester. The project manager ensures the requester’s continued involvement (if desired) on the Project Steering Team.

5. The project manager contacts the logical owner regarding the project to determine whether the owner wishes to be involved. The project manager recruits the logical owner as the Project Steering Team chairperson, if appropriate. If not, the project manager contacts the next logical candidate.

6. The project manager conducts any additional preliminary interviews as needed to complete an initial draft Project Plan/Proposal.


MCD Subphase 1.2 – Initial Project Planning

1. Using the Project Plan/Proposal templates, the project manager creates a draft Project Plan and Proposal and forwards it to ISD leadership for review. (The templates are available through the PACT Processes Technology Transfer.)

2. ISD leadership conducts a detailed review of the draft Project Plan/Proposal and identifies any issues for resolution.

3. ISD leadership provides feedback via a formal presentation or verbal discussion regarding the draft Project Plan. ISD leadership also identifies key stakeholders for potential inclusion on the Project Steering Team.

4. The project manager updates the Project Plan/Proposal based on feedback from ISD leadership, and presents the plan to the customer (the original requester or logical owner) for preliminary review.

5. The customer conducts a detailed review of the draft Project Plan/Proposal and identifies any issues for resolution. The customer also identifies key stakeholders for interviewing and potential inclusion on the Project Steering Team.

6. During a preliminary but formal presentation, or during verbal discussion, the customer provides feedback regarding the draft Project Plan/Proposal.

7. The project manager updates the Project Plan/Proposal based on the feedback from the customer.

8. The customer selects additional Project Steering Team members (as appropriate) and recruits and orients each member to the major project issues and goals, explaining as well the responsibilities of Project Steering Team members. The customer is assisted in this task by ISD leadership or the MCD project manager assigned.


MCD Subphase 1.3 – Phase 1 Gate Review

1. The project manager coordinates all logistics for the Phase 1 Project Steering Team gate review meeting, including

•Meeting method and location, along with dates and times

•Arrangements for meeting materials, equipment, and food and beverage

•Invitations and communications about

– Date, time, location, and directions

– Accommodations for travel, living, meals, etc.

– The project, meeting purpose, outputs, process, specific roles, and any preparations required on the part of meeting participants

2. The project manager confirms the attendance of all key participants and the completion of all assigned prework immediately prior to the Project Steering Team gate review meeting.

3. The project manager prepares all meeting materials and briefs additional meeting participants (as needed) for the Project Steering Team Phase 1 gate review. Preparations include


•Gate review presentation materials and handout materials



4. The project manager conducts a two- to four-hour Project Steering Team Phase 1 gate review meeting to

•Review the project purpose, business drivers, approach, process, deliverables, and schedule for key milestones.

•Review the Project Plan details and modify as needed.

•Identify all members of the Analysis Team.

•Identify the time burdens and schedule requirements for all project personnel.

•Identify all source materials, references, and resources for data on

– Target audiences

– Business processes

– Human performance requirements

– Existing T&D

•Identify all other key issues (problems, opportunities, goals, constraints, etc.).

•Discuss the preliminary

– Deployment Strategy and Plan

– Development /Acquisition Planning Strategy and Plan

– Evaluation Strategy and Plan

•Identify the nontraining informational outputs from the Analysis Phase that will be presented and reviewed in the Phase 2 analysis outputs and gate review by the Project Steering Team.

•Set the schedule for all remaining Project Steering Team gate review meetings, as appropriate.

•Assess the phase completion status using the Phase 1 exit criteria.


MCD Subphase 1.4 – Phase 1 Completion and Transition

1. The project manager updates the Modular Curriculum Development Project Plan/Proposal and forwards the updated version to all Project Steering Team members and all ISD

management (as appropriate). Also on the distribution list: other assigned or relevant individuals with a need to know.

2. The project manager obtains sign-offs from the customer (the Project Steering Team chairperson) and ISD management (as appropriate).

3. The project manager gathers all project resource materials and holds them in readiness for the analyst assigned to the project.

***************** Then on to Phase 2: Analysis ******************

Again – these tasks were to be edited appropriate to the situational context of the Project.

One of my rules is: adopt what you can and adapt what you cannot.

Planning is critial to success. Remember the 5 P’s of Planning: Proper Planning Prevents Poor Performance.

And- a lack of a Plan is itself a Plan – just not a good one.

 May the forces of good planning be with you!

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