Collaborating with a Formal Project Steering Team in the PACT Processes

The importance of working with a formal, well-staffed “Project Steering Team” in the PACT Processes is discovered when wrestling with performance issues uncovered in the analysis efforts – problems and/or opportunities – that training/ learning/ knowledge management won’t solve.

My big picture of EPPI breaks down the causes of poor performance into 3 buckets.

Awareness/ Knowledge/ Skills are but one of many variables.

And when a PACT Process project almost inevitably comes across a “probable cause” that isn’t a K/S deficit – someone other than “Training/ Learning” is going to need to step up – see the value of the problem/ opportunity “well enough” for themselves – resource an effort to address the real root causes that these “probable causes” suggest but don’t validate.


It’s happened to me many times, so when a former client’s sub-contractor moved on to another firm, he found what he had learned valuable. This is the first of two such testimonials…


Text in the Graphic:

A Phone Call Testimonial from a Certified PACT Practitioner – September 1998

Published in the CADDI Newsletter: Winter 1998-1999 page 4


I thought you might like to know how that thorny, and somewhat

distracting Dimensional Engineering Analysis data validation and

subsequent Analysis Phase Gate Review turned out.  The Analysis session

went well.  I pushed hard and we got through all of the data in one

day.  The group added a little new data, but felt that the original

analysis was right on target.  I was relieved. 

The gate review was another story.  Chalk this one up to best laid

plans…  It didn’t go poorly, I just didn’t get the agreement to move

onto design.  They liked what the data represented, though they

struggled with it some. 

There were two notable moments from the meeting.  First, when the CST

realized that they sent only the people representing about 1/2 of the

Dimensional Engineering function – they stopped hassling me – then they

retrenched and asked me for options.  I suggested moving the design back

a month and conducting an additional analysis with the those that

represent the other 1/2 of the function (the function divides up into

about 10 elements, each with a job title and set of outputs).  They

liked the idea and were willing to live with the impact.

The really textbook moment was when we started crawling, page by page,

through the Performance Model.  It was evident that they were surprised

by the detail and depth, and were equally concerned about all of the

dEs.  At one point, after two of the Directors spent 3 or 4 minutes

whispering to each other and pointing at the Performance Model, one

leaned forward, elbows on the table, and asked, “What are you going to

do about all of these environmental issues?”  I replied, “I’ll make you

a report that calls them out and tells you which one occurs most often,

then you get to make some tough choices about which you want to

address.”  That started a long dialogue revolving around those dEs.  It

was a blast.  They really wanted to take off after me on that one point,

but when I stated the obvious, that they run the business and have to

make these tough choices, they left me alone and started to struggle

with the enormity of the issues at hand.  They also realized that

training, for all the good it does, won’t solve those problems.

That was a groovy meeting.  Well, thanks for letting me take your time.

Thanks too for the structure and the methodology that permits me to do

exactly what I think has been missing in this industry — fight back and

put the ownership of issues where it belongs.

Sincerely, Brian Blecke


Note: Brian was trained and certified in The PACT Processes (known within GM as The MC/MI Processes) at General Motors University in the mid-to-late 1990s. He then served as an internal consultant employing Guy’s PACT and EPPI methods. He later joined my firm CADDI as one of our staff consultants.

My model for a Formal alignment with clients and key stakeholders is represented in the following graphic and is covered in my 2001 book: T&D Systems View in the 12 O’Clock section.

Of course not every situation calls for a Formal alignment – as this graphic presents.

As always, it depends. I present formal models to enable one to see one way to formally address some aspects of ISD, HPT, etc. I believe it’s easier to determine how to de-formalize a model and detailed descriptions than it is to develop those from generalizations and very informal approaches. But again: as always, it depends.

That book – T&D Systems View – and 3 others – are available as a free PDFs here.

TDSV –  T&D Systems View

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One comment on “Collaborating with a Formal Project Steering Team in the PACT Processes

  1. Pingback: Old Made New – Tried and Tested Practices for Learning Pros | EPPIC - Pursuing Performance

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