And when are they not constrained? This is why using – in collaboration with your clients and stakeholders – an approach to ROI – or ROA or RONA or some other productivity measure (uptime/downtime) familiar to the client and the stakeholders – is needed to sort wheat from chaff – and lesser wheat from better wheat – for deciding what to attend to. Chaff is chaff and should never receive a nickles worth of investment – as resources are constrained.
Who should do this? Often the Training/Learning organization is asked/expected to do this.
As I have always disliked playing a game that I could not win – I either quit playing or I learned more about it and worked to develop my skills. Backgammon comes to mind. My roommate (after getting out of the Navy) beat me over 100 times – with me winning 3 or 4 games – beginner’s luck he cried whenever that rare occurrence occurred.
My philosophy regarding Training (Needs versus Wants and all that) was that I could never “win” by me selecting what to attend to and what to not attend to. Those are business decisions, not instructional decisions. So I orchestrated an approach, structure and set of processes and practices to enable the client AND key stakeholders to make those decisions. I could only lose doing so – so why do THAT!
I wanted my clients to set up a temporary Governance/Advisory System (structure, processes, practices, etc.) to get their clients and key stakeholders to make these tough calls.
What is secret business planning is going on with future acquisitions of new businesses and/or sales of existing businesses is going on in the background? What seems like obvious decisions to attend to or ignore certain portions of the business – may not be so obvious after all.
The temporary solution was to put a Project Steering Team in place – which has morphed a few times into full blown Governance-Advisory Systems – where the clients took the reigns – and started making the business decisions inherent in all instructional design efforts.
I learned all of this from my business partner of 15 years – Ray Svenson – whom I met while I was at MTEC (Motorola’s Training & Education Center that eventually became Motorola University). Ray helped Bill Wiggenhorn put such as Gov-Adv Sys in place – which I participated in – representing the Supplier-side of MTEC in partnership with the Customer-side of the Manufacturing/Materials/Purchasing worlds within Motorola in 5 Business Units (Sectors).
Ray and Nikki’s book is out of print – but available used in many places – here at Amazon.
I addressed this system further in my book: T&D Systems View – in the content associated with 12 O’Clock in the clockface view of the L-C-S Management AoPs model.
T&D Systems View Book
Clockface and L-C-S Model
The reason the Governance-Advisory System is at 12 O’Clock – is that it is the most important aspect of a T&D System – as without this direction and alignment mechanism – it’s just too easy to make decisions on our own that are not the best business decisions overall. And then it doesn’t matter how much Learning occurred – not if you are a shareholder that is.
As that shareholder group is the group ultimately who pays the bills and lives with the consequences of the decisions, planning and implementation successes and/or failures.
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