Does Your Content Link Specifically to Enterprise Process Performance Requirements?

I have been linking Instructional and Informational Content back to the Process Performance for years/decades, for several reasons. I’ll cover the top 3 here today – plus one.

This applies to Enterprise Learning, not so much to Personal Learning – or even Educational Learning. I defined those 3 Contexts – here – a while back. Basically, shareholders of an Enterprise pay for Enterprise Learning and want an appropriate return for those investments. Otherwise those most likely become investments with a negative return on investment.  You wouldn’t invest your own money that way (for very long unless you were rich).

I’ll use this model as my anchor here.

 First Costs

1- Effectiveness of the content. Performance is where it’s at. If your content is not intended to enable specific performance – then what is it attempting to do? And is that even valid? How authentic can it really be? Active Listening for everyone addresses NO ONE authentically. And therefore even if your Level 2 numbers are good – it is doubtful that it will transfer for most. Research suggests that 15% can learn “out-of-context” and figure out how to apply what they learned in another context. Active Listening is different for many audiences in terms of their application, on-the-job context.

2- Efficiency of the content. Sharing some/all of the Content to avoid the unnecessary duplicative first costs and the eat-your-lunch/budget life cycle maintenance costs. Some performance is shared to some level – maybe 100% (filling out an expense report/reimbursement request). Others less so: Strategic Planning – which might share a framework and output templates. But doing the assessment and future-peering will be different for each department in the Enterprise, and much of the awareness/ knowledge/ skills to do this will vary by department.

Life Cycle Costs

3- Change Management. When the process changes and/or other key enablers (tools, materials, human practices within the processes) change – it’s a straight line to the need (opportunity) to get the content re-aligned and updated. Process owners and players/performers can signal the change to content when their processes change.

Back to the Model

The Leadership and Support Tiers of my Management AoP Model – Areas of Performance (a blocking/chunking device) hold the greatest promise for sharing a lot of content. Not all content- and not just Formal Content. Informal too (with perhaps some structure for some).  

Core – less so.

And the Processes – Individual and Team AoPs – usually even less. Especially at the Performance level. Maybe there should be / could be more sharing at the Enabling level of content – but there again the authentic-ness comes into play. Active Listening, Verbal Communication skills, Written Communications, Negotiations/Persuasion skills, Problem Solving, etc., etc., etc.

Other Benefits

It’s easier for your clients/stakeholders to see where your content is focussed – and where it is not – when you can link back to performance, their performance. It’s easier for them to see if you are appropriately aligned (or not – this is a double-edged sword – so be carefull).  And it’s easier to address/ resource/budget for – as appropriate to their views as to what is important and what will be changing routinely/ predictably  and what will change but perhaps unpredictably.


As the late Geary Rummler put it in 1999 when reviewing my book lean-ISD:

lean-ISD is available as a free PDF here.

If you’d like to learn a bit more about the Management Areas of Performance Model – and it’s utilities – attend the ISPI Armed Forces Chapter webinar – 60 minutes – that I am doing on Tuesday February 15th, 2011 – details here.

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