T&D Systems View: 6 O’clock: T&D Product and Service Line Development/Acquisition System

From Chapter 18 of Guy W. Wallace’s book: T&D Systems View (2001)

This Blog Post presents that chapter with some update. There are 47 “processes” within the T&D Systems View. 6 O’Clock houses 5 of them. In this post we’ll cover the first two – the rest you can read about in the free PDF of T&D Systems View – available here.

The system and processes necessary to actually build or buy the T&D products and services, as approved and funded by the T&D Governance and Advisory System.

6 O’clock: T&D Product and Service Line Development/Acquisition System

 


 

T&D Processes

– 6.1: T&D Product and Service Line Development and Acquisition Program Management Process

– 6.2: T&D Custom Development Process

– 6.3: T&D Purchased Product Acquisition Process

– 6.4: T&D Purchased Product Modification Process

– 6.5: Existing T&D Maintenance Process

 

This chapter presents the system and processes necessary to actually build or buy the T&D products and services, as approved and funded by the T&D Governance and Advisory System.


Principle

Properly designed, performance-based T&D meets current needs and is more robust to future changes to better minimize total life-cycle costs.

Overview

This system’s processes organize the efforts to build, buy and use, or buy and modify, and then maintain T&D consistent with the performance-based requirements and the T&D product line architecture designs. These expensive efforts are always done in order to meet only the high-payback, critical business needs of the enterprise, not every need uncovered.

If they are cost-conscious at all, too many T&D organizations still focus on minimizing initial development costs. They typically don’t understand the life-cycle costs.

They would serve the shareholders/owners better if they were focused on reducing overall life-cycle costs. Life-cycle costs include first costs for development and implementation, but they also include operating costs as well as maintenance costs for all T&D systems and processes and each product or service. There is tremendous pressure in the T&D world to reduce costs or increase cost-efficiency.

Increasing the value of T&D interventions requires investments. Investment costs (all costs) need to be compared to the potential returns (all returns)—to determine return on investment. Then business decisions need to be made.

The opportunity to spend the enterprise’s limited capital resources, entrusted to T&D in terms of the people, facilities, equipment, materials, and budget provided by the organization, always needs to be compared to the return on investment opportunities everywhere in the enterprise.

This issue is not unique to T&D products. Many companies have problems and/or opportunities to reduce costs by using common processes, systems, and tools/techniques. The auto industry faced this need back in the late 1970s and ’80s and then changed their production and operations methods based on a theory of commonization of both their processes and systems. This is not very different from standardizing the “flint lock” system for rifles two hundred years ago.

Today, enterprisewide resource planning (ERP) systems intend to capitalize on information technology (IT) capability and will facilitate the data capture, storage, reporting, and retrieval needs of almost everyone in the organization.

Knowledge Management Systems (KMS) can also utilize this data to better facilitate organizational development, hopefully as a means to either increase revenues and/or reduce costs, resulting in improved operations and better capability in meeting the future challenges of the enterprise.

T&D Process 6.1: T&D Product and Service Line Development and Acquisition Program Management Process

Process Purpose

The T&D Product and Service Line Development and Acquisition Program Management Process, much as the first process within 5 o’clock, is intended to deliberately control the multiple efforts for development and acquisition for putting high-priority, high-payback T&D products and services in place.


Process Description

The T&D Product and Service Line Development and Acquisition Program Management Process provides the program-level command and control (and targeted empowerment) that is very necessary in this Internet-speed world in which we live. Command and control does not necessarily need to proceed and operate in slow motion if the processes are well specified, defined, and developed.

Too much is at stake and “haste makes waste.” The need to avoid waste, of course, has to be balanced with the need for rapid responses to meet fast-moving issues and needs.

Just as our personal lives move fairly rapidly in today’s world, we probably do not subscribe to the notion that “whatever, whenever, however” is okay when it comes to our house purchase, life savings and retirement investment strategies, where our kids go to school and college, and what kind of training and car we put our new 16-year-old drivers in before anxiously waving goodbye as they drive off to pick up their friends for an evening of cruising.

And so it goes for the not-so-minor investments in human competence development needed to deal with current issues and/or move the enterprise forward.

Assuming that the number of T&D products and services to either develop, acquire, modify, or maintain is large, careful control is necessary to safeguard both the shareholders’ and other stakeholders’ interests.

T&D is very expensive. Initial costs can be very high. Life-cycle costs are too often an afterthought in many situations and are also very expensive. You not only need to ask “if we build it, will they come?” but also “if we build it, can we maintain it?” And then ask, “What does that do to return on investment and economic value add?”

The same is true for services as well as products. Why build it if you’re not willing to project future needed life-cycle costs for maintenance and administration? Too often T&D is built or acquired without the due diligence of asking what else have we purposely or inadvertently signed ourselves up for in terms of costs over the long haul.

Shareholders would be both against past practices and angry if they truly understood the history of our oblivion. This process ensures that this problem is minimized, as nothing is perfect in a non-zero defect world, according to the statisticians.


Process Outputs and Their “Utilities”

The key outputs from the T&D Product and Service Line Development and Acquisition Program Management Process include the following:

Key Outputs Key Utilities
Portfolio/program plans for developing and updating T&D content, reusing “content chunks” as appropriate • For program/project management plans and budgets.

• For ongoing deployment after pilot-testing.

Portfolio/program plans for purchasing T&D content • For program/project management plans and budgets.

• For ongoing deployment after pilot-testing and modification (as the license agreement permits with the copyright holder).

Is It Broken? Clues and Cues

Your T&D Product and Service Line Development and Acquisition Program Management Process may be broken if

– You can’t measure positive return on investment and economic value add actuals against plans for T&D products/services.

– T&D product and service development is being done because someone internal to the T&D system thinks it’s a good idea—the T&D portfolio is not being managed.

– T&D products and services developed aren’t maintained due to T&D resource constraints.

– Resources are not reallocated as needed based on changes in business direction.

– You don’t know what to work on next if a project is completed early.

– Projects are not sequenced to take appropriate advantage of synergies (e.g., similar content/subject matter experts between projects).

Process Summary

The T&D Product and Service Line Development and Acquisition Program Management Process is intended to deliberately control the development and acquisition processes to put high-priority, high-payback T&D products and services into place, across many target audiences. It creates a portfolio of projects.

It’s either that or “whatever, whenever, however.” And that’s no way to run an enterprise. Even if the enterprise were in a position for self-actualizing, it’s a temporary situation at best in today’s world.

We believe that it’s still a business decision, even for a learning organization.

We hope you do as well.

Next, we’ll review the T&D Custom Development process, where traditional ISD happens. This could be for one of the many projects within the Development/ Acquisition Program Management portfolio that we just covered.

 

T&D Process 6.2: T&D Custom Development Process

Process Purpose

The T&D Custom Development Process is a formal ISD process to develop performance-based T&D or, minimally, performance-relevant awareness, knowledge, and skills. This process can be done via insourcing, outsourcing, or a combination of the two.

Anything other than a formal process to develop performance-based T&D is equivalent to taking enterprise dollars and burning them in the headquarters’ parking lot, which is actually cheaper than building ill-advised T&D. It’s those other costs for deployment and other life-cycle costs that we could then avoid, which only add to the shareholder loss.

Process Description

The T&D Custom Development Process builds custom training & development, as opposed to purchasing a T&D product for deployment.

The T&D could take the form of group-paced;
self-paced; or structured, on-the-job training.

The ISD process generally known as ADDIE is used to build T&D. ADDIE is akin to almost any “new product development process” model used today in many enterprises and in many development-oriented functions. See Figure 18.2.

 


Process Outputs and Their “Utilities”

The key outputs from the T&D Custom Development Process include the following:

Key Outputs Key Utilities
T&D product “masters” for ongoing deployment (composed of content chunks) • These are the products of the overall T&D product line.

• The chunks, either shareable or unique, reduce overall life-cycle costs for the product and the entire T&D product line.

Is It Broken? Clues and Cues

Your T&D Custom Development Process could be broken if your

– T&D does not meet the established objectives for transferring awareness, knowledge, or skills to the target audiences.

– T&D development efforts are somewhat ad hoc, not in control, and not predictable in terms of their eventual costs or cycle times.

– T&D development does not design and build appropriately reusable “chunks” of content for sharing with other target audiences.

Process Summary

The T&D Custom Development Process develops T&D product offerings.

These could be group-paced; self-paced; and structured, on-the-job training. The offerings should be performance-based or, minimally, performance relevant. T&D products can deploy and create awareness, knowledge, and skills in their target audiences.

Next, we’ll review the T&D Purchased Product Acquisition Process, where T&D is bought, not built.

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To continue your review – please get your free copy of T&D Systems View here.

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