The PACT Processes for Training & Development, Learning and Knowledge Management – for ROI

Adapted from chapter 30 of my 1999 book: lean-ISD.

PACT is not your father’s ISD.

In 1999 that was a fairly current saying. Now? Not so much,

The PACT Processes  may not be appropriate for some organizations. For those who don’t see a need to manage their Training, Learning, Knowledge Management functions like a business – earning their keep, or even putting money back on the bottom line – or – as they say, why bother? Why bother with investments in learning?

There has got to be a business benefit, or again, why do it?

I say for the ROI.

And why PACT – as the ISD methods of choice? And what is PACT?

PACT is a set of methodologies for 3 levels of ISD – Instructional Systems Design. More than ADDIE. But inclusive of ADDIE. A business rational approach to instructional and informational content to enable performance competence.

PACT has been proven to prove its worth in terms of ROI.

Case Studies: EPPIC’s Methodologies/ Processes

As noted on each Case Study PDF – the situation, response and results – may be for work done while Guy was at SWI – Svenson & Wallace Inc. (1982-1997), or at CADDI (1997-2002), or at EPPIC (2002-today).

All methods and tools used these client projects are the exclusive property of Guy W. Wallace.

EPPIC Case Study – Eli Lilly Global Clinical Trials CAD post Six Sigma Effort – a post-Six Sigma effort still did not generate the data needed for Instructional Design efforts – for either a Curriculum Architecture or an ADDIE-level of Course development.

EPPIC Case Study – Verizon 7 Call Centers CAD – reduced the total amount of training days across 7 regions from 338 days to 187 days (average from 48.2 per site to 26.7) designing 1,888 content objects (Instructional Activities – not Learning Objects) with 1,444 unique and 447 shared.

EPPIC Case Study – General Motors Engineering Job Re-Engineering – effort to use the analysis methodology to design three jobs where two had existed. moving certain tasks to the lower paying job and moving more sophisticated tasks from the lowest to the middle; engineering management forecasted a 360:1 ROI for the $500,000 invested in the redesign or the jobs and all of the associated training that had to be redone when it existed  and developed where there were gaps.

EPPIC Case Study – Siemens Building Technologies Time to Performance – we developed Performance Tests and the administrative system to accelerate time to performance using the field master Performers – this won their annual President’s Quality Award.

EPPIC Case Study – Imperial Oil Retail Site CAD – this Management T&D designed/developed returned $18MM over a two year period for a 540:1 ROI and the effort won an award at ISPI for our clients.

EPPIC Case Study – General Motors 4 Manufacturing Supervisors CAD Combined – sharing content at the CAD level before development across 4 supervisor groups increased course sharing from 11 to 78 saving $800,000.00 from the $1.4MM originally budgeted.

EPPIC Case Study – Bandag Material Flow –

EPPIC Case Study – Bank of America Branch Staff and Management CAD – reduced turnover in the Teller position by 30%.

EPPIC Case Study – General Motors MFD Supervisors College – this project won the GM Chairman’s Award in 1998 – one of only a few training efforts to ever do so.

EPPIC Case Study – ATT Network System – the financial organization calculated a 547% ROI for this effort to create a 8-day new Product Manager Basic Process Training course. This effort also won an ISPI award.

When to Implement the PACT Processes

When an organization wants to develop the capability to conduct PACT-like approaches to ISD, there are several things to consider.

First: is the ISD organization at a state of readiness to learn, adopt, adapt, and then embrace the PACT approach for conducting ISD projects? Other questions to ask along this line are

  • Does the ISD organization perceive its status quo as an opportunity for change?
  • Can the ISD organization work using structured processes, or would the use of such processes be counter to the culture of the organization?

Second: are the ISD organization’s customers ready for the use of this highly structured approach?

  • Do customers perceive ISD’s status quo as an opportunity for change?
  • Can the customer organization work using structured processes?

Why PACT? For the ROI.

Third: is the ISD organization willing to be committed and disciplined during the implementation of the PACT Processes?

What it boils down to is this: for an organization to successfully implement the PACT Processes, it is necessary that

  • There be a motivation for change, especially within the ISD organization
  • There be a willingness to use a highly structured approach to designing and developing T&D, both on the part of ISD and ISD’s customers
  • ISD professionals and PACT project participants be willing to work hard to implement the PACT Processes

Sometimes the proper climate for implementing the PACT Processes has already been established because the organization is engaged in other re-engineering initiatives. These initiatives may be business process re-engineering initiatives or enterprise resource planning initiatives. The PACT Processes offer a similar approach and similar benefits for ISD. Approaching training as an engineer would; as an architect would.

When the right climate exists, and when the ISD organization and its customer base can pass these preliminary qualifiers, then it may be appropriate to further explore how to implement the PACT Processes.

How to Implement the PACT Processes

The PACT Processes have many benefits, but someone in the organization with the appropriate amount of authority must recognize those benefits and be willing to take a chance on a new way of designing and developing T&D. Finding such a person―a project champion―is a key step in implementing the PACT Processes for T&D.

The champion will believe in T&D. The champion will also believe that T&D decisions, like others affecting the organization, should be rational and business-oriented. The champion will most likely believe in engineered processes, and so be able to recognize the nature of the PACT Processes. The champion will believe in learning by design, not learning by chance.

When ISD management is behind the use of the PACT Processes, and when a project champion is available, it’s time to try a demonstration PACT project. The project should be one that is meaningful, addressing a critical job or job family. The goal will be to do the project as efficiently as possible in order to be able to showcase PACT’s accelerated, cost-effective features. Among these features, of course, is the Project Steering Team.

After the demonstration project is over, ISD and the project champion share the lessons learned and the results of the project with the overall organization. And when the project goes well, as it almost always does, Project Steering Team members are likely to be new advocates for the use of the PACT Processes within the organization.

Transferring the PACT Processes Technology

The model found to be most successful in transferring the technologies and methodologies of the PACT Processes is shown in Figure 30.1. The PACT Processes Technology Transfer Model involves five stages.

1.     Transfer Start-up

2.     Demonstrating Curriculum Architecture Design

3.     Certifying Practitioners in Curriculum Architecture Design and Installing Appropriate Infrastructure

4.     Demonstrating Modular Curriculum Development

5.     Certifying Practitioners in Modular Curriculum Development and Installing Appropriate Infrastructure

Stage 1 – Transfer Start-up

During the first project stage, Transfer Start-up, a preliminary but very detailed plan is developed to transfer CADDI’s leanISD technologies of the PACT Processes for T&D. The preliminary plan outlines how the remaining stages will be conducted, by whom, and when. The plan clearly establishes the purpose of the project and the process to be followed. The detailed plan is sanctioned by a Project Steering Team for Stages 2 and 3 of the PACT Process Technology Transfer.

ISD management and key individual contributors should receive an early orientation to the PACT Processes for T&D to better compare PACT and traditional ISD. They will have many questions and perhaps a challenge or two. Then they should read all that they can about PACT. They can do this by reviewing lean-ISD methodology materials from CADDI and other PACT Practitioners.

It is highly recommended that at this point some level of benchmarking is conducted with organizations that use the PACT Processes for T&D. These benchmarks should clarify entrance costs and payoffs. The implementing organization needs to see the value, the return on investment, of this undertaking.

In parallel with Stage 1, Stage 2 can be jump-started by beginning the selection and recruitment of the first wave of PACT learners.

Stage 2 – Demonstrating Curriculum Architecture Design

In the second stage, a performance-based Curriculum Architecture Design is produced for demonstration purposes. Key observers are selected for their potential to be included in the first wave of PACT Practitioners who will internalize and extend the use of these methods.

Certified PACT Practitioners demonstrate the use of the PACT Processes on a pilot project or two and allow stakeholders an opportunity to see the processes in action. A great deal of learning happens in this effort; therefore, it is crucial that the future practitioners and their management get the insights and understanding that can only come from “living” in a project. Their insights are about the minor pain―and the tremendous gain―from the PACT approach.

Not only do the new practitioners begin learning, but a real work output of value to the organization is provided through the demonstration project. The demonstration project allows internal customers to see the process and work products for themselves. It also allows customers to assess the return on investment.

For the target audiences, the demonstration Curriculum Architecture Design project identifies all of the gap T&D required and assesses all of the existing T&D as appropriate to the needs of the on-the-job performance requirements. Based on the identification of gap T&D, management prioritizes training to be developed, then resources the development and deployment of the high-priority T&D. And because the training needs and priorities have been identified using the PACT Process of Curriculum Architecture Design, the training designated for development is high-leverage T&D, to be built because it’s appropriate for the needs of the business―not just because some ISD professional uncovered a T&D need.

Stage 3 – Certifying Practitioners in Curriculum Architecture Design and Installing Appropriate Infrastructure

The Curriculum Architecture Design project in Stage 2 provides an opportunity for learners to observe one CAD project’s key activities. In the third stage, a first wave of early practitioners are trained and certified in Curriculum Architecture Design. This training and certification happens in skills-building PACT workshops that focus on the CAD project manager, and the analyst and designer roles.

PACT Practitioners may be trained as generalists or as specialists. Usually first-wave participants are selected for their capability as generalists. Later practitioners may be developed as specialists, such as

  • PACT analysts
  • Curriculum Architecture Design designers
  • Modular Curriculum Development designers
  • CAD/MCD project planners and managers

After seeing PACT in action, specific aspects of PACT Process tools and techniques are adapted to the organization’s infrastructure. For example, there may be language and labeling issues to address. There will probably be integration issues―with other company systems, policies, or procedures―that may require some rewiring of either other systems or PACT. For an example of other T&D systems with which the PACT Processes must be integrated, see the topic “PACT and Other T&D Systems” later in this chapter.

Stage 4 – Demonstrating Modular Curriculum Development

In Stage 4 of the implementation of PACT, a performance-based Modular Curriculum Development project is demonstrated. This MCD builds a selected T&D Event from the Curriculum Architecture Design developed in Stage 2. MCD is the ADDIE-equivalant in PACT.

The selected Event addresses an area of real need for the business and demonstrates the complete MCD process.

Stage 5 – Certifying Practitioners in Modular Curriculum Development and Installing Appropriate Infrastructure

In Stage 5, a group of early practitioners is trained and certified in Modular Curriculum Development. The MCD project in Stage 4 has already provided an opportunity for the learners to observe one MCD project’s key activities prior to attending skills-building PACT workshops focused on the MCD analyst and designer roles.

In addition, an effort is made to integrate the Modular Curriculum Development process into the organization’s infrastructure and processes.

That’s where the ROI is really made, or not.

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