Reducing “Time to Performance” Using the PACT Processes for CAD, MCD and IAD

My former firms – SWI- Svenson & Wallace Inc. and CADDI had a series of consulting engagements that our client named “Time to Performance” – which was intended to test for performance capability – not to reflect on past performance – but to focus on ability – proven ability. Sometimes “just in case” for performance the was needed rarely – but quickly – too quickly for referencing job aids or procedural manuals. It was too critical to leave to chance and needed to be addressed by design.

The short Case Study overview for that effort is available here.

Here are a couple of articles about the methods in the SWI newsletters (Winter 1994 – page 7) and  (Spring 1995 page 13 – and 16 for how we used this at our own consulting firm) – and later again in the CADDI newsletter (Spring 1998) as that work carried over from my days as a partner at SWI.

I began working with this firm in 1984 – conducting analysis and design efforts – for input for their staff’s development and delivery efforts.  My first project was: Training Design for Field Engineering 1984. At first they – Siemens Building Technologies was MCC Powers, then Landis Gear, and then Landis, and then Siemens Building Technologies.

The Training Director joked that he’d bring me in every 2 or 3 years to conduct the analysis and design the Curriculum Architecture – and then his staff would get to work on development and delivery – although a fair amount of what we designed was self-paced as it was labeled back in the day.

CAD architects the overall modular T&D Path identifying what currently – content-wise – is available to use “as is” or “after modification” and what gaps exist from that ideal for development/acquisition – if they are a priority to management with the promise of sufficient ROI.

MCD is the traditional ADDIE-like methodology of PACT, and IAD is for developing components of traditional training – such as Performance Tests – which was all articulated in my award winning book: lean-ISD (1999) – see more about that book here.

From the CADDI Newsletter (Fall 1999 Page 4) 

Work continues on the “Time to Performance” project, as we have expanded the performance-based certification program into the project
management role. The clients are continuing to “install” the system in various branch locations
for the technician audience. The branch installations are serious change management
activities—the system requires that supervisors and employees focus on development and
coaching like never before. So far, that is seen as a plus.

A new project will provide rollout and initial training on a new control system currently under
development. The audience includes both sales and technical people. Training development and
testing and product beta testing will take place at the same time.

Here from the Summer 2000 CADDI Newsletter (Page 30)

Just Do It – Performance-based Qualification

Time to Performance” is the name of a project to create a series of performance tests to be used on the job to qualify employees. By using these tests, our goal was to accelerate the learning curve to reduce the time needed to get a new employee “up to speed.”

This project was the topic of my second presentation, where I (Kelly Smith) co-presented with Pete Hybert (both were my partner at CADDI after being employees of mine at SWI), and Dennis Smith and Mark King (The Landis Division of Siemens Building Technologies, Inc.). Read more about this very popular presentation (it has been delivered at several conferences and local ISPI chapters) in Pete’s conference write up, and for more about the Time to Performance project, please see the “Project Profile: Competitive Learning Curve Cycle Time” article on our Web site at (note: the web site is no longer available)

Qualifying Your Sales Force
When talking about the “Time to Performance” project with various people, I came to realize that most people associate “qualification” with technical audiences. They don’t typically think of qualifying their other, more nontechnical audiences, such as salespeople or managers, using performance tests. Learning this led me to present on this topic at this year’s ISPI conference.

Our Client Won an Internal Award at Siemens Building Technologies

Our client’s “Time to Performance” effort in the late 1990s for critical field positions included certifying job holders for certain critical job performance   capabilities. Using the PACT Processes we conducted analysis and design and then developed both classroom and on-the-job support tools, a battery of certification/qualification tests that were all performance tests (no written tests), and the administrative systems to support both the rollout and the ongoing management by both the field and headquarters.

PACT – Performance-based, Accelerated, Customer/Stakeholder Drive, T&D

PACT uses a common analysis methodology rooted in Performance Analysis that simply scales with the scope of the effort – CAD’s tend to be large scope and MCD/IAD are often – but not always – scoped more narrowly than everything that a target audience does on the job – but those have happened too.

The Book About It All

This work at Siemens Building Technologies on “Time to Performance” is based on the Qualification/Certification methods first developed for work at Prudhoe Bay in 1987 and later again on the Alaska Pipeline in 1994. Those methods – and an overview of each of those early projects is covered in Ray Svenson (one of my partners at SWI 1982-1997) and my 2007 book:

Performance-based Employee Qualification/Certification Systems – available as a paperback – is all about the development of Performance Tests – and the Administrative Systems necessary – to put in place clear expectations of performance and the means to test for them – and prove that performance capability skills are resident in the performer populations sufficiently for use on the job – post training/learning – either formally or informally acquired.

Check it out!

It’s not about Learning – It’s about Performance.

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