Case Study – A Set of Formal & Informal & Social Learning For a Critical Target Audience

25 Years Ago Today – I Delivered the Keystone Event in a performance-based T&D Path


The project addressed the 800 soon to become 1000+ Product Managers of AT&T Network Systems (formerly Western Electric) after divestiture – the ending of the monopoly of Ma Bell – in their 4 (then 5) Strategic Business Units (SBUs).

It was 1986 when the CAD effort was conducted. The stakes were high.

Bringing the right products to market in an ever evolving arena of technology growth and change – and killing off quickly or slowly (depending on contractual agreements and use elsewhere for some products and components) other products – called product line pruning – was critical to survival. No longer would the organization tell the Customers (the dozens and dozens of Bell Operating Companies) what products they would be implementing in the coming year and years – as Bell Labs cranked out new stuff and the BOCs implemented them.

An extensive analysis was conducted. A T&D Path – or rather a Menu – was created to share across the various levels of Product management (Product Planners, Product Managers, Product Directors, etc.) and across those 4 then 5 SBUs.

The T&D Path – or – T&D Menu

Note – this is not the original 1986 version, it is the 1989 version – after the 1st of 2 updates I conducted – for this client – as their world was so volatile. But not much changed – relative the bulk of “what one had to know to survive in an area chock full of ambiguity” – same as it ever was. Ambiguous that is.

How to teach these 1000+ people how to roll with the punches – was a real end game goal.

The Keystone Event in the Curriculum – NS 1251: Product Management Basics Process Training

This Keystone Event – NS 1251 – was the last blue box of the 1000 Series.

It was 8-days long (and hard) where as everything leading up to it in the 1000 Series was mostly self-paced, short modules – that no one would each and every one. It was for 5 SBUs and people who might focus on 1, or more, or all 8 Functions of the PM job.

Most of the T&D Events on the Path/Menu were Self-Paced, including the deployment methods of Booklets and CBTs (this was 1986).

Some of the modular T&D Events required one to interview their boss, their teams, their customers and their peers – as I knew that we would never be able to package content that would be valid a week or two later – did I mention the volatility of their Context?

See the brochure below for that 8-Function model.

It involved a 5-Stage Simulation of running Product Team Meetings through the Product Development and Management “Life Cycle.”

The Pilot-Test

The first delivery – the Pilot Test session – was done the week of Black Monday 1987 – which refers to Monday October 19, 1987 – 25 years ago this week. That first delivery was 10 days – subsequent, post-Pilot Test sessions were 8-days.

I delivered all 31 of those subsequent sessions, including 5 in The Netherlands. I didn’t do delivery except for this client – who insisted and rewarded me with many more CAD and MCD (ADDIE-like) projects for this and other related Target Audiences, including CADs to develop T&D Paths (Menus) for their Sales Managers and Sales Representatives.

The Brochure the Client and I Created for Our Award Submission

More Brochure

More Brochure

More Brochure

More Brochure

More Brochure

More Brochure

More Brochure – The Last Page

The Actual Simulation Exercise Game Board – From 1987

Used to reinforce the 5 Phases of The Life Cycle (Cradle to Grave).

Think Monopoly – with cards – Break Cards – as in “those are the breaks” – where most were bad and some were good – breaks that is. To create a different Learning Experience (Immersive) for each team in the class – and for each class as the Client was worried that people would cheat, er, share, their outputs after class with those who would follow.

Video About the T&D Path – or – T&D Menu

And More Video About This Curriculum Architecture Design Project

Me doing the intro to the course NS 1251 in 1989 – where my clients asked me to add in all of this about the T&D Path and Planning Guide – as they found that most people coming to this 8-day Event were not completing any of the possible prerequisites that would be appropriate for them, in their slice of the job – one or more or all of the 8 functions of Product Management – and for their Business Unit (1 of 5).

And there is more…

A Prior Post on OnBoarding a New Product Manager


A Prior Post On: An Immersive Learning Design – Driven By Analysis Of Authentic Performance – From Back In The Day


If you are really a glutton for punishment (just kidding) search this site using 1251 for more about this T&D Event – or Product Manager – for more about this entire effort, involving dozens and dozens of project efforts to build out and deliver the Events (Group-Paced but mostly Self-Paced).

Plus videos from two of the deliveries in The Netherlands (that are mostly sight-seeing around The NL).

# # #

7 comments on “Case Study – A Set of Formal & Informal & Social Learning For a Critical Target Audience

  1. Pingback: 34 Years Ago Today – I Pilot Tested a Huge Simulation Exercise | EPPIC - Pursuing Performance

  2. Pingback: Things That New-to-the-Job Target Audiences Simply Don’t Know | EPPIC - Pursuing Performance

  3. Pingback: L&D: Immersive and Intense Simulation for Product Management (1987) | EPPIC - Pursuing Performance

  4. Pingback: L&D: Game This | EPPIC - Pursuing Performance

  5. Pingback: L&D: Story About Stories | EPPIC - Pursuing Performance

  6. Pingback: The Keystone Learning Event Concept | EPPIC - Pursuing Performance

  7. Pingback: An On-Boarding Story – Ramping Up a New Product Manager | EPPIC - Pursuing Performance

Leave a Reply

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.