Crazy About Processes – In ISD – For ISD and For Their Clients

The genesis of my 2001 book – about the processes of a T&D function/system – was a comment in the hallways at an NSPI Conference so long ago. I think it was 1992 or 1993. In response to a question to a fellow attendee about “are you coming to my session?” their response was, “it’s about more than Curriculum Architecture Design, Guy.”

I knew that. But in truth I was in a speaker’s rut, presenting on CAD every other year or so at NSPI (now ISPI), since 1985. I was trying to not be annoying, a one-trick pony as they say, with my “performance-based Curriculum Architecture Design” – which from that point on I referred to as CAD. Rhymes with glad. But obviously the stuff in between CAD sessions, the other stuff I was presenting on, was not resonating, not with that colleague anyway – or maybe I was simply getting tired myself of those other non-CAD topics, tools and/or techniques. So I decided I needed a new topic to do in between CAD sessions at conferences. Something from my work.

So the other thing I had been working on with my big client – at the time it was AT&T Network Systems – the old Western Electric group of Ma Bell – was a “process model” for my client’s T&D function. I took that, that we had co-created, and morphed it into something more like the current model. It took a couple of steps.

So then, eventually, in 2001, walla… the model…

The T&D Systems View Model

Many of my clients at the time (late 1980s and early 1990s) were all about Process and Processes. I was somehow “there” already in the late 1970s. Must have been my time in the US Navy. So one thing I learned early on was to not jump in and first “map a bunch of processes.”

I learned to architect it all first.

Call it, create the big picture view.

Just make sure it is process oriented more than topic oriented. Or more process than function oriented – unless that function is matrixed against some process architecture.

So that’s what I have – in this clockface model – an example – and later – its fraternal twin.

My starter model, for that’s all any model such as this can be – a start – to creating the custom view – as I am pretty much against generic models except as starting points…


This model has 12 sub-systems of a T&D (or L&D or KMS, etc.) system – which of course is part of a larger T&D system, often inside the HR system, inside the enterprise system, inside the industry system, in the planet’s system, inside the intergalactic system…

Talk about Russian dolls.

My Starting Point Model

Has 12 Sub-Systems, and 47 key Processes, and 71 key Outputs.


My intent, for the model and the 2001 book (begun so much earlier than that) was to enable a self-assessment and improvement planning tool. Framed. But custom-izable.


The T&D Systems View book is available as a FREE PDF and as a $20 paperback – in case you are calculating the cost of printing and binding for a comparison.

Please go here for more info on the paperback – and here for the free 226 page PDF.

There is even a 4-part series of audio podcast (free) on this model – the original 2001 view – not the newer 2011 view – here.

There’s An App For That – Coming Soon

BTW – my brother and I are finishing up an App for your i-stuff and Android-stuff (smartphones and tablets) to enable you to start targeting the points of pain in the 12, then the sub-set of the 47, and the sub-set of the 71 – to determine what the cost of living with the pain is, and what the costs of addressing the pain might be and the cycle time might be – to rough out an improvement plan.

For those in T&D/L&D that would like to also be the Performance Improvement biz. Or simply need to clean up their own function/system – as a demo to their client’s about what they believe and how they operationalize that.

More on that APP’s availability in the next 30-60 days (I hope). It will produce a detailed Report (for your further editing).

Warning – if you’re not interested in “all the stinkin’ details” – you’ll want to stay away from this future App. For a fluff view you will need to go elsewhere – or severely edit down the Report that this App will produce.

Different View Point of Processes

The clock-face model – is a re-configuration of the 3-level model of Leadership stuff – Core stuff – and Support stuff – that I use in other models, books, etc.

Here it – the clockface – is with its fraternal twin (not identical twin) the Tiers of L-C-S.


The L-C-S is one view. The clockface another.

I usually start with the L-C-S tiers.

Where the Core is what’s unique about this function, or department, or process or process-set.

Such as used in this application to models of management performance… and this book… the 2011 view of “another” earlier book of mine…

2011 e D-Y M-AoPC

Why the Two Views?

The L-C-S Model helps people see these chunks of Processes/etc. by tier:

  • Leadership
  • Core
  • Support

The clock-face model helps then draw out the interfaces of the Processes via the flow of Outputs-as-Inputs downstream.

Such as you might do with this…

Imagine being in a room talking about “flow” from one Process to the next (or even off the Clock-Face to another systems/sub-system’s Clock-Face)….

More than 12 Things for Your Clock-Face?

More Than 12 Processes Clockface

Take A System View/ Systems View/ Process View/ Performance View

Regardless of how you carve up, configure, any function/department’s Processes set – this could work for you – using a very visual model to discuss Processes.

Here are those 12 T&D Systems as 13…


How do you eat an elephant? One bite at a time.

How many bites?

You can carve up an elephant made of soap into many different configurations.

It should all add back up to the same elephant.

When you are attempting to frame your set of Processes, so that you can better manage them, there are at least two types: 1) main value proposition delivery, and 2) administration stuff necessary to enable that.

In order to prove something to a colleague once, I recreated the 12 Areas of Performance of the clockface model into 13 Areas of Performance. To demonstrate that elephant thing about analysis and the early configuration of my AoPs versus your’s as a fellow analyst.

The Core is still the Core in both views. Those 3, might have been someone else’s 5. Their framing of the core work might have been 5.

As long as it all gets covered, it being performance, it being segmented into 3 or 5 or 7 may be quite arbitrary. Sometimes it is just obvious. Mostly it’s in between, leaning well into arbitrary.


I did this 12 to 13 conversion deliberately in the 2011 update to T&D Systems View book, and then renamed it.

A conversion as a demo, that I had done years in the past. Turned the 12 into 13. Could have been 14.

In fact, the earliest published versions of this were different in name and number. So converting the 12 into something slightly different was not difficult.

It was a demo to prove – to those who care – that one analyst’s output of AoPs (Areas of Performance) can vary in name and number. You and I could analyze the elephant and come up with a different number of parts – but it should (theoretically) add up to the same elephant. There is no “right” number of AoPs, or Processes. This is crucial to analysts feeling confident that they can do this, they can win, and get it right.

Everyone likes to feel competent. If it is at all possible.

Processes Are Tricking IMO

It’s somewhat arbitrary to define where one ends and another begins. Typically we are dealing with people’s mental models about such – and that means “varied.”

How to bring everyone to the page to get them on the same page – that’s the trick.

Best wishes to you in this new year!

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