IMO The Value of a Training & Development Path or Road Map

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Informal Learning

Is going to happen regardless. Guaranteed. Learning occurs naturally.

But too often the wrong things can be learned. The bad habits, the shortcuts, the erroneous decision making in complex situations, etc., can be learned from others informally.

So there is no guarantee of the effectiveness, nor the efficiency of Informal Learning.

So there is a Risk. And reducing that Risk is the Reward, the Return in ROI.

The typical starting point for Learning – is that everything is Informal.

Either that is OK, or it is not.

If Informal Learning Isn’t Cutting It

Then Informal gets converted to Formal.

Not the other way around – unless that attempt at Formal Failed.

And it’s too bad that most of Learning that is Formal is not good, to be most polite.

A total waste of time, effort and money, too, too often.

But it can be done right – with a Performance Orientation.

With a focus on tasks & outputs – versus topics and entertainment.

Performance-Based Training

Performance-based Training – or Learning – is focused on Performance outcomes, outputs, measures  tasks and all environmental supports available, including current or future state Performance Support.

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The question before many organizations and leaders is where to formalize, and what to formalize, first, second, third….

Formalize the Processes first.

Then formalize the Learning/ Training/ Process Support.

Process Support is, after all, more formal than informal.  It’s just not traditional in form, format and accessibility options. DropBox anyone?

Formal Learning

Formal Learning needs to be created/acquired with the real world performance and learning contexts of the Performers/Learners in mind.

Performance-based Formal Learning of the key processes and tasks to produce appropriate outputs for downstream use, elsewhere, conducted via the most appropriate modes and media, deployed/delivered before and/or at and after the moment of need. It needs to be authentic in its content and applications exercises – and it needs to be learned all up front, mostly upfront, or in some other timing and cadence, unique compared to the last efforts.

CAD Path Supervisors

I’ve learned to expect variation in certain parts of the Processes I use in my consulting gig contexts. And I’ve tried to make those parts of my Process robust to those anticipated variabilities.

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I just finished my 75th CAD effort. Curriculum Architecture Design – produces a Path or Menu of formal Training, in the context of the likely experiences that will surely go along with that – the Informal stuff – as we help ramp up the Learner to become a Proficient Performer sooner rather than later. From 12 months of the current state to less than 6 in the future state.


By design.

Next they’ll carry on with their version of MCD, my version of ADDIE.


I am just wrapping up my 75th CAD effort, since the first back in 1982.

This one was also guided by an Analysis Team and Design Team set of Master Performers, their managers, trainers, and other stakeholders, such as the guy demo’ing the “coming” tablet app that in 18 months or so would reduce their paperwork by tremendously reducing reentry of redundant information, and only assist in their decision making without taking the actual decision away from them – like the last attempt at automating the job did, which was soundly rejected.

This group suspended their immediate disbelief and suspicion about this new Performance Support tool – and so we were able to proceed with that taken care of. It was a good thing to have covered.

Our new criteria for our effort now included: is the design of the new Learning Path and its content appropriate to that future state availability of that tool? And, have we reduced the future costs for integrating that into the future state of the Curriculum? Or have we inadvertently increased those future costs?

It’s going to provide a Path for the Target Audience that has great promise to reduce the time to proficiency.

And it uncovered some other non-Knowledge/Skill improvement opportunities.


But Wait! It’s Not All About Learning!

It’s more than just about Learning, Training, Knowledge Management or Performance Support or Informal Learning and how that needs more attention, and money I guess. But it not really about those means to the ends. It’s about those ends.

It’s about performance.

It’s all about performance.

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Analysts doing their analysis thing in their ISD efforts need to be aware, cognizant, of all of the variables of less than desired performance. Training may not address the real root causes – and the analyst needs to not just know that, they need to believe it.

They – the analysts – need to know how to recognize that and where to steer their client – who should be part of this all and in the know when the discovery is jointly made, if the process was designed to make that happen.

Performance Improvement by any means appropriate, for improved organizational performance effectiveness and efficiency.

EPPI is Enterprise Process Performance Improvement. They are my set of PI methods, models, tools and techniques, that relate closely with the ISD methods, models, tools and techniques of PACT – Performance-based, Accelerated, Customer/Stakeholder-driven, Training & Development of any blend, yada yada.

EPPI has two stages.

EPPI Stage 1  and 2

Stage 1 is a quick pass at the Problem/Opportunity to determine the root cause/issue of the gaps between the current state and the desired future state. And in Stage 1 it is decided where Stage 2 will include any Lean, Six Sigma, OD, Instruction, Incentives, Communications initiatives to address whatever is at the root of the roots, so to speak.

EPPI Stage 1 and 2

EPPI Stage 1 leads to one or more, in series and/or in parallel, efforts at improvement of all of the key variables in order to affect some initiative’s targeted metrics improvements. Ideally that is. With Pareto in mind too.

That Stage 2

Will probably look more like this next graphic, or worse, even more complex, with even more work streams.

EPPI II Complex Efforts

Think of A as a Lean-Six Sigma effort, and B being the IT effort and C being the HR effort including but more than Instruction/ Learning/ Training/ Performance Support.

There’s compensation & benefits that might need to be looked at, plus the Performance Appraisal items of focus. See Work Stream C’s detailed, sub-work-stream plans, and add it in, if the Project Steering Team by that or some other name, so directs.

It’s probably going to be complex. If it is of real value and to last longer than the attention span of those doing “the improvement.” Will it sustain itself? Control – in the DAMIC model. E in the ADDIE model.

And given that, who do you think, in hindsight, would you have wanted to involve in your Performance Improvement efforts on day 1 rather than much later?

Identify them now. Before you start.

And start with them. Not without them.

Be collaborative. Early and often.

Be Social in your methods.

The group process methods I have been using since 1979 are.

The same ones covered in these two early publications about the processes and methods, of CAD and Analysis.

Resources – A Tip of My Iceberg of Resources

By last count there are over 300 articles, presentations, audio podcasts, video podcasts on this site – that are free. Including…

CAD – Training Mag – 1984 – 6 page PDF – the first publication about Curriculum Architecture Design via a Group Process – published in Training Magazine in September 1984. Original manuscript (30 pages) – How to Build a Training Structure That Won’t Keep Burning Down.

Models and Matrices- NSPI PIJ -1984 – 5 page PDF – the first publication of the performance and enabler analysis methods for ISD, from NSPI’s (ISPI’s) Performance & Instruction Journal, November 1984.

And then there is this… 6 Pack… on PACT and EPPI… for a fee, for a Kindle or Paperback book…


Please go here for more about those 6 books plus others.

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One comment on “IMO The Value of a Training & Development Path or Road Map

  1. Guy, I barely avoided looking like an idiot today, because of you. ;-)

    I wanted to stand up on my desk and cheer aloud and clap when I read this post. That is some awesome content and the first three headings and your simple statements under each, are so on target and so cogent that I wanted to cut them out and mail them individually to everyone I know in T&D. So many people are getting so lost in a sea of hogwash these days. I always enjoy your no nonsense, logical clarity.

    Of course after thinking about that mailer idea for a sec, I just shared twice on Twitter instead. ;-)

    Stay the course. (Bad pun only somewhat-intended.)



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