Perfect Practice Makes for Perfect Performance

Practice Always Needs To Be “Authentic Enough”

Why? Because most people cannot easily learn in “one context” and then transfer those learnings to “another context.”*


So one needs to start with authentic performance. as the goal state for any INFOs delivered, any DEMOs presented and any APPOs where they apply what they are learning – so that they can be given feedback immediately just before applying what they are learning (including the feedback) to develop that skill or skill-set.

I map these Instructional Activities – INFOs and DEMOs and APPOs in a Lesson Map – using the Analysis data as the basis for the design – which flows: Learning objectives to APPOs to DEMOs to INFOs….


That – being authentic – helps sell the relevancy – because – it’s relevant if it’s authentic.

Then you gotta worry about appropriate and complete and accurate – enough.

Always “enough.”

Never let Perfect be the enemy of Good Enough.

And of course, never let Crap be Good Enough.

CRAP being/meaning: Content Relevancy & Authenticity Problems.

(I just made that up.)

It’s Relevant If It’s Authentic

No need to convince or sell the Learners – unless they really have no clue what they are getting into job-wise, performance requirements-wise, performance-context-wise.

Live fire anyone?

Oh? You weren’t expecting that? Welcome to Boot Camp soldier!

But I digress.

Troubles with Transfer

That old Level 3 thing.

* Richard E. Clark Ed.D told me a couple of years ago that only about 5 to 15% of the population can do so – learn in another context and then transfer that to another context – such as one’s job.

That’s why Performance Analysis (under a variety of names/labels)  is so critical as a step BEFORE design and development.

To get authentic.

To get real.

ABC Sales PM Chart Example

To get Performance-based.

To have a prayer of transferring back to the job.

Noooooooooo!!!!!!!!! Not Irrelevant Practice!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Now Youre Learning

Please don’t ever make the Learners practice something “not authentic” – something that feels like someone else’s job.

And have them practice under conditions the same as on the job – if not immediately at first – at least before they get launched (back) into the job.

Otherwise – none of what you taught them will transfer often enough to make the entire undertaking worth starting in the first place.

If it’s worth doing – Formal Learning that is – then do it right. Don’t just do it.

If Informal Learning is better – then simply enable that – with the technology tools needs and currently available and that make sense for the Learners/Performers – but why in the hell are you – assuming you are a Learning type – why are you even involved in tool selection – Social Media types of tools, or not?

Get outta the way. Unless you understand the nuances of the job – of the Performance Requirements, the Contexts, the Situational variables and their variance – you cannot be in an ideal position to do anything more than help the Learners/Performers make an informed choice. Depending on what you know. And don’t know. About tools.

Sometimes But Not Always

Are your goals awareness, knowledge and/or skill?

Awareness and Knowledge may only require Reminders of sorts – to fend off the Forgetting Curve.

Skills probably requires Practice.

If not on-the-job naturally – often enough – then artificially – via Learning/Communications – hopefully on a Proven Path.

CAD Path Supervisors

The Path above included Performance Certifications – after a blend of Formal Learning and guided-Informal Learning. – cooked right into the design. Along with a blend of delivery/access modes and media for both synchronous learning and asynchronous learning. Open book tests and testing. Learner controlled and Enterprise enabled. All targeted at the Performance Requirements of the Enteprrise. Not guided by what the Learner is interested in alone.

Performance Competence Development – By Design

A Path can be designed – to be as flexible as feasible and as rigorous as required – to meet the situational demands of the Target Audience and its variance in incoming awareness, knowledge, skills, performance capabilities and levels of experiences in varied performance contexts.

It’s either that or simply some degree of Whatever.

Whatever Learning.

And it’s important to follow up your performance-focused On-Boarding – with continued On-Going development targeted at known Performance Requirements and futuristic needs and methods in the value chain/value chains of the Enterprise.

Unless the situation requires something different – such as for this next graphic. Here the inflexible rigor was also by design.

CAD Path Call Center Sales

Only Perfect Practice Makes Perfect

“Practice does not make perfect. Only perfect practice makes perfect.”

– Vince Lombardi (quotes from

Good Practice requires Good Feedback that is Timely.

Which is just before the next repetition.

Also – Sometimes Practice Isn’t Needed

Sometimes a reminder is all that is needed.

Match the Reinforcement – and the Frequency – with the Situational Need.

Don’t overdo it.

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One comment on “Perfect Practice Makes for Perfect Performance

  1. Pingback: Without Practice and Feedback – How Effective and Efficient is Informal Learning? | EPPIC - Pursuing Performance

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