Organizing Learning Content Chunks for Both PUSH and PULL Target Audiences

Learning Content Chunks

I call them various names, depending on their relationship in my Architectural mashup with Learning … Training … Knowledge Management … but regardless they – each chunkwould each find themselves in just one drawer in the digital file cabinet – so to speak.

And I’ve been doing this since almost before there were digital files and drawers/folders for most Enterprise employees (1982).

If they followed the RULES that is. To insure effectiveness first and efficiency second in the pursuit of Performance … Performance Competence.

First – the digital file cabinet and its drawers…

Push-Pull and The 5 Tier Content Inventory Framework

There are sub-Tiers/drawers too.

Quick Sniff Test

Quickly review the 5 Tiers – drawers – in the graphic above.

Then – mentally take apart the last set of content you developed, delivered or messed with – and at something below the binder tab/lesson level – sometimes there on a single page or a single screen is a chunk – and mentally “park” that CHUNK into the framework above.

Or maybe it is the entire single page or the entire single screen – or it is the entire binder tab or digital lesson – then “park” that CHUNK into the framework above.

PUSH and PULL Target Audiences

As the graphic also suggests, there are two types of target audiences. You may call them anything you wish, but for my purposes they are PUSH and PULL.

Long ago, in response to a client stakeholder’s challenge, I think I might have responded something like this:

No, I wouldn’t do this for every job title – create a Path via a Curriculum Architecture Design effort.

Only for the critical ones, the ones where we had better train them and/or test them – and PUSH this at them, no choice, mandatory – due to the Risks and Rewards at stake –  and make sure that they do learn it, can apply it, and don’t forget it (with a tip of the hat to Will Thalheimer).

We would train it, test it and track it. As often as necessary.

In line with “what gets measured gets done.”

And then I would let others –  PULL – from the inventory of content – at the event or lesson or instructional activity level. And I wouldn’t care if they finished their modules or not. They can create a plan of interest to themselves, but I wouldn’t measure them against that plan. I wouldn’t measure anything at all- except perhaps in how these job titles feel about their learning opportunities here.

And then I wouldn’t necessarily respond to any complaints – no matter how statistically valid – that their Learning Content isn’t targeted for their jobs specifically (like for others) – because they were not deemed to be PUSH Target Audiences. Unless there was some other compelling business set of rationale to do so. Not just because we could.

But – hey – who makes such tricky decisions on who is PUSH and who is PULL?

Warning! Politics!!!

Seems like a pretty risky thing for any Learning department/function/empire to make.

It’s just safer creating content for the masses, right?

More butts in seats and more butts on sites, right!?! Is it all about “throughput?”

Hmm. Even though most generic content – learned in one context and expected to transfer to some other context – won’t? Except for 5 to 15% of the potential learners. They can learn in any context and seeming transfer to any other!!! Don’t be fooled by them however. They are the exception and not the rule.

How Can Learning Make These Tricky Decisions As Who To Target?

They should not.

They should facilitate the Enterprise, the Business, to do so.

They need to facilitate the client and key stakeholders in directing and redirecting, routinely or ON DEMAND!!!, both the people and resources invested in Learning.

For the sake of Performance.

LD Goverance Structure Example

For the sake of the Enterprise and it’s stakeholders.

If your situation is fairly simple, a more Informal Governance & Advisory System may be exactly what you need. If your situation is more complex, perhaps you need more formality.

As always – it depends. See 12 O’Clock in the book cover below. On top for a reason.

2001 TDSV Book Cover 1

By design.

In any event – the focus should be on the Performance Requirements of the various Stakeholders of the Performance Context – IMO. For those critical learners/Performers.


And again in any event – I do believe – the leaders of the organization can be fairly easily facilitated to identify the PUSH Target Audiences versus the PULL.

For they – the PULL Target Audiences – are part-and-parcel of the CBIs – the CRITICAL BUSINESS ISSUES – they worry about currently – as they are a moving target themselves.

Sorry to shout.

But hopefully it screams to you – and them – that I do “get it.”

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