L&D/PI: Facilitating Command & Control of Learning Design By Master Performers

Avoiding the Sage on the Stage Syndrom

When we, as internal or external consultants, go solo in conducting the Analysis and Design processes we employ to create education or performance-based Training – we act as Sages on those Stages IMO.

That’s worse IMO than the Sages on the Stages in Delivery/Deployment.

How to avoid that?

Via a Group Process

Which starts BTW – during Analysis. And Continues in Design.

And continues during Development. And can minimize the need for a Sage on the Stage in Delivery.

And some might consider my approach to Phase 1 – Project Planning & Kick-Off to be the real start of employing a Group Process. I do too – but I don’t want to push it (here and now).


Wait What!?!

Command & Control? What!?!

Giving up control of Learning Design to Master Performers?

But won’t that lead to Instructionally Unsound Content?

Nope – not if done right.

Not if facilitated by an Instructional Systems Designer/Learning Experience Engineer/ L&D Ninja/Etc./Etc.

I’ve been doing this ISD thing this way since 1979 – and have trained and certified hundreds of ISDers in this approach for my own staff and the staff of my clients – both since 1983.

And I’ve published articles (co-authored) on the Group Process approach since 1984 in both Training Magazine and the NSPI Performance & Instruction Journal.

Wadda Ya Mean: Facilitating a Command & Control Approach to Learning Design? 

I mean taking a Group of Master Performers and facilitating them through both a Performance and Knowledge & Skills Analysis effort … and then … a Instructional Design Process.

A Structured Process that allows a tiny bit of meandering – when appropriate.

One thing I tell the participants – handpicked for their instant credibility by the clients – who are organized themselves into a Project Steering Team (PST) to provide Command & Control over the business decisions inherent in any ISD/ID effort.

Maybe I should say Command & Control & Empowerment.

Because that’s what they – the PST – does when they sign off on both the Process and the Participants. They empower a designated group to go about the business of the next defined steps.

What will come out of those steps is pre-defined only so far – in terms of Format and organization. What has yet to be defined is the Content within those organized Formats.

Outputs in MCD/IAD (My version of ADDIE):

MCD Project Key Outputs

Outputs in CAD:

CAD Key Outputs

Oh – and as I tell and retell the handpicked participants:

I own the Process and You Own the Content

That’s what will keep the output instructionally sound – with a focus on terminal performance – and an eye on transfer back to the job.

With an eye – at the right time – in what Job Aids … EPSS … Performance Support are needed and what and how to present that – whether they already exists or have yet to be developed – in the APPOs (Application Exercises in PACT=speak) and demonstrated in the DEMOs and presented in the INFOs of a Lesson Map. All driven from the prior Analysis.

Prior Analysis of the Performance and the Enabling Knowledge/Skills. Plus analysis of the Target Audience(s) and the Existing T&D Content (for its ReUse potential or not). See those 2 graphics above.

Facilitating a Group Process

Here are some Facilitation Guidelines…


Here is a recent Blog Post where I revisited my 13-part Blog Post Series from 2008 – where I went in-depth on these guidelines beyond what I published in my 1999 book: lean-ISD.

Additional Published Resources From 1984 and 1995 and 1999 and 2006


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.



Video of my 1995 Presentation at the ISPI Conference (used to be NSPI) being presented to the ISD staff at Eli Lilly a couple of months later.

And yes, back in the day we used Overhead Transparencies. 

Long Version

Short Clip #1

Short Clip #2


Teaming for T&D GWW 1999 – 5 page PDF – on my story of inadvertently creating a team – out of frustration with too many revision cycles for a video script I was writing –  for training development back in 1979 – and liking the approach for using a Group Process to shorten cycle times and improve the quality of the output.

Free Book PDF: lean-ISD (1999)

Click on image to link to the download page.

Note: the cover design for “lean-ISD” was created by the late Geary A. Rummler.

Note: Guy W. Wallace’s book “lean-ISD” – was a recipient of a 2002 Award of Excellence for Instructional Communication from the International Society for Performance Improvement.

lean-ISD is also available as a $15 paperback book – and $7.50 as a Kindle – for more and to order – please go – here.


Modeling Mastery Performance and Systematically Deriving the Enablers for Performance Improvement – by Guy W. Wallace, CPT – Chapter 11 of the Handbook of Human Performance Technology – 3rd Edition – 2006.  This methodology was first published in this 1984 article in ISPI’s (then NSPI’s) PIJ in November 1984.


New book 6-Pack.


For more information about this 6 Pack (you buy them individually) and some of my other books – please go – here.

Blog Posts. Many Blog Posts. And Audio Podcasts. And Videos – over 50 Videos from my School of PACT series.


Scour the Resource Tab.

Or search on the Key Words that interest you.

Note: there are over 2500 Posts.

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