L&D: Development/Acquisition of Learning & Performance Support Content Post Architecture

Build/Buy Your Content After Determining What Is Needed and What Already Exists

The CAD – Curriculum Architecture Design effort determines the Performance Competence requirements of a Target Audience or Target Audiences.

It assesses existing content for its ReUse potential – either “As Is” or “After Modification” – or “Not Applicable” (perhaps for other audiences – but not for the targets of the CAD effort).


And it builds a Path of both the existing Content and the gap Content – and prioritizes those gaps for post-CAD resourcing – people and funds.

Key to this is that Content can be Developed and/or Acquired. That happens post-CAD in the MCD/IAD efforts – Modular Curriculum Development/Acquisition/Instructional Activity Development/Acquisition efforts.

MCD builds complete Instructional Products – and IAD builds stand-alone sub-products such as Performance Tests, or Demos – or Performance Support … Information perhaps for incumbents use RIGHT NOW … and to be wrapped around with Instruction later for new hires after an MCD effort.

Gaps unattended to remain as “Unstructured OJT” – the PACT lingo for what’s now known as “Informal Learning.” Maybe they’ll be prioritized and funded later. Perhaps never. It’s a Business Decision put into the hands of the Client and Stakeholders – and taken out of the hands of the ISD Team.

Note: PACT’s lingo pre-dates the popularization of the phrase Informal Learning as I started formalizing the development of T&D Paths/ Learning Paths in 1982 – and published an article in TRAINING Magazine in September 1984.

I continue to use my Old School language so that anyone who reads any of my writings from the 1980s, the 1990s, the 2000s and the 2010s isn’t left bewildered by the ever changing terms that are so prevalent (unfortunately) in the field of ISD/Learning.


MCD and IAD are my versions of an ADDIE-like approach to project planning and management – as ADDIE is not a Design Methodology as too often it is claimed – and is simply a Project Planning framework as any New Product Development framework that many firms use, or any Project Planning framework that exists in most Engineering firms.


MCD/IAD was also designed to stand alone – for those times when Instruction/ Performance support needs to be built/bought before an Architecture is done – something I would not normally suggest as the way to go – but is realistic – given the needs of the Enterprise.

Roll with the punches – as they say.

MCD/IAD post-CAD can take on multiple workstream efforts – when there is an Architecture preceding them so as to minimize gaps and overlaps that are the result of too many one-off efforts.


When the MCD/IAD efforts follow a CAD effort the MCD/IAD efforts are typically truncated and several of the MCD/IAD Phases are skipped or modified.

This next graphic portrays that…


When a Path exists – and all of the Design data (where all of the Analysis data ended up) is there to guide those development/acquisition efforts – it reduces the costs and cycle time needed to address the priority gaps.


PUSH and PULL Target Audiences

Simply put – PUSH Target Audiences are addressed deliberately and their priority needs are specifically met – and PULL Target Audiences get the hand-me-downs of Instruction and Information Content.

Those readers who had older siblings perhaps got clothes or toys that way. I know – my younger brother still harps on this 5 decades later. :)

Again – it’s a Business Decision – as to who is PUSH and who is PULL today and tomorrow – as things change – and as resources allow.

5 Tier Inventory Framework

Being organized – deliberately with your Content requires something along the lines of my 5 Tier Inventory Framework – and naming and numbering conventions.


I would not necessarily reconfigure important, existing Content into the 5 bucket types of my 5 Tier Inventory scheme – but all PACT Content as designed (at a macro level) in CAD and designed (at a micro level) in MCD/IAD follows this framework.


  • A course on Active Listening would be found in Tier 3.
  • A Performance Support (Job Aid) for completing the Enterprise Expense Reimbursement forms (online or paper) would be found in Tier 4.
  • Completing an Instructional Design Document would be found in Tier 5.


ReUse of Content

Reduces cycle time and life cycle costs. Either that is appealing – or it is not.


ReUse by ISDers … at the Product level … at the Lesson/Module level … at the Instructional Activity level (where a Job Aid/Performance Support item would exist) is critical to reducing cycle time and reducing life cycle costs for products and the entire product line.

It’s a Business approach. It’s a Business Decision to approach it this way.




Plus there are FREE Videos and Audio Podcasts and Articles and Blog Posts – galore – on this web site.

Or I can consult with you in developing your team’s capacity. I’ve been doing that with clients since 1983.

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