L&D: Time & Resource Predicatability

You Want That Yourself When You Take Your Car Into the Shop

You want that when you order something online. Or in a physical store. Or when the Roofers give you a quote for re-roofing the homestead.

The want, the need, is not new. Enterprise leaders want that – expect that too. But too often there are missed deadlines and cost overruns.

I know. I was subjected to that back in 1981-1982 when I was a Training Supervisor at Motorola. I disliked that GREATLY.


In 1982 I left Motorola and joined a small consulting firm where I helped grow the business, the staff and the ISD Practice.

I developed the ISD methods, tools and techniques – and one goal that I had was to make it much more predictable and to bid most of the efforts Fixed Fee.

Over 80% of my consulting engagements were conducted Fixed Fee.

My ISD Processes were predictable.

I had done what some might recognize as a WBS – Work Breakdown Structure – of the “Outputs as Inputs” (my phrase) – and then a logical Process Map of how to create those Worthy Outputs – that were the inputs needed in the next step – or future steps – without getting caught up in the trap of Analysis Paralysis – where you boiled the ocean for a cup of tea – as the saying went back in the 1980s.


I also use the concept and tool of “Activity Blocks” for laying out the path of a project – and use it “as is” or “after modification.”


I’ve used this approach for a number of years and taught others to use it – and presented on Activity Blocks back in the day a time or two – and here is one presentation I did at Purdue University (in 2001): Proj Planning – Purdue Univ 2001-09-06.

Not Everything Lends Itself to Predictability

But that just forces me to predict and conduct Fixed Fee efforts in 2 stages – MCD Phases 1-2-3 to get to a Design – and then Phases 4-5-6 to get a final product into my client’s Inventory.

And on occasion it was too problematic to do any of this Fixed Fee and I would do these T&E (Time & Expense). Clients could see that reality – and would agree.


MCD is My Version of ADDIE and Is a NPD Process

NPD – New Product Development – which doesn’t mean every piece of Content is new – think: ReUse – is the business of ISD/Training/ Learning and Knowledge Management functions and processes.

Unless, of course, you are running an Artist Colony. And, of course, you’ve bailed on this post by now.

MCD efforts happen after a CAD effort – or without a CAD effort.


MCD efforts can also happen after an IAD effort – where Performance Support (as one example) is built and later a “Course” – a modular T&D Event in PACT parlance – is built and incorporates that Performance Support into it – seamlessly.

Or with minimal changes required. PACT’s 4th type of Analysis is always ETA – Existing T&D Assessments – for ReUse purposes – either “As Is” or “After Modification.”

Curating from internal and external sources if you will.

Details – Schmetails

Yes Virginia, it’s not as simple as 1-2-3. But it’s not impossibly complex. I’ve taught this to many staff members, subcontractors and to many clients.

One subcontractor wrote an article for my CADDI lean-ISD Quarterly Newsletter back in the day (Fall 1999) in is on page 5 of this newsletter – here.

And this newsletter from the Spring of 1999 – two issues earlier – addressed IAD (a subset of MCD) – here.

All the Task details – my attempt to extract (via a version of Cognitive Task Analysis I suppose) and write down everything… and is in my 1999 book: leanISD.


Comments from Miki Lane about this book:

Lean-ISD - Lane

An Update in 2011


ISD Should Be Lean


See the Resource tab for details about this and other books by Guy.

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