T&D: Revisiting My Past Newsletter Articles on ISD and PI

ISD – Instructional Systems Design – and – PI – Performance Improvement

Spring of 1999 –  Successful Performance Testing Requires Solid Administrative Processes


When my business partners – Ray Svenson and Karen Wallace – and I did our first Performance Testing project – it was for 22 technical populations at the oil field at Prudhoe Bay on the North Slope in Alaska in the Arctic Circle in 1987.

The methodology was a modified CAD – Curriculum Architecture Design effort – where instead of instructional content – the design focused on Performance Tests. We were their third attempt – the first two failed due to a written test approach that roughnecks in the oil fields rejected. This was also tied to a PPP – Pay Progression Program – and as we had everyone by the wallet – we had their attention. And concern. But it was a huge success.

Much of that success was due to using Master Performers for the analysis, the design, and the development – plus the Admin Systems we designed and developed and put into place.

Our client later moved to the Alaska Pipeline – and in 1994 we did a very similar project there for another 20 technical populations. Same success.

The late Ray Svenson and I later wrote a book in 2008 about that effort and the Systems that needed to be put into place – and that book is available as a Free PDF as well as a Kindle and Paperback. See more about and/or get that book – here.

One chunk of the Admin System that was important was the Appeals Process – as there was fear about someone in management using this in a punitive way where not warranted. That and the Maintenance System – which was facilitated by the original, temporary Analysis & Design Teams being converted into permanent Maintenance Teams.

One of the client team members told Ray and I at an NSPI Conference in the early 1990s that this entire system was instrumental in our client getting into business in China as they could show exactly how they would develop local workers in all of the key operations jobs – and that they could rotate out American workers on a schedule.

This article in 1999 was also based on a third and fourth project using the same approach from 1987.


Get the 20 page Newsletter PDF – here:


# # #

Leave a Reply

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.