T&D: Unstructured OJT

That’s What I Called Informal Learning 

Back in the early 1980s. After a CAD – Curriculum Architecture Design of a Path or Paths – showing what job-relevant Content already existed and what job-relevant Content was currently a Gap.


The goal was to organize a Path or Menu or Roadmap, etc., to help the employee focus on learning to be Performance Competent.

The Path was to be “As Rigorous as Required and As Flexible as Feasible.”

And the Gap Content was Unstructured OJT – Informal Learning later became the Industry phrase – until it was upgraded to something more Formal.

I would counsel clients that it was OK to leave some of the gap content as gaps as the ROI for addressing it might be nil or negative. I’d tell them that some things are currently being learned by hook or crook, and that that was probably just fine.

But that they – the designated PST – Project Steering Team – should target investments where the returns were sufficient and addressed performance of high risk and/or high rewards and address the gaps in the Path.

That advice still holds true.

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