T&D: The Best Systems Are Never Designed Bottom-Up

Including Instructional Systems

Top-Down Design enables the design team to see the integrated whole before Building and/or Buying Content starts. Including Performance Support/Job Aids/Guidance.

For Instructional Systems – the ISD Team can ensure that the Learning Sequence is appropriate – As Rigorous As Required and As Flexible As Feasible – and includes Spaced Learning when the Job itself won’t reinforce and provide feedback adequately.


Then Bottom-Up Development/Acquisition – Building or Buying – can proceed and build upon and reinforce the content specifics – including wording, phrasing, imagery, etc.

That’s how Curriculum Architecture Design works – as I’ve been doing it since the early 1980s.



CAD – Training Mag – 1984 – 6 page PDF – the first publication about Curriculum Architecture Design via a Facilitated 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.

NS CAD 1986-7 – 2 page PDF – from the internal “AT&T Training Information Exchange” newsletter of October 1987 about the 8-day course for Product Managers pilot tested in 1987 – and the Product Management model we had created based on the analysis efforts – that in combination with a Product Life Cycle model we created (no common one existed at the time) guided the content of this 8-day “Basics” course.

CAD – ASTD – 2004 – 5 page PDF – an overview of when to do a Curriculum Architecture Design effort, the outputs of the effort by phase, and the 4 phases of a Curriculum Architecture design effort, published in ASTD’s Links in 2004.

Performance-based ISD – ISPI PX 12-part Series – 2007 – 122 page PDF – an update in 12-parts to my 1999 book: lean-ISD – which covers my ISD methods: The PACT Processes for T&D, Learning and Knowledge Management. Published in ISPI’s PerformanceExpress during the 12 months of 2007.

PowerPoint Shows

CAD Pres NSPI Conf 1985 – 1st National Presentation on Curriculum Architecture Design via a Group Process (1st presentation was at NSPI Chicago in the Fall of 1984) that reference Flexible, Sequenced Curriculum Paths.

An Engineering-Architectural Approach to Modular L&D – 2018 Version of The PACT Processes. 30 slides – mostly self-explanatory – providing an overview of PACT’s CAD – Curriculum Architecture Design, and MCD – Modular Curriculum Development processes.

The CAD Collage 1982-2018 – 100 slides regarding CAD – Curriculum Architecture Design – For Mapping Development Paths – in T&D/L&D – Since 1982.

CAD – ISPI 2004 Fall Conf – Curriculum Architecture Design at the 2004 ISPI Fall Conference

CAD – ISPI Columbus 1999 – Curriculum Architecture Design at ISPI Columbus 1999

CAD – NC ISPI 2000 – Curriculum Architecture Design at ISPI North Carolina Chapter 2000

Free Book PDFs


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 information and/or to order – please go – here.

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