T&D: Structured OJT as a Strategic Means to the Ends of Performance

This follows on my little rant in yesterday’s Blog Post about some of my former colleagues who seem to be reworking some of my past work on OJT – On-the-Job Training and presenting it as their own.

Structured OJT and Unstructured OJT

Unstructured OJT – On-the-Job-Training – is how I used to refer to what later became known as Informal Learning.

UnS-OJT or US-OJT was my shorthand for it.


Where the Performer would learn something “by hook or by crook” as we explained how certain “required” knowledge and skills would be handled (or “not handled” actually) in the CAD – Curriculum Architecture Design. For K/S items such as: putting toner in the copy machine, or using the phone system, or knowing how to use the corporate library, and other “low hanging fruit.”

The decision to leave certain K/S Items to Un-Structured OJT (Informal Learning) was always made by the Design Team – a team of handpicked Master Performers and sometimes Other SMEs, Supervisors and Novice Performers.

Handpicked by the client and the Project Steering Team (PST) – for political purposes – and to ensure credibility of the design data and decisions once that was reported out to the PST in advance of them making the Implementation Decscions – which included prioritization for funding the build or buy efforts that always follow a CAD effort.

The next step up from that – Un-Structured OJT – in my approach/methods – was S-OJT – Structured OJT.


An Early Reference to my Use of Structured OJT (1996)

I see via Google that … “Structured OJT. The term was coined by Prof. Ron Jacobs, OSU, 1995″ – however I’m pretty sure I was using it – the term “Structured OJT” – back in the mid-to-late 1980s.

This is one of my earliest references – that I can currently find in my electronic files – to my use of “S-OJT” … in this presentation I made at NSPI in 1996 (96 slides)…

Strategic Planning for T&D 1996

See slides/PDF pages: 31 and 32.

Strategic Planning for T&D 1996_Page_31

Slide 32…

Strategic Planning for T&D 1996_Page_32

And then there’s this video of me from 1995 – speaking to the Training and HR staff of Eli Lilly – where at about the 9 minute and 47 second mark – I refer to Structured and Unstructured OJT. This video is just over 2 hours in length…

Structured OJT Requires Structure

Here is but one way to structure what’s given to the Learner/Performer – and to the Coach … the Certified Coach … or the “any old” Coach…


S-OJT is mostly about Performance – performing Tasks to produce Outputs to Stakeholder Requirements – and less about Topics all by themselves.

My very first CAD – Curriculum Architecture Design effort as an external consultant (after my first done inside Motorola) was entirely S-OJT. Where assigned Experts would use the “modules” of the CAD to guide their tutelage of new performers – or experienced performers who were new to some specific Task Assignments.

Is This the 20 in 70-20-10?

In today’s language – S-OJT could be the 20 in 70-20-10 – but leaning into the 10.

Although Unstructured OJT could also be part of the 20 – but leaning into the 70.

Which is one of the reasons that the 70-20-10 – or as I prefer – the “Most 10 Before Most 20 Before Most 70” – doesn’t quite “do it” for me.

The numbers themselves – are my issue. The notion – is not.


Add S-OJT to your list of Potential Product Offering Types.

# # #

2 comments on “T&D: Structured OJT as a Strategic Means to the Ends of Performance

  1. Pingback: Scaling Social Learning for Performance Impact | EPPIC - Pursuing Performance

  2. Pingback: T&D: My Use of the Phrase “Structured OJT” Goes Way Back | EPPIC - Pursuing Performance

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 )

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.