T&D: Most Processes Are Informal – Yours & Others

In My Experience Most Processes Are Informal

As an “analyst” since 1979 I’ve found that most people work in an Informal Enterprise – where the Processes are informal – not even named – let alone mapped/defined and “in enough control.”

I’ve found the same to be true of my clients – usually the T&D function – where most of their Processes are informal – not even named – let alone mapped/defined and “in enough control.”


And I do not believe in mapping each and every one. I would only do that when the costs of non-conformance exceed the costs of conformance.

Conformance to a standard – or set of standards – specific targets within the measures of Quality, Quantity, Deadlines, Cycle Time and Costs.

Improving your Conformance to those Standards is what Performance Improvement is all about.

So – where are you? Where is your organization/function?

Are You Level 1 – No ISD Processes Are Organized?

ISD efforts, such as ADDIE or SAT or SAM, etc., are unique to each practitioner. Conducting evaluations is another. Registering folks for ILT deliveries is yet another. managing the budget is too. The T&D or L&D function has many Processes.

This next graphic comes from my 2001 book: T&D Systems View – which came out of a consulting engagement in the early 1990s.

The 12 Sub-Systems of T&D contain – in my model – 47 Processes. Your numbers may vary.


Everybody does it – their version of ADDIE – “their own way.”

As such ISD projects are NOT predictable in time/schedule, costs or quality. If a project went well, you just got lucky. Probably shouldn’t been at the race track’s betting window that day too.

But that is not good stewardship of shareholder equity. That’s no way to run a railroad or any other business. Whatever, whenever, however.

It ought to be a crime.

As the Maturity Model suggests – this is a very immature approach to ISD. Perhaps in your world this is appropriate. Perhaps not.

Where are you? Is it here?

Are You Level 2 – Some ISD Processes Are Organized?

Here someone somewhere is getting a handle on some of what is needed to run an ISD (or a Performance Improvement) shop – at the business unit level.

Some processes may have been mapped formally and some people may actually be following the defined processes locally. Perhaps some are following some semblance of ADDIE plus other processes.

That’s a start – but there is more to any business entity than its New Product Development process, which is all that ADDIE is.

Is this where your organization is currently?

Are You Level 3 – Most ISD Processes Are Organized?

As obvious by the title this is where more and more ISD Processes are mapped, communicated, and perhaps followed/adhered to – as driven by the Enterprise.

It can happen! I’ve seen it!

Is this where you are at?

…now please note the difference coming – this next level

seems to me to be more of a “step increase”

than just being at the next level…

Are You Level 4 – ISD Processes Are Managed

The language of organized versus managed should be/could be telling. It’s the difference between having an organized view of your processes – and actually managing them using data.
Do you know your own “development ratios” for your different types of deployment and complexity? Can you be predictive about costs, schedules and quality? Can you see where some efforts actually beat those standards – and where others do not?

Is this where you are currently at?

Are You Level 5 – ISD Processes Are Managed and Improved

Here the data being collected continuously or statistically is being used to find areas in the processes for tightening up and/or loosening up – improving them.

I am a fan of a Tom Peter’s phrase: loose-tight and tight-loose. That means/suggests that some processes should be tight. And others should be loose. And it sometimes means that that need is a situational variable. Be flexible when planning and conducting your ISD efforts.

Is this where you are at? Continuously improving your ISD Processes using data versus opinions? Cool! Well done!

So What? Ask Why 5 Times Along With So What 5 Times

If you were the single shareholder of your Enterprise you’d already know the answer. It would be your money that should be put to best use – rather than just wasted.

So ask: what’s in it for me/ the learner/ the management/ the stakeholders?


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