performance-based Curriculum Architecture Design

Yesterday I conducted my 120th Professional Presentations – not including Audio Podcasts and Video Podcasts where I’m being interviewed – on an old favorite topic…

CAD: Curriculum Architecture Design

I’ve been presenting on this – CAD: Curriculum Architecture Design – since the Fall of 1984 when I presented at the Chicago Chapter of NSPI (now ISPI) what I was next going to present “nationally” at NSPI 1985…

CAD – NSPI – 1985 – 21 page PDF – this is the first national presentation on the Curriculum Architecture Design methodology which Guy Wallace delivered at the NSPI Conference on April 24, 1985 (the very 1st presentation on this was done for the Chicago Chapter of NSPI the previous fall).

And I co-authored an article in Training Magazine in September 1984 (written back in the summer of 1983 when the create-publish cycle was around 12 months).

My CAD Background

I was an employee at the Motorola Training & Education Center (MTEC) – the forerunner to Motorola University – in 1981 when Ray Svenson presented to the MTEC staff about Strategic Planning for T&D, where he mentioned and described a Curriculum Architecture.

Ray had told us that the leadership of the Information Technology world at AT&T, asked the Bell System Center for Technical Education (BSCTE in Lisle Illinois), for an “architecture of curricula” that shared content across many of their target audiences, much as one might share the “code” for “Cut & Paste” across many application programs. That resonated with me.

An architecture of Instructional Content that shared/reused content.

Create it once as use “as is” or “after modification” (derivatives) is how I looked at it having worked with my Motorola internal clients in Manufacturing, Materials and Purchasing, where they did they same with the systems, products, sub-assemblies, components, and piece-parts – that were being managed using computer technology in an MRP system (Material Requirements Planning) which was moving to a broader target: MRP II – Manufacturing Requirements Planning. And then that would lead to what we know today as ERP systems – Enterprise Requirements Planning.

I was soooo intrigued by Ray’s presentation.

And so I did a Curriculum Architecture effort on my current project with Motorola’s Manufacturing Supervisors across 5 Business Sectors (SBUs).

Ray saw that Curriculum Architecture when he visited with Bill Wiggenhorn, working on putting a Governance & Advisory System in place – which I was also involved in for my first 9 months at MTEC.

I had borrowed Rummler’s Swim Lame Process Map and adapted it to create a T&D Path for my target audiences where I could show Instructional Programs (Job Aids and Training) that were shared with everyone, as appropriate, and those programs that were unique to those in a Business Sector, at a Division within a Business Sector, and at one of the 30 manufacturing facilities in North America.

That Process Map/T&D Path wrapped around 3 of my 4 cubical walls. I was tucked in a back corner of our offices on the 6th floor at HQ, and I had a lot of visitors come by who were curious about my T&D Path.

Later during the summer of 1982 Ray and my 2nd wife (who went to work with Ray in January) asked me to work some weekends and create a Curriculum Architecture for Exxon’s USA Exploration’s geologists and geophysicists, based on their Analysis data that was the same kind of data that I had been working with back at Wickes Lumber before joining Motorola.

I did that Curriculum Architecture over two weekends. It was very well received by Ray’s clients. That led to me leaving Motorola’s Training & Education Center (MTEC) to help Ray implement that Curriculum Architecture and do additional CAD projects.

My first day on the job was November 1, 1982 when we flew to Houston and delivered an NSPI chapter presentation on Job Modeling – which I now refer to as: Performance Modeling. That’s one of 4 types of Analysis that feeds the Curriculum Architecture design process.

The Critical Business Issue at Exxon Exploration USA was to more quickly Ramp Up to Competence new geologists and geophysicists coming onboard. Quicker than the 10 years it was currently taking in an un-structured learn on the job approach via unstructured mentoring that they had been using for decades.

The new CAD presented 60 some modules of Structured OJT (Coached) Instruction. At Motorola I had gotten on the kick of converting Group-Paced Instruction to Self-Paced to increase the flexibility for our management to get ‘er done without having to wait for an available seat.

Exxon people wanted to continue with their mentorship approach and so I designed a structure for modules using a Coached delivery approach. My first assignment in Houston on November 2nd was to work with HQ Training staff to design that module structure and create the first two modules – using their expertise.

It was after I joined Ray’s small consulting firm that he told me that I was the first one to take this notion of Curriculum Architecture and actually do one. It had never been done at BSCTE. It was just a concept.

And that’s why he hired me. Because I had taken that from concept to a methodology of tasks and outputs.

I became the “CAD Guy” at Ray’s business and then the Practice Leader of all of the ISD offerings of our firm.

Ray was my business partner from 1982-1997. My divorce from our 3rd partner led to the dissolution of the business and I began another firm (CADDI 1997-2002) that then led to me establishing EPPIC Inc in 2002.

To date I’ve done 76 CAD projects as a consultant – and that first one back at Motorola that started it all making my total 77. The last one was done over a 3-month period at the end of 2018 before I took 2019 off to have two knees replaced.

I’m looking forward to number 78, 79, 80….


I’ve been using PACT as my branding for my ISD methods since 1989.

CAD Resources

lean-ISD for Training – Lakewood Conf – 1998 – 33 page PDF – Presentation on “lean-ISD” via the PACT Processes for T&D –  at the 1998 Training Conference – by Guy W. Wallace and Pete Hybert – addressing the 3 levels of Instructional Design: CAD –  Curriculum Architecture Design plus MCD – Modular Curriculum Development (the PACT Process version of ADDIE) and IAD – Instructional Activity Development – and their phases, outputs, “sharable content,” and the teams for these approaches to projects.

CAD – Norfolk Naval Shipyard – 2003  – 46 page PDF – this presentation led to a CAD – Curriculum Architecture Design effort for the Production organization’s 1st line supervisors and their bosses the Zone Managers.

CAD – CACI – 2004  – 29 page PDF – presentation to the Norfolk office management team on the  CAD – Curriculum Architecture Design methodology, phases, outputs and teams.

The PACT Video Shorts Series Index and Links

There are multiple Videos of varying lengths in each of the 8 Categories below… if you are interested in CAD you’d want to look at the videos in B, C and F. And G if you are interested in using a FGP – a Facilitated Group Process.

A- PACT Overviews

B- PACT Analysis

C- CAD – Curriculum Architecture Design

D- MCD – Modular Curriculum Development

E- IAD – Instructional Activity Development

F- Project Planning & Management

G- Group Process Facilitation Tips

H- EPPI – Performance Improvement

Because we believe in Performance-Based Training & Development (a.k.a: Performance-Based Learning) our ISD methods require Analysis of the Performance Competence Requirements – which naturally leads to the identification of other Performance Improvement leverage in all other areas beyond awareness/ knowledge/ skills of the Performer, so too does our video series lead to our Performance Improvement (PI) method.

Slide1 (7)

Note: Performance Improvement is often more than addressing Knowledge and Skills…

Search My Web Site For More Resources

Use “CAD” in your search.


One comment on “performance-based Curriculum Architecture Design

  1. Pingback: 1 of My Most Coveted Awards: FAT ENCHILADA Award from 1982 | EPPIC - Pursuing Performance

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