pb-ISD: Lucky Me Right Out of the Gate

Re: CX, UX, EtcX

I know I was extremely lucky to be so influenced by the late Geary A. Rummler Ph.D. starting in 79 before I got to work with him in 81-82 when I was at Motorola. His Swim Lane Process Maps always had the customer in the top lane so all could see what the Process interaction was like/would be like, from their perspective.

Although Motorola licensed his IP when they created Six Sigma, his Process work at that time (mid-1980s) was more akin to Lean, with him streamlining Processes (Re-Engineering them) to reduce hand-offs and cycle time.

His focus on performance-based Training was never about the “Content” – something early eLearning’s significant limitations gave us far too many examples of – so ISD/ID/LXD in my view (of course, not shared by all) was always about performance-based Training (researched-based was the phrase before evidence-based) where the goal was about Accomplishments, meaning Worthy Outputs and where Guidance (a.k.a.: Job Aids, EPSS, Quick Reference Guides, Performance Support, Workflow Learning, etc.) was to be used as a default to avoid forcing people to have to memorize and then maintain those memories for recall as needed back-on-the-job.

I would think that many/all influenced by his work, and others such as Gilbert, Mager, Harless, were disappointed at what became of Training when it shifted to Learning (Thanks Senge!) in the 90s and became Formal Content Dumps of Curated Content based on what SMEs created, or gave to Developers, who were not allowed to see the terminal performance and establish baseline Performance Metrics, nor see the post-Instructional Impact with an opportunity for Continuous Improvement. Level 1 became the default starting point for Evaluation rather than 4 (or 5) and then as needed, 3, 2, and 1.

As I’ve written before, my Performance Analysis methods evolved (slightly) from the derivative of a derivative of the methods of Geary Rummler – as it was explained to me by the devotees I went to work for and alongside right after college back in the fall of 1979.

I knew many IDs/ISDers back in the early 1980s who subscribed to the Performance-Based approaches that defaulted to Job Aids (the term that caught on much more than Guidance did) – and I’m sure that they, like me, lamented the loss of the performance orientation that sought to get the Participants into Practice with Feedback ASAP, with minimal Information provided before that.

Instructional Effectiveness gave way to the perception of Instructional Efficiency of eLearning – where the “savings” in development and delivery were hardly ever contrasted with the loss of (and costs of) Effectiveness in Performance Competence back on the job, given the business metrics, linked directly to the targeted Task & Output baselines established before any Content was assembled into Topics, with Face Validity, that weren’t as lean, and as effective as possible.

We remain, opportunity rich.


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