ISD/LXD: Designing for the Life Cycle for Greater ROI

From my 2003 Session at ISPI

In my view, there are 7 “Value Variables” that Impact ROI for ISD/LXD that are affected by Design considerations.

Back in the day, these were sometimes referred to a “Designing for X” as in Design for Useability or Design for Maintenance.

The more complex your situation, the more these variables need attention.

1- Performance Impact

Performance is number 1 for a reason. Learners – who are Performers – want to learn how to be competent in meeting the Performance Requirements back on their job – and don’t necessarily want a fun or frilly Learning Experience (unless the Recruiting/Selection Systems have failed you).

Meeting this Learner Requirement is key. Either they learn what they need to be successful, back-on-the-job, or they don’t. What needs to be accounted for in the Design – are the variances in Job Assignements and the Incoming Knowledge/Skills of the Target Audience(s).

2- Reuse

One of my Curriculum Architecture Design clients back in 2003 took over my 4th type of Analysis – Assessing Existing T&D for ReUse purposes. He found 27 two-hour eLearning modules on “Active Listening.” What a waste of Shareholder Equity.

I realize that the Learning Object approach failed miserably – but my approach to Design – using my 5 Tier Inventory Scheme/Framework – and the Analysis Data and how it’s configured before it’s used in Design – overcame the LO shortcoming – where every Object had to be sharable – and therefore was watered down from what could have been Specific to So-General that it really had lost all of its potential value.

3- Development

IMX (in my experience) – as someone who has done that Assessment of Existing T&D for ReUse for my 80+ Enterprise clients since 1982 – I can tell you that most Development (or Design or ADDIE-like or not-like-ADDIE) Processes miss the “Performance Boat” entirely.

The focus is on Topics, or Behaviors, or Skills – that all have “Face Validity” but lack “Performance Application Validity” – IMX. The Analysis is never done well. Too many Arnchaor Analysis efforts IMO.

And I fear that too many Design Thinking approaches are Armchair Exercises. They don’t have to be.

4- Inventory

This ties back to ReUse and Development. You can’t design for ReUse (either “As Is” or “After Modification” where you create Content Derivatives) if you don’t have a useful Inventory scheme (framework) and numbering system.

If you’ve got them talk to your Product Managers and MRP, MRP II< or ERP Systems and parts inventories.

5- Administration

If you had an Inventory scheme you could administrate your K&D Products & Services better – meaning tracking, evaluation, maintenance, and Continuous Improvement – and even Discontinuous Improvement (where you prune and archive what you no longer need).

6- Deployment

Deployment is either PUSH or PULL or both. Making L&D Content accessible is more than just registration or enabling the taking what one needs in the Process (er, WorkFlow). It might involve TTT (Training the Trainer) for facilitators and coaches, etc.

Even preparing the Supervisor before and after participation in Training (er, Learning) is part of this.

7- Maintenance

Maintenance is just one of the many forgotten step-children of an L&D function enamored with shiny objects (tools and platforms) and new fangled methods that are older than dirt.

Maintenance is about Continuous Improvement – and even Discontinuous Improvement – as mentioned earlier.

On and On

I could, of course, go on and on about this. Yes, it’s complex – as almost any system is. Lots of moving parts.

Especially if you run your L&D System as an engineering function might, rather than an Artists Colony.

It’s a Business Decision IMO.


A Video

This video is 8:25 minutes in length. You will likely need to use the PAUSE button.

My 17 Books address aspects of this. And so will the 18th which will be released in mid-to-late January 2022.

Coming in January

See all of my books on my Amazon Authors Page:


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