Reflecting Back to Prudhoe Bay 1987

I was in Alaska for the 2nd time – the first time being a stop over from KC to San Francisco to Anchorage to Tokyo to Clark AFB PI in the fall of 1973 when I was in the USN.

And then I traveled there several times after that – throughout 1987 and 1988 – when my firm – SWI – Svenson & Wallace Inc. – was working on a Qualification/Certification System and a series of about 2000 Performance Tests for about 20 technical populations – that were all tied to a PPP – Pay Progression Program.

Which had everyone’s attention – as it had a hold on everyone’s wallets.

Above – my ARCO of Alaska Contractor’s Badge.

It was a 16-hour flight from Chicago to Prudhoe Bay via Anchorage. Everyone on our team that went there went for a minimum of two weeks at a time. Some went for months at a time.

I had other client work at the time with AT&T Network Systems – all that Product Management CAD and instructional development work – overviewed here – so I made only a few visits to the North Slope – the first of which was to share with our client the methodology I was asked to put together for our team – consulting staff and subcontractors – over the course of the initial project – and afterward I was involved in about a half dozen follow on ISD efforts that the clients wanted us to do for them after they experienced our focus on actual job performance.

Next – the 15:15 video tour of 1987 Prudhoe Bay…starting off with our very spartan offices – shared with my business partners Ray Svenson and Karen Kennedy, and then the living facilities – and finally to my tiny, very spartan room … and check out the outdoor temperatures at about the 3:15 mark. IT WAS COLD OUTSIDE!

Here is an article in my firm’s newsletter – from the Fall of 1988 – see page 1 – Getting Paid For What You Can Do.

That Qualification/Certification (the clients couldn’t decide which term they liked – so we used both) project led to other Q/C Systems – on the Alaska Pipeline in 1994, and also with our clients at Quaker, Siemens Building Technologies (part of their Time to Performance initiative in the 1990s), and a few other firms – and eventually led to the 2008 book – co-authored by SWI partner Ray Svenson and me in 2007, based on all those consulting experiences:

  • Performance-based Employee Qualification/Certification Systems – available as a Kindle and as a paperback – here – and I see that today (2021-12-14) that they are both priced under $4.75 USD).

The performance-based Qualification/Certification System and the development of Performance Tests –  is considered to be an IAD project – from the PACT Processes methodologies – also covered in my book: lean-ISD.


And that book was referenced in former employee/partner Pete Hybert and former employee Dottie Soelke’s 2010 article in ISPI’s October Performance Improvement – Building and Verifying Capability to Perform – available here from Wiley for ISPI members.

IAD efforts are for when the clients need parts of the eventual instruction created first (or only) such as the demos, exercises, job aids, or performance tests – think: Level 2 and Level 3 being the very same – and focussed on actual job performance for each.

As the PACT Performance Analysis efforts start with Performance (after clarifying the Target Audiences) – this part is easy. Can you see the potential performance tests, the application exercises (APPOs), the DEMOs, and some of the INFOs that would likely follow the definition of Performance Competence in the following … (Note: from a different project) …

If you can – then you should see the Value of the PACT approach to Instructional Systems Design and to Q/C Systems.

Here’s my Video Selfie Circa 1987 – via the mirror in my spartan living quarters at Prudhoe Bay.

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