L&D: An Organizing Scheme for Performance Support Items

A.K.A.: Knowledge Management

That is, if you believe that a Knowledge Management System should contain Performance Support items – which IMO – includes Job Aids and all Self-Paced Formal Instruction/ Learning Content. Or – the links to them.


Using My L-C-S Model of Departmental Processes

Process in that model are organized by

  • Leadership Processes
  • Core Processes
  • Support Processes


Those are further broken down into:

  • Leadership Processes
    • Stakeholder Relationship Management/ System Governance
    • Strategic Planning & Management
    • Operations Planning & Management
    • Results Measurement Planning & Management
    • Process Improvement Planning & Management
    • Communications Planning & Management
  • Core Processes
    • Planning Work*
    • Assigning Work*
    • Monitoring Work*
    • Troubleshooting Work*
  • Support Processes
    • Process Design/ReDesign
    • Human Assets Management
    • Environmental Assets Management
    • Special Assignments

*What Work? The unique work Processes of the Department:

Sales does Sales. Finance does Finance. Engineering does Engineering. Etc.

Performance Analysis & Systematically Deriving the Enablers

… is my methodology-set for this.

Then I organize the content into these 5 buckets…


Free Resource:

Modeling Mastery Performance and Systematically Deriving the Enablers for Performance Improvement – by Guy W. Wallace, CPT – Chapter 11 of the Handbook of Human Performance Technology – 3rd Edition – 2006.  25 page PDF.

Note: This methodology was first published in this 1984 article in ISPI’s (then NSPI’s) PIJ in November 1984.

Books For Sale:


For more information about these and some of my other books – please go – here.

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L&D: My Learning Style Preference: Osmosis Learning

My Learning Style “Preference” Is Osmosis Learning

Elusive since the days of Grade School. Waiting on Science… Waiting… Waiting…


I’m also looking forward to the George Jetson flying car. Come on Science!

Come on Man! Come on Woman!

A Decade’s Worth of Related Past Posts on LS

This Week’s L&D Buzz… Bogus Learning Styles in L&D

Learning Styles & the Importance of Critical Self-Reflection

Besides Learning Styles – Other ‘Zombie’ Theories That Should Rest In Peace

Five Grand – If You Can Meet the Learning Styles Challenge

Uppin’ the Ante: The Learning Styles Challenge for $5,000

Why Is the Research on Learning Styles Still Being Dismissed by Some Learning Leaders and Practitioners?

Noooooooooooooooooo! Not More Drivel on Learning Styles!!!

Voodoo and Foo Foo in L&D and PI About Learning Styles

New eLearn Magazine Article By Me On That “Learning Styles Myth”

Learning Styles: Wisdom of the Crowd – Not

Foo Foo About: Designing Instruction for Learning Styles Differences

It’s “Learning Styles” Deja Vu – All Over Again

Comment About 2007 Post About 2001 Newsletter Article on: Debunking Learning Styles

Learning Styles Don’t Exist – Intuitive or Not

Designers BEWARE: More Learning Styles “Crapola” on About.com

Truth or Not: Learning Styles and Brain-Based Education???

Learning Styles – A Bridge to Nowhere?

E-Learning “Learning Styles” Challenge for $1000.00

What is the “gap” in Generational Learning Styles?

Debunking the Myth – There Is No Such Thing As “Learning Styles”

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L&D: Focus on Tasks Not Topics

Topics Are Indeed a Means to an End

And at times a Topic/Topics may be a valid End in and of itself/themselves.

For example: a Policy change – for people already proficient in the Performance probably don’t need Task Training. They need Policy Learning.

Newbies might need Task Training/Learning – if they don’t have the prior knowledge.

As Always – It Depends.

It depends on the prior knowledge/skill of the Target Audience.

I’ve often been involved in ISD efforts where the new stuff needed 2 responses – one for the incumbents … with a short shelf life – used until all the incumbents have been caught up to the change — and one for new hires with a longer shelf life – so to speak. Whether the Response is a job aid or a self-paced set of content – or a some group-paced set of content – or some coached content.

As Always – It Depends.

If You Are Given Topics vs Tasks To Address

Try to determine how they apply to authentic Tasks and Outputs – and the Measures for each – or provide guidance on how the Learner can figure that out for themselves and then what/how to Practice – and from whom to get feedback from during and/or afterward that Practice.

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Focus on the Performance – and Enable That.

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L&D: Does Your Micro Learning Add Up?

Micro Learning Is Good

But so is Macro LearningIF that’s what it takes to get the learning job done.


What can be bad about Micro Learning is artificially breaking up/chunking it to be short/small … in order for it to be short/small – necessitating starting up over and over again for the Learner – or just jumping right in … and potentially losing many…

What’s This About Again?

I’ve conducted Existing T&D Assessments (ETA) in 75 CAD – Curriculum Architecture Design projects since 1982 – and what I’ve found over and over again is that the gaps and overlaps are the norm. Due to a history of One-Off efforts.

A Bottoms-Up approach – versus a Top-Down approach.


Gaps are One Thing – and may be appropriate – as not every need warrants a investment in Content Building and/or Buying. Due to the ROI forecast and/or perception.

Some potential Content items are more appropriately left to Informal Learning – what I’ve termed since 1982 as Un-Structured OJT.

But it is the Overlaps that can be the real issue – where differing language and models and methods potentially confuse the learners.

Using different terms and phrases that could have been uniform. And using the same terms and phrases to mean different things.

That’s not helpful to the new learners/Performers as they initially climb their particular Learning Curves.


Presenting learners/Performers and their management a suggested sequence of Learning Content so that they can down-select to meet their specific, local needs, is helpful.

That’s what the combo of a Performance Competency Development Path and Planning Guide can do. Note: Performance Competency Development Paths are also known as T&D Paths, Learning Paths, Learning Roadmaps, Development Roadmaps, etc., etc.


I’ve seen and used many terms for this Path concept since 1982 and used whatever the client preferred. You call it tomato and they call it tomatto.

Same diff – as we used to say back in the day.

Top-Down design of a Path – or Menu or Path of Menus – enables creating and placing Spaced Learning for reinforcement where the job itself doesn’t do that naturally. It allows for a better blend of Modes and Media.


In my models there are 3 primary Modes – for both 10-20-70 (Note: I’ve reversed the numbers):

  • Group-Paced: ILT or Webinars
  • Self-Paced: Webinars (recorded), readings (books, articles – on paper or e), Videos and Audios, etc.
  • Coached: Structured OJT and Un-Structured OJT by either a designated or certified coach or just any ol’ coach (boss, peer, customer, supplier, etc.)


In any event, both Micro and Macro Learning – 2 web pages or 2 week long courses – are best and appropriate if they are focused on Performance Competence.

Otherwise – why bother?



See my Reference Tab for over 400 free resources – micro and macro – on various aspects of my approach – The PACT Processes for T&D/ Learning/ Knowledge Management.

And my book 6 Pack which covers all of those methods.


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L&D: Thinking About Design Thinking

Thinking Beyond the User Experience

From Wikipedia

Design thinking is also an approach that can be used to consider issues, with a means to help resolve these issues, more broadly than within professional design practice and has been applied in business as well as social issues.


As the graphic above means to suggest – Customer Requirements lead the definition of needs – but can be off-set/negated by the Requirements of other Stakeholders.

The Customer Is King – Not

You wouldn’t deliberately go broke – to meet the Customer’s Requirements – would you? You’d send them to your Competitor – just kidding.

You wouldn’t deliberately break the laws – to meet the Customer’s Requirements – would you?

You wouldn’t deliberately destroy your marketplace reputation – to meet the Customer’s Requirements – would you?

Most wouldn’t – anyway.

The trick is to meet the Customer’s Requirements – and meet both your and their Other Stakeholders’ Requirements. Where somethings may have to give.

How to decide how to resolve conflicts in Stakeholder Requirements?

Look at them in a hierarchical manner was my approach. See some of my writings on this from the mid-1990s – and adapt them to meet your Situational Reality.

Additional Readings

The Customer Is King – Not! – 15 page PDF – the original version of the article published in the Journal for Quality and Participation in March 1995 – address Balancing Conflicting Stakeholder Requirements, and suggests that the Customer is Not the King of Stakeholders (despite the unfortunate slogans from the Quality movement despite Deming’s admonitions about slogans).

Published version: Balancing Conflicting Stakeholder Requirements – Wallace – March 1995 AQP

And the version in ISPI’s November 2011 Performance Express:  performancexpress.org-Stakeholders Beyond the Customers The Customer Is King Not


We all wish life in an Enterprise could be simpler. It’s just not.

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L&D: Enabling Timely Informal Learning

The Experts’ Needs Are Different Than the Novice Performers’ Needs

Experts need less Formal Learning – by and large – than the Novice Performers.

Informal Learning will happen all of the time for both – but the expert will learn differently – separating the wheat from the chaff – so to speak. Whereas the Novice can’t tell Foo Foo from Shinola – so to speak.

The same is true in the L&D profession. How many believe the Learning Styles Foo Foo?


Whadda I Need?

Is unique to each Novice Performer – based on their incoming Knowledge/Skills – based on their Education and Experiences. But it is merely all or a subset of the total set of awareness, knowledge and skills required to Perform.


And so it also varies based on the assignment variances from job to job – even with the same Job Title – as Job Titles are a  convenience for HR (pay systems, etc.) and don’t reflect the similarity – or not – of the actual assignments in the real world.

But you probably already knew that.


Whadda Ya Know?

If you start a Sales job thinking that asking Open Questions is the key to success and Closed Questions are bad …

Well, that’s wrong – as the research by Neil Rackham – of “SPIN Selling” fame – and his associates proved … waaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaay back in the 1970s.



Avoiding the Invalid

So if you’ve heard – as I had many, many times before I met and worked with Neil – that asking only Open Questions was the only route to Sales success – or you heard it as you took that first or next Sales job – you wouldn’t know to reject that notion and what to replace it with.

Here is that book – click on it to read more at Amazon…


Unless someone warned you and proved it – or attempted to prove it – as sometimes (many times) we cling to what we know and reject anything that contradicts anything that suggests that we are wrong. Unless someone “heads that invalid content off at the pass” so to speak.


Where Are the Valid Resources?

And even if I kinda believed that what I knew was wrong – or was suspicious about my new learnings – where do I go to confirm or deny those new things?

On the Internet?

(Excuse me while I LAUGH OUT LOUD).



Figure Out What Is Needed and Provide It 

Head ’em off at the pass – by doing Performance Analysis – which includes learning what the Outputs & measure are – what the Tasks and measures are – who does what – and what are the typical barriers that one might face and how to avoid and what to do if unavoidable.


Then you can systematically derive the enabling Knowledge/Skills – those that enable Performance Competence.

Here is a link to something that might help you with doing that kind of analysis:

Modeling Mastery Performance and Systematically Deriving the Enablers for Performance Improvement – by Guy W. Wallace, CPT – Chapter 11 of the Handbook of Human Performance Technology – 3rd Edition – 2006.

Note: this methodology was first published in this 1984 article in ISPI’s (then NSPI’s) PIJ in November 1984. Back in the day.

Warnings on What to Avoid Would Be More Than Nice, Too

Like warnings about the myth regarding designing instruction for Learning Style Preferences would be in my profession. For something on that – Learning Styles Foo Foo – please go here.


Recognize and Reward the People Resources

Find the Barriers to the People Resources – and get Management to REMOVE THEM.

And more importantly – create Recognition & Reward Systems to encourage the right people to act as Coaches, Mentors, Trail Guides, etc., etc.


Provide the Formal – Foundational Learning

Create a Learning By Design versus a Learning By Chance approach for your most critical performers.

Top management will know who they are – but might not be thinking about WHO enables or prohibits the achievement of their Business Strategy & Plan.

Prompt their thinking and engage them for the long haul.


Clients had determined that the current Informal Learning approach to learning their critical jobs just wasn’t cutting it.

I’ve worked on 75 projects to develop T&D Paths (a.k.a.: Learning Paths) since 1982. The front end of the Path – the OnBoarding portion orients people to the Enterprise, business, function, job, other jobs involved with the learner’s job, and provides the Immediate Survival Skills needed.

Then on to OnGoing Learning – including Spaced Learning – in case the job itself doesn’t do that adequately.

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Enable timely Informal Learning by supporting better Formal Learning on the front end.

Another recent Post about this – here.

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