Tis the Season for Job Aids

As the end of the year holiday season approaches, it brings to mind my many year end tussles with poorly prepared Job Aids.

I’ve put together children’s toys, furniture, exercise equipment, and mixed drinks.

And nothing ruins the holidays than gift construction ReWork. Other than the mixed drinks of course. :)


Job Aids, or Guidance, Performance Support, etc., etc., are supposed to be Instructional.

And Instructions are supposed to be: detailed information telling how something should be done, operated, or assembled.

To ensure that they work as intended – do something that Bob Mager (Robert F. Mager) always preached:

“Always Alpha Test, Beta Test and Pilot Test.”

From a Past Post (2011)…

Whether your Instructional Content is Training, E-Learning , or Knowledge Management information, process maps, decision tables, lessons learned, demonstrations, application exercises, etc. – testing your content in an Alpha Test, or Beta Test, or a Pilot-Test – should focus on the 4 following aspects:

  1. Performance Impact
  2. Accuracy
  3. Completeness
  4. Appropriateness

Testing with the Target Audience is the ONLY WAY to test aspect #1. But the Target Audience cannot help you with Tests #2-4. How could they?


To review the rest of that Past Post – please go here.

To see Bob Mager talking about testing – see this 47 minute 1999 video of him delivering The Perfect Banquet Speech – at ISPI in Long Beach CA. See those comments beginning around the 34:00 minute mark.

Note – this video is chalk full of insider jokes and commentary.

And From NPR – December 26, 2015

Toy Stories: When Some Assembly Is Required

Christmas with children usually means lots of toys under the tree. And sometimes those toys aren’t quite ready for the kids straight out of the packaging.

The dreaded words “assembly required” can make any post-Christmas day more stressed than relaxed. We asked some of our listeners and readers to share their most memorable — and panicked — experiences putting together toys, with any advice for minimizing frustration along the way.

To read that NPR article – please go here.


Here’s hoping that your Holiday Experiences with Job Aids can be avoided entirely as I attempt to do – or that their use goes “as smooth as silk” – as the saying goes.

Happy Holidays!

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From 2014: My Top 5 Problems/ Opportunities* with the Learning Profession’s Practices

It’s been 5 years – and although I wasn’t expecting any kind of rapid turnaround – it is disappointing.

What are yours?


1. Lack of focus on authentic task performance requirements – too much focus on topics and delivery/access technology.

Too often the effort begins by listing the topics, and sketching out perhaps some very lame learning objectives – objectives that don’t scratch the surface of authentic performance – you know, the real job back outside the Learning Box – because there was no need for analysis when your cultural bias for action tells you to…

Just do it.

Performance Competence graphic

Instead we too often tout the shiny new technology instead of the targeted terminal performance.

Second Life anyone?

If the learning/ training isn’t “authentic enough” it won’t transfer – because it’s Learning/Training for someone else’s job. Or maybe no one’s.

And … only 5-15% of the population can learn out of context – and then apply it in a new context.

So if it’s not authentic enough – it’s a total waste for 85-95% of your audience.

Unless you’re …

Just lucky.

Will It Ever Be Different?

For the original 2014 post – please go here.

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Free PACT Processes Self Development Resources

PACT Practitioner Self-Development and Certification Paths

This page leads to 5 website “PACT Path Pages” – which are intended to provide guidance in using the Free Resources that Guy W. Wallace offers for the self-development of Performance Competence in the 5 Key PACT Practitioner Roles:

  • PPA– PACT Performance Analyst
  • PCD– PACT CAD Designer
  • PMD– PACT MCD Designer
  • PLD– PACT Lead Developer
  • PPM– PACT Project Manager


Note: “Roles” can sometimes equate to Job Titles – but more often the “Role” would relate to one of the “many hats” one might need wear in the conduct of their ISD job. One could be an Analyst and the Project Manager and delegate the other Roles to others, as one example.


Focus on the Performance Requirements – and Enable Them.

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