Are You Working in L&D Strategically or Tactically? And Collaboratively?

Depending on your level, and job, you might be the one who needs to be thinking BIG PICTURE, see the Trees for the Forest and Forest for the Trees, and deciding if you are OK or not OK. And deciding what, if anything to improve.

With somebody else with their nose to the grind wheel to get the actual work done, is it you or others who should be thinking about:

  • Both Your On-Boarding and On-Going Performance Enabling Content
  • Gaps in Critical Contents’ Accuracy, Completeness and Appropriateness and the performance impact
  • Content Overlaps and 1st Costs and Life Cycle Cost Budget Implications
  • Investments in Generic Content Development that Won’t Impact Performance
  • Providing Communications, Education and Training Services with Differing Processes for Each that enable further variance

Are you really meeting the needs of the stakeholders in your On-Boarding efforts?

Do the Learners feel that they are prepared to be Performers when that time comes for them? Or is it sink or swim?

Are you delivering Topics without specific, authentic Task applications?

Are people generally prepared and Qualified/Certified to perform at a defined level at the conclusion of their On-Boarding?

Is your Content overlapped and gapped?

Are the overlaps “redundancy by design” or inadvertant?

What has all this redundnacy cost, in extra first costs, to develop/acquire?

What are the probable life-cycle costs for the overlapped content?

What might have been done with those redundant costs?

Are you forcing EVERY client need through the same Process?

Or did you give up long ago and now “just wing it” on every effort?

Is that predictable enough for your situation?

Is your current situation sustainable?

Does Your Content Architecture sync with your Organization and Process Architectures?

Does your New Product Development process, your ADDIE-like process, produce high quality at predictable costs and schedules?


Let’s Improve Performance together, collaboratively, with you and your key stakeholders.

For more about my background – please go here.

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What Does Your Certification Certify?

Does it certify performance competence?

If it does – it can be used in so many HR applications.

Performance Tests can be used in many HR applications – unless married to a generic Competency Model.

Performance Tests only work if they are tied to authentic performance, not generalized constructs of performance.

Performance Tests can be designed to be conducted under the most trying of conditions – if that’s what needs to be proven.

Or it can prove ability to perform under ordinary conditions.

A Performance Test should be a component of the APPO of a Lesson Map…

An APPO is an Applications type of Instructional Activity. The others are INFOs and DEMOs.

Performance Tests should be standardized, minimalistic. And…

As Flexible as Feasible – but always as Rigorous as Required.

This 2008 Book addresses both creating Performance Tests, but in putting in the administrative systems and processes needed to govern and operate the system.

There are 3 Performance Tests Types

Using these tests as part of an MCD or IAD effort – and as an IAD focus – is covered in this 2011 book.

Conducting the Analysis for this kind of Performance Improvement intervention is covered in this 2011 book.

What is key is Alignment – to the Stakeholders.

Alignment to the Stakeholders and their control are the keys to success for efforts such as Performance Testing Systems.

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

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

I have been battling the notion of “designing instruction for learning styles” in my own quixotic fashion for a couple of decades now. In my attempt to be a good steward of my clients’ shareholders’ equity I wished to help them avoid faddish instructional design practices that have been disproven by empirical research. I first learned back in the 1980s at NSPI (now ISPI) conferences that while self-reported learning style preferences do exist, that designing instruction to accommodate them has no basis.

When I posted yet again on this topic on my blog a couple of months ago and then sent a Tweet out about it—Jane Bozarth, EIC of this magazine, invited me to publish an article. I accepted and decided to reach out to the usual suspects, those in my professional crowd who know the research, for their inputs. As I am but a practitioner attempting to follow what I have learned over the years about the research, I am not steeped in that research and able to cite it, they can.

Go here for the rest of the article.

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Focus on Performance – and Enable That.

When serving your clients – stay away from the shiny objects that YOU lust after.

Simply figure out what performance they want and need – there could be a difference – and then help them figure out how to enable that.

Sometimes it requires RECALL by the performer in order to perform to the requirements. But not always.

Sometimes it could tolerate referencing some information and then performing – and then forgetabout it.

Mobile Learning is most of the time mobile referencing/finding.

All this cool whiz-bang technology should be put to good use. Appropriate use. For the long haul.

EPSS – is now a fairly easy reality. Let’s not screw it up.

Collaborate with your client’s – take them on the journey of discovery – even if you’ve already been down that trail.

Help them discover the possibilities. Help them make their own decisions about the shopping criteria to best meet their needs. Help them prioritize that. They live with the consequences. They live with whatever ROI results.

Focus on Performance. Together. As partners.


Focus on their organizational performance requirements – and collaborate to enable them.

This book above shows how to conduct such an analysis.

This next book presents a template for analyzing the development needs of managers that can be used to determine the needs of the entire department; and then many departments; then perhaps, all.

For info about these books – please go here.

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Being Smart Phone Smart

Let’s just declare the smart phone as the minimum height of the bar for learning, and a tablet or laptop the other options – with bigger screens. But the minimum is the half screen of some smartphone. Deal with that.

Regular, non-Smart Phones, cell phones that can receive text?  And send text?

Well support that too if that’s where one of your most critical of all target audiences in your Enterprise is at – on the e-everything technology side of things.

But that’s not where it’s at.

Today it’s about being Smart, very Smart, smart phone Smart.

Organize your data systems for access by the Process, by the Owning Department (upward), by the Phase (downward).

Walk the user through the steps of performance and provide guidance and job aids for key decision making. Use video clips. Use large text.

Use audio clips.

Have your Design Team of Master Performers (and other key SMEs) decide what to use when.

That way THAT will be feasible, if only but one of many alternatives in how to deploy/make accessible.

And it will be their approach. They will work to make it work.

And then they will own it.

Have them decide what to enable via formal training, e-learning, readings, peer interviews, on-the-job coaching, etc., etc.

Accessing information and instruction via the Smart Phone – now that’s being smart.

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Architecting Your Data Systems To Enable Enterprise Process Performance Improvement

ERP – Enterprise Resource Planning – the offspring of MRP and MRP II – the logical extension of the MRP II extention from MRP.

MRP – Materials Requires Planning. Focused on improving the quality, quantity and costs of materials from the supply chain through production into finished goods – or getting merchandise purchased to available as stock for sale, if not manufacturing or service industry.

MRP II – Manufacturing Requirements Planning – expanded the notion and tool-set beyond simply the materials needed for a process or the many processes that manufacturing, into all requirements.

ERP – Enterprise Requirements Planning – expanded the notion and tool-set beyond simply everything required for manufacturing into all requirements, for all Departments, Functions, Divisions, Etc..

Part of ERP Systems are People Sub-Systems – and the data to facilitate those.

In my perfect world those People data systems would be organized to align to the logical set of these: DEPARTMENTAL Areas of Performance (AoPs).

The intent of that model is to accommodate a Department becoming Process-centric.

This should enable them to plan and manage both the Processes that they own as a Department – that are unique to them, and also the Processes that they don’t own but that they support none-the-less.

The model also enables the use/re-use of common systems and processes, “as is” or “after modification” (if/as approved), such as those processes that might be used in Payroll, or Purchasing, or Sales to verify someone’s identity.

Many or few departments could embrace this common model and begin to uncover all of their shared needs. For enablers including but beyond knowledge and skills.

An Architectural approach to content for an Enterprise Learning Context would reflect the people’s’ job Tasks and the Enterprise’s Processes, and the common enabling awareness, knowledge and skills shared by a few, many or everyone. And may use T&D/L&D as one of many channels to send coordinated messages to improve awareness and knowledge and assist in skills development by local managers.

An Architecture would organize Content for Context.

An architectural approach to a modular curriculum would guide investments in targeted content – not just all content.

Managing what “is to be left to informal means” – and then insuring access and competence is developed to enable informal learning means is key.

Managing what is attended to by formal learning means and what is to be left to informal means – still needs to be enabled with policies, practices, tools, etc. that enable those informal means – which may look very different one department to another, and one cross-functional team to another.

A common view would tag the manufacturer’s user guide instructions for tools used and link it to all of the Processes where it is used.

A Data Architecture is required that accounts for many other “non-Learning & Development” organizations.

You can make this happen.

You can serve your needs to enable the Processes of the Enterprise more Effectively and Efficiently – by enabling unique Processes and standard Processes to co-exist.

The Micro-level and the Mid-level and the Macro-level data-sets need to be rooted at some “thing of value.” That’s why my analysis and design and development efforts are rooted at improvement of the Process, and Processes upstream that themselves enable the Targeted Process or Process-set.

Then there are People Structures, formal and informal that need active, visible roles and responsibilities – that transcend the department – that reach back into the supply chain and forward into the customers’ customers’ needs and your Stakeholders’ Stakeholders needs.

But that’s another Blog Post.

Call or email if you’d like assistance.

We come with references.

Some are here at LinkedIn.

I also do staff development in my methods – and have been doing so since 1984.

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