CAD – Curriculum Architecture Design

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Curriculum Architecture Design projects are undertaken for the most critical target audiences only. They produce “performance-based” Training or Learning Paths, Planning Guides – and priorities for all of the Curriculum’s gaps and maintenance needs.

This then leads to guided RAPID Development – where the Analysis and Design have already been done! - 2019-06-28T113219.264.gif

Development of Instruction & Information needed before, needed during and needed after the moment of need – and Performance Support. Our belief is to enable Performance via the most effective and efficient approaches – in an appropriate blend.

CAD efforts can take from 2 weeks to 4 months – and will evaluate all your existing content for its reuse potential.

These proven efforts lead to a modular curriculum designed to develop targeted Performance Competence – authentic performance – not Competencies – not just a curriculum of modules. A collection of courses.

Guy has done 76 of these to date (12/2018).

Here is a 2 page PDF listing my CAD experience up through the end of 2014:

Guy W Wallace – CAD History – April 2014

Align your On-Boarding to the Performance Competence Requirements of the job and improve performance quicker, reduce turnover and get more return for your investments!


Guy W. Wallace has been conducting CAD projects since 1982 – and has now completed 76 since that first.

This methodology provides a structured, gated, in-control process for the fairly quick design of the overall curriculum architecture, or learning architecture. The design meeting may take two to four days and generate the macro-designs for all of the T&D Events in the curriculum architecture.

The CAD analysis process outputs of Performance Models and Knowledge/Skill Matrices are used to drive the CAD design and ensure it results in a performance-based orientation instead of a content/subject matter-based orientation.

A CAD is built to support job performance. It creates an architecture of T&D Modules where shareable and unique modules of content are used to create performance-based T&D products such as courses; workshops; structured, on-the-job training; CBT programs; book reading assignments; project assignments; etc. These modules can be configured many ways, thus maximizing the shareability of content across various target audiences.

A CAD segments and organizes the content of training to ensure the greatest impact on an organization’s performance while minimizing life-cycle costs. It helps to prevent the allocation of resources to training that have little or no impact on job performance. Many T&D Modules and Events are never developed/acquired because there are no positive returns or economic value add. So why bother? You wouldn’t if it was your money.

A CAD builds a design for a training curriculum with individual parts that add up to a logical whole within the context of a given job or category of position. It ensures that all training works together to produce the desired results by providing employees with all the knowledge/skills needed to perform. A CAD’s modular design includes both shareable and unique modules creating the capability for infusing the enterprise with a more common language, viewpoint/perspective, culture, and the local unique needs. It contains generic content chunks and specific content chunks. Then the existing T&D can be assessed for fit, and gaps in the curriculum can be identified.

A CAD project engages the training customer in the prioritization of all training development efforts targeted to fill gaps in the overall architecture of T&D. All of the priority training content really required becomes visibly apparent to the training customer. The customer’s knowledge regarding the affect of training on specific areas of performance allows them to prioritize gap training development efforts that will help them meet their business needs. The collaboration creates many win-wins.

The CAD’s architectural design will help reduce the overall life-cycle costs of the entire T&D product line. Initial, “first costs” will be reduced by eliminating and minimizing redundant content development. “Life-cycle costs” will also be reduced because there will be no redundant content to maintain. This systematic approach to the modularization of training content will reduce maintenance and administrative costs.

The CAD’s macrolevel analysis and design outputs become guiding MCD inputs to the midlevel analysis and design efforts, and they are further leveraged in the IAD’s microlevel analysis and design activities.

CAD projects typically span a 1- or 2-month cycle depending on the ability to get “all the right people involved” in the key tasks and meetings, but small CAD projects can be conducted in as little as five days without formal documentation.

Guy W. Wallace has used this methodology to help a pharmaceutical company develop 90 days of technology transfer training for their proprietary processes after two days in analysis and two days in design.

Although the analysis and design data was very macro-level, it guided the development efforts. The end results were very close to all initial estimates for both development time and deployment time. This project was also a hybrid effort of both the CAD and MCD processes.

CADs almost always lead to multiple MCD projects, where there is a clear, key business priority. Many potential T&D products identified during the CAD process are never built because the ROI and EVA figures or the strategic value to the enterprise do not warrant the efforts and expenditures.

Just because T&D professionals are skilled at uncovering T&D requirements does not in and of itself warrant meeting those needs.

The PACT Processes can save the organization from low-value T&D and steer the resources to T&D with strategic, business-critical, high-payoff implications. And it can do it without overly complex ROI algorithms.

A number of methodologies are used throughout the CAD project; however, the most critical from both a quality and cycle time standpoint is the use of teams throughout all phases.

The use of appropriate company personnel on the designated project teams will ensure higher quality of both the project inputs and outputs. In addition, it will provide for a level of participation in the project activities that will create increased ownership of the results and more support for eventual implementation.

The project’s overall structure for key roles and the teams is as follows:

  • Project Steering Team
  • Customer-side project manager
  • Supplier-side project manager
  • Analysis Team
  • Design Team
  • ISD Team

CAD Phases

CAD Phase 1: Project Planning & Kick-off. In this phase, the project priorities, direction, and resources are defined. Potential issues and/or stakeholder requirements should be uncovered and planned for during this phase to ensure the success of remaining phases.

CAD Phase 2: Analysis. The purpose of this phase is to establish a common view of the positions, personnel, performance requirements, and knowledge and skill requirements. In addition, demographic information about the target population and information about existing training will be gathered. This common view will form the basis for the CAD and all priority-setting activities later in the project.

CAD Phase 3: Design. The purpose of this phase is to produce a CAD to address the performance tasks and knowledge/skills derived in the Analysis Phase. In this phase, tradeoffs may need to be made in order to maximize the return on investment for the overall corporation.

The intent is to create a CAD that is robust to future variation in job assignments; individual trainee experience, background, career goals; delivery facilities; and maintenance requirements. It also needs to be designed for content “updatability” and future adaptability to potential changes in the business (e.g., organization structure, competition, technology, etc.).

CAD Phase 4: Implementation Planning. In this phase, the priorities will be established by the Project Steering Team for all of the T&D Events (and T&D Modules) and will be translated into a CAD implementation “development/acquisition plan.” The plan could include deployment planning and other T&D systems and infrastructure requirements, depending on the situation within the T&D organization and/or the enterprise.

CAD Benefits

Quality, performance-based T&D exists exclusively to improve human performance, and that human performance exists within the context of business or organizational processes. Any other goal for T&D has almost zero ROI.

The CAD’s architectural design will help reduce the life-cycle costs of the entire T&D product line.

The T&D Modules can be configured many ways, but if they follow the “rules of modularity,” they will maximize the shareability of T&D content across various potential target audiences. They will create and/or reinforce common language across more target audiences, while also reducing the T&D suppliers’ costs by reusing content chunks over and over again (but only as appropriate!). Elsewhere in business, especially in design engineering, this is known as configuration control or platform design.

The Long History of The PACT Processes and Curriculum Architecture Design

This page includes a large comprehensive, compilation of Articles, Presentations, Columns, Audio Podcasts, Video Podcasts and Books on the topics of PACT and CAD (CAD is a sub-set of PACT) – access that – here.

76 CAD Client Projects Since 1982

Guy’s List of 75 CAD – Curriculum Architecture Projects – Alpha By Client

Clients – Target Audiences/Processes – Year

Abbott Laboratories

  • Market, Product and Sales Management 1993

Alcoa Labs

  • Scientists, Engineers, Technicians, and Administrative 1984


  • Network Services Management 1989


  • Distribution Services Second-level Management 1989


  • ISD Staff Coaching and Support 1996


  • Project BEST 1996


  • Team Training 1993

ARCO Alaska

  • AMPS 1990


  • AETM 1984
  • Switching Technician 1984

AT&T Microelectronics

  • Product Management 1988

AT&T Network Systems

  • Global Contract Management 1994
  • Product and Market Management  1993
  • Marketing Personnel 1991
  • Network Systems Sales 1989
  • Switching Business Unit Sales 1988
  • Product Manager 1986

Bandag, Inc.

  • Franchise Dealership Management 1996

BankAmerica Corporation

  • Financial Relationship Managers 1998

BankAmerica Corporation

  • Retail Branch Personnel and Management 1997

Bellcore Tech

  • Web Masters 1996

British Petroleum—America

  • Front-line Retail Personnel 1991


  • Information Specialists 1984

Change Healthcare

  • Sales Representatives 2018

Chamberlin Edmonds – Emdeon

  • Healthcare Representative 2013

Channel Gas Industries/Tenneco

  • Fixed-rate Personnel 1983

Commerce Clearing House (CCH)

  • Sales Representative & Sales Management 1993

Data General

  • Sales 1993

Detroit Ball Bearing

  • Field Sales Managers 1992

Digital Equipment Corporation

  • Program Management 1991

Dow Chemical

  • Safety Training 1987
  • Secretarial/Administrative 1986
  • Top Operator 1986

Eli Lilly and Company

  • Clinical Trials Process participants 2004
  • District Sales Managers 1999
  • Leadership and Management 1997

Exxon Exploration USA

  • Geologists/Geophysicists 1982


  • Engineering 1992
  • Engineering 1994

General Dynamics

  • Electrical/Electronics Assembly 1991
  • CATIA System Designers 1991
  • MRP II – Manufacturing Personnel 1991
  • Software Engineering 1991
  • Composites Bonding & Fabrication 1990
  • Quality 1989

General Motors

  • Tool & Die Supervisors 1997
  • Product Engineers 1996
  • Brand Management—Europe 1999
  • Brand Management—North America 1999
  • Internal Controls 1998
  • Metal Fabrication Division Area Managers 1998
  • Global Dealer Auditors 1998

GTE Service Corporation/Verizon

  • Wholesale Billing Call Center Personnel 2000

Hewlett Packard

  • Order Fulfillment (Order Processing) 1993
  • Information Technologists 1991
  • Information Technologists 1989

Illinois Bell

  • Second-level Manager 1986
  • Data Technician 1986

Imperial Bondware/Federal Paperboard

  • Sales Training 1993

MCC Powers

  • Fire and Security 1985
  • ATC Branch Personnel 1983


  • Design & Manufacturing Engineering 1983


  • In-Branch Sales Orientation 1986


  • Middle Manager 1987


  • Supply Line Management 1990

Norfolk Naval Shipyard

  • Production Supervisors & Zone Managers 2003

Northern Trust Bank (Chicago)

  • Trust and Financial Services 1988

Novacor, Corunna Site

  • Operations Management and Self-regulated Teams 1994

Occidental Petroleum Labs

  • Laboratory Personnel 1991

Siemens Building Technologies, Inc.

  • Sales Engineering 1998

Spartan Stores/ISSC

  • Companywide 1993

Sphinx Pharmaceuticals

  • Combinatorial Chemists 1996

Square D

  • Quality Training 1990

Valuemetrics, Inc.

  • Associate and Senior Associate 1995


  • Consumer Sales Call Centers 2001

Westinghouse Defense Electronics

  • Technical Operators (WICAM/IAG) 1983
Review a short project overview for each of these efforts – see the links mid-page – here.
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A Video My Clients at General Motors University Created in 1997

To help their internal clients understand the process and the value of the outputs.

The latest book (2011) on Curriculum Architecture Design:

For book information and ordering please go here.

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