T&D: Structured OJT as a Strategic Means to the Ends of Performance

This follows on my little rant in yesterday’s Blog Post about some of my former colleagues who seem to be reworking some of my past work on OJT – On-the-Job Training and presenting it as their own.

Structured OJT and Unstructured OJT

Unstructured OJT – On-the-Job-Training – is how I used to refer to what later became known as Informal Learning.

UnS-OJT or US-OJT was my shorthand for it.


Where the Performer would learn something “by hook or by crook” as we explained how certain “required” knowledge and skills would be handled (or “not handled” actually) in the CAD – Curriculum Architecture Design. For K/S items such as: putting toner in the copy machine, or using the phone system, or knowing how to use the corporate library, and other “low hanging fruit.”

The decision to leave certain K/S Items to Un-Structured OJT (Informal Learning) was always made by the Design Team – a team of handpicked Master Performers and sometimes Other SMEs, Supervisors and Novice Performers.

Handpicked by the client and the Project Steering Team (PST) – for political purposes – and to ensure credibility of the design data and decisions once that was reported out to the PST in advance of them making the Implementation Decscions – which included prioritization for funding the build or buy efforts that always follow a CAD effort.

The next step up from that – Un-Structured OJT – in my approach/methods – was S-OJT – Structured OJT.


An Early Reference to my Use of Structured OJT (1996)

I see via Google that … “Structured OJT. The term was coined by Prof. Ron Jacobs, OSU, 1995″ – however I’m pretty sure I was using it – the term “Structured OJT” – back in the mid-to-late 1980s.

This is one of my earliest references – that I can currently find in my electronic files – to my use of “S-OJT” … in this presentation I made at NSPI in 1996 (96 slides)…

Strategic Planning for T&D 1996

See slides/PDF pages: 31 and 32.

Strategic Planning for T&D 1996_Page_31

Slide 32…

Strategic Planning for T&D 1996_Page_32

And then there’s this video of me from 1995 – speaking to the Training and HR staff of Eli Lilly – where at about the 9 minute and 47 second mark – I refer to Structured and Unstructured OJT. This video is just over 2 hours in length…

Structured OJT Requires Structure

Here is but one way to structure what’s given to the Learner/Performer – and to the Coach … the Certified Coach … or the “any old” Coach…


S-OJT is mostly about Performance – performing Tasks to produce Outputs to Stakeholder Requirements – and less about Topics all by themselves.

My very first CAD – Curriculum Architecture Design effort as an external consultant (after my first done inside Motorola) was entirely S-OJT. Where assigned Experts would use the “modules” of the CAD to guide their tutelage of new performers (or experienced performers new to some specific Task Assignments.

Is This the 20 in 70-20-10?

In today’s language – S-OJT could be the 20 in 70-20-10.

Although Unstructured OJT could also be part of the 20.

Which is one of the reasons that the 70-20-10 – or as I prefer – the “Most 10 Before Most 20 Before Most 70” – doesn’t quite “do it” for me.


Add S-OJT to your list of Potential Product Offering Types.

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HPT Video Matinee with Jim Hill

HPT Video Practitioner: Jim Hill

This video was shot in 2008. It is 3:03 minutes in length.

This Video Matinee Series will be published on Tuesdays and Thursdays for the duration of 2019.

The HPT Practitioner and HPT Legacy Video Series was started by Guy W. Wallace in 2008 as a means of sharing the diversity of HPT Practitioners, and the diversity of HPT Practices in the workplace and in academia. The full set of videos may be found and linked to – here.

HPT – Human Performance Technology – is the application of science – the “technology” part – for Performance Improvement. As the late Don Tosti noted, “All performance is a human endeavor.”

Whether your label for HPT is that, or Performance Improvement or Human Performance Improvement, it is all about Evidence Based Practices for Performance Improvement at the Individual level, the Team level, the Process level, the Department level, the Functional level, the Enterprise level, and at the level of Society/World.

HPT Practitioners operate at all of these levels, as this Video Series clearly demonstrates.

Although ISPI – the International Society for Performance Improvement is the home of many HPT Practitioners – the concepts, models, methods, tools and techniques are not limited to any one professional affinity group or professional label.

ISPI just happens to be where I learned about HPT – and has been my professional home since 1979.


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T&D: Structured On-the-Job Training


I see that yet again some of my former colleagues have reworked some of my old writings, this time on OJT – On-the-Job-Training – in a recent article that they’ve published.

They don’t seem to ever have any original ideas.


The concept of OJT has been around for a long time. I started using it in 1981 in my first CAD – Curriculum Architecture Design effort while I was at Motorola.

My second use of it was in my 2nd CAD effort which was my first CAD effort as an external consultant on a project for Exxon Exploration USA in 1982.

Graphic from a 2007 Blog Post


Another Graphic from that 2007 Blog Post…


I have used the 3 types of Delivery Modes (Self-Paced, Coached and Group-Paced) since 1982. The specific Media choices came later. Those 3 represented increasing “Costs to Deploy” and increasing “Delivery Timing Inflexibility” – as we tried to keep everything in the CAD at the lowest cost and most flexible.

From a Blog Post in 2009 about a Curriculum Architecture Design from 1982…


This 1982 CAD effort was 100% Structured OJT Modules – as that gave the client (field operations) total control for the timing of the delivery. The T&D “Blueprint” was very faded when I took a photo of it in the late 1990s – as it was originally produced on Blueprint paper – as was our habit back in the early and mid 1980s.

Coach and Learner/Performer Guides for Structured OJT

This post from 2008 overviewed the possible structure of the ISD deliverables for the S-OJT mode of deployment:


Structured OJT

Is covered extensively in my 1999 book, lean-ISD.


In 2007 I made “lean-ISD” available as a free PDF – as well as a Kindle and Paperback. Please go here – for more info.

I So Dislike It When Somebody Tries to Present Other People’s Work As Their Own


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Weekend Reflections

Status Update

Swelling is reduced. All the surrounding skin is painful to the touch. Still need the pain med most of the time, especially through the night.


This past Thursday was only 3 weeks out from surgery, Day 22. Today is Day 24.

Feeling optimistic about the whole thing, which is quite necessary for getting up on that horse again for the right knee. For it too needs replacement – being bone on bone as the doctor described it. Both conditions due to arthritis.


One reflection to share is how I gave myself permission to do very little, work-wise, during my recovery period. And then lowered my expectations even further.

Which is tough for a Triple A type like me. Someone who used to tell those who inquired that I scheduled my spontaneity. Which was true.

I’ve scheduled and conducted only one phone call so far, and have another one in 2 weeks. But I can bail on the next one if needed, but I doubt that that’ll be necessary.

I’ve continued to post on Social Media – typically being triggered by someone’s post – that I agreed with or disagreed with.

I’ve read little, given my initial plans to dive into my Kindle library of unread books. I attribute that to the pain meds. I’ve been watching movies instead. I find that I prefer movies I’ve watched previously – as they entail less work to follow the plotlines. And if I miss something – who cares?

My only work is my Physical Therapy – twice a week at the local PT joint – and what I do at home.

As far as sabbaticals go – I may not accomplish much – other than heal. And that’s OK.

I’ve scheduled DO NOTHING for the next 2 weeks as well.

Hope you all are doing fine!

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T&D: Practice with Feedback Is Sometimes Best If It Is “Real Work”

Or Last Week’s Real Work

The only time Real Work isn’t best as the Application Exercise inside a Training & Development effort – is where the risks from errors are just too great and they cannot be mitigated/ can’t be fixed – before that real work (the outputs) flow downstream in the real work processes.


Then you might use last week’s real work – work that someone has already done and has made its way into the workflow.

But you pull out the initial inputs and have that be the starting point of the APPO – the Application Exercise – after appropriate INFOs and DEMOs have prepared the learner/Performer for their time in the barrel. And when they are done – you throw away the new Outputs and don’t let them enter the real work processes.

Performance Tests

In my view a Performance Test is just another APPO – Application – Application Exercise.

After an APPO that’s “Easy-Peasy,” and another that’s “Darn Difficult,” and yet another that’s “From Hades” – one could use the next Application Exercise as a Performance Test – or actually use the first 3 as a battery of Performance Tests.


The Book

In our 2007 book, Performance-Based Employee Qualification/Certification Systems, the late Ray Svenson and I wrote about Performance Tests – and using Real Work as one option.


Here on page 38…

Performance Tests can include testing via:

  • Performance demonstrations (real work)
  • Performance simulations
  • Talk-through performance

Performance Tests can deal with new real work, old real work, or simulations of real work.

Employee performance-based Qualification/Certification Systems 

Is available as a free 226 page PDF – here.

And it is also available as a $15 Paperback book – and $9.99*** as a Kindle – for more info and/or to order – please go – here.


It seems that Amazon has upped the price I set for the Kindle version ($7.50) when they pulled the rug out from under CreateSpace and merged that into Amazon.

I guess I’ll need to go investigate.

I hope that this doesn’t become an APPO From Hades – so to speak.

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