DACUM (Design a Curriculum Model) is a needs analysis method in which individuals who actually perform the job work in collaborative groups to identify the essential elements needed in that job. This is valuable since there can be an unrecognized gap between management perceptions of a role and the applied practices of that role.
The result of a DACUM is a job/task analysis that reflects that role as practiced. This is useful to:
Capture work place processes as currently experienced by the individuals performing the work at a given point in time. This may or may not match management perceptions of their role.
Identify often overlooked processes that are interrelated with other workflow processes.
Avoid overlooking commonly performed but essential competencies needed for success. Such competencies are often overlooked when training objectives are developed by persons who no longer work in that role.
Improves organizational communication by clarifying the expectations for stated goals, objectives and values
The findings are used to develop goals and objectives for future training initiatives.
Reading a DACUM
The partial DACUM illustrated below provides an example of the type of information collected by this method.
If the text is blue and underlined, there is a further break down of that duty on a duty chart that is linked to the master chart for that role. The participants identified the master items but believed that additional information is needed to clarify this task.
Each expanded duty is reported on a separate duty chart. There will be many duty charts in a completed study.
EL – refers to a task that an entry level worker would be expected to master within the first few weeks of employment.
CC – refers to critical content. These are content or skill sets that must be mastered to succeed in a role. If the worker cannot perform these tasks, they will not likely succeed in that defined role.
The items listed within the arrows are duties for the examined role identified by the workers in that role. Each duty is broken down into sub duties as needed to clarify the meaning of that duty. For example in this study, Duty A: Customer Service has five (5) components:
Work as a team.
Be knowledge in the profession.
Communicate with empathy.
In turn, each sub-duty is further clarified until the meaning of all items is clear. In this example, Duty 1A: Work as a Team is divided into:
Identify the customer groups that you serve.
Provide the policy holder with a consistent message.
Use consistent messaging and effective teamwork to respond to all stakeholder needs.
Determine when to inform management of problems.
Communicate with underwriting as needed. Work as a risk manager by keeping underwriting aware of risk exposure.
If needed, sub-duties may be further divided until clarity is reached.