How well are you using ADDIE?

Intulogy is interested not only in what’s happening in our world but also what’s happening in yours.  We’d like to start a discussion about how effectively ADDIE is being used in the corporate training process.  The answer to that opening question may be, “as well as we can” and that may be OK.

I spent 20 years in the aerospace defense industry.  When it came to conceiving of, designing and building the next generation of fighter jet, guess what – you had to follow the entire process!

In the real world of corporate training you may just not be able to.  We’re going to contrast the ideal process with what can sometimes happen.

The ADDIE Process

The ADDIE instructional design model forms a step-by-step process that helps training specialists plan and create training programs.

Intulogy uses this popular instructional design model to help our clients analyze their training needs, design and develop training materials, implement training, and evaluate its effectiveness.

These five stages of the ADDIE model encompass the entire training development process from the time someone first asks, “What do people need to learn?” all the way to the point where someone actually measures, “Did people learn what they needed?”

Sometimes, Intulogy works directly with a client’s training specialists, who have studied the ADDIE model in graduate school. However, we’re often contacted by directors and executives who know their company has a training need, but they don’t know much about the instructional design process.

Intulogy’s training specialists share a flowchart of the ADDIE instructional design model with our clients. It helps our clients locate where they are in the training project lifecycle, and it provides a common language for us to discuss the project.  Please contact us if you’d like a copy of our ADDIE flowchart.

ADDIE In the Real World

The corporate world lives by project deadlines. You probably have several projects on your desk right now, and you’re already anticipating others that are on their way to you. If you want to stay current, you have to keep moving forward and meeting deadlines. Intulogy’s clients often have urgent training projects. Here are just a few real examples of projects from our clients:

  • “Our new software system goes live in ninety days, and we need a training course to support its implementation.”
  • “We’ll be hiring people in eight weeks, and we need to create a complete new-hire training course.”
  • “Senior leadership has launched a priority initiative that requires us to retrain people ASAP.”
  • “We just sold a new product to a client, and they want us to train their people in a month, but we don’t have a training course.”

In each of these examples, the client had a very important training project, yet the project’s timeline was driven by a business need.

Applying the ADDIE Model

The ADDIE model describes an ideal-world methodology. It assumes that training specialists will have plenty of time to create a great training program. Unfortunately, that’s not always the case. With an urgent training project, you have to balance quality and timeliness.

The ADDIE instructional design model represents a complete instructional design workflow. It has built-in planning activities, quality assurance checkpoints, and feedback cycles. Sometimes, it’s not possible to delay the training project’s go-live date. Then the question becomes, “What can we do in the time that we have?”

Balance Risks and Costs

Because the ADDIE model builds each subsequent step from previous steps, skipping one step can create ripple effects throughout the entire process. While it takes more time to properly plan and execute a training project, it will substantially reduce the risk and the cost of errors. Like every business decision, you have to weigh risks and make a choice. However, it’s best to be informed and make an educated choice.

If you’ve got a training project with a tight timeline, Intulogy’s training specialists can help you assess your options and the associated risks. With that information, you’ll be able to make an informed decision.  Sorry, I had to throw in that self-serving plug for Intulogy.

In our coming blogs, we’ll contrast each facet of the ADDIE instructional design model with a real-world corporate training perspective. While we can’t cover every factor that might affect a training program’s development, we’ll try to present some of the common choices in each of the five ADDIE phases.

If you have a real world experience you’d like to share with us please join our discussion.

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