Sunday, March 27, 2011

ADDIE isn't Dead; it's just more Agile

By Jay Lambert

Readers of this blog know that I've been a big defender of ADDIE (Adapting 20th Century Training Models for the Future, ADDIE isn't Dead, how can it be?, etc.)

As a reminder, ADDIE stands for Analyze, Design, Develop, Implement, and Evaluate. Of course, we are using DADDIE now, having added Define to the beginning of each project. No ADDIE isn't dead. But it is evolving.

ADDIE should be considered circular.

We should stop looking at training as a single point in time and rather view learning as never-ending. Once Evaluation ends, that data should go right back into Define and further Analysis. By this means, our learning initiatives will continously improve and, as business needs are met, evolve into addressing the next most critical need. With the advance of technology, we have never had as much data readily available to us as we have now. We must use this ability to improve our efforts at every level.

This enables ADDIE to be more Agile.

And that's why the Agile method is so appealing. It seems everywhere we go these days, a major aspect of a project is speed. How fast can it be built and rolled out? In our frantic world, this is likely true no matter which industry you are in.

A circular ADDIE model meshes well with the rapid Agile development techniques so popular in software development today.  The focus of an Agile effort is to keep satisfying needs on an iterative basis. At its essence, Agile development is simple evolutionary design; get enough out to be useful, then come back and improve it, if necessary.

By merging this with ADDIE, you'll determine next steps needed in Evaluation and use that data to start off the next round of Analysis. As your program continues, you'll continously be improving your offerings and addressing the most immediate organizational and learner needs. You'll be implementing evolving rapid eLearning.

The speed in which we can effectively perform this with ADDIE will always be a factor. But I believe that by acting on only the critical needs determined in Analysis, then we can move quickly using the technologies available to us today. Then we can go back and begin again or revise what we have. Needs that aren't critical might not require training at all; think of the Five Moments of Learning Need.

Imagine a scenario where we keep addressing critical needs until there aren't any. Wow, that would be performance improvement in an organization.

What do you think? Would Agile ADDIE work for you?

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