For some time now I have been of the opinion that ADDIE needs to be broken in order to work properly in most organizations. I have been part of many water cooler conversations on this subject. We create written documents, host team meetings talking about our ADDIE process and believe we are following it. The reality is we are often frustrated about how projects just are not going the way they should be. In the end our training falls short. We have rapid deadlines and company dynamics such as how other parts of our organizations work to consider. So in order to get things accomplished we have to bend or sometimes break our processes. Much of this can be attributed to the fact that the speed of business is more rapid today. Companies change direction on a dime, launch products continually and time to market is compacted on order to stay competitive. The bottom line is businesses just do not function they way they did in the past. So why to we approach our training projects using the same linear process that we used 20 or 30 years ago? We are just not in-sync with our partners, SMEs and stakeholders.
We should also look at how much the technologies that we create and deliver training have changed. We use rapid development tools so we can crank out learning like a fast food restaurant. Would you like fries with that eLearning? We also have so many more options for delivering training that we did not have before. Lets face it how we train people is really different now. I know there are arguments over whether or not our training is any better today. I believe we are still figuring out how to properly leverage these new tools and technologies. There are some big opportunities here in my opinion but that is another conversation.
If you look at how the software development community has changed their process and workflows so that they might meet the demands of today’s business we may get an idea of how we could improve what we do. Most developers today follow and iterative process called Agile. It allows for a better workflow enabling a project to evolve and improve as needed all they way to launch and even post launch. This model has been a very successful approach for the high paced software development environment. I think it is time to look at how we can borrow from this.
Several years ago Allen Interactions left the ADDIE process behind for a more iterative process so that they could better server their customers and improve their workflows. It must be working for them because they continually produce award-winning learning for their clients.
I caught up with Michael at DevLearn 2012 to talk about his new book Leaving ADDIE for SAM.
Michael Allen CEO at Allen Interactions Inc.
Here is a great article by Richard Sites, vice president – client services for Allen Interactions titled It’s an ICE Time to Leave ADDIE Behind
Be sure and pickup a copy of Michaels book at ASTD.org