Analysis: The Critical ‘A’ in the ADDIE Development Process

Karen Popular-Lawhorn
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There are so many new and varied delivery modalities for training today. And for good reason: we consume information differently today than we did even five years ago. We’re conditioned to want bite-sized pieces of information quickly and accessible on our devices in an instant.

Training professionals like me have had to adapt our approach to creating programs in this new reality.

For nearly 50 years, the foremost ADDIE model has been used by instructional systems designers and training developers as the most effective framework for developing course curriculum. The “A” in ADDIE is the critical state of analyzing needs and kicks off any development project. It encompasses what the curriculum should look like, the objectives, and overall customer needs which may extend beyond training course itself.

The five stages of the ADDIE process – analysis, design, development, implementation and evaluation – are followed for all training curriculum development efforts for our customers. But to get to the core of what a customer really needs, an additional focus is placed in that first stage, Analysis.

Analysis Starts with a Conversation

Having an intense and intentional analysis phase to truly explore all the components that will go into making a course or training program effective is critical to the success of the training effort. The analysis phase can get to the core of the real needs, which may require more than a training course. It may also include a supplemental communication or change management effort.

At GDIT, we begin with a conversation. Foundational questions are asked followed by tailored customer-specific probes to identify root challenges. Training experts – including instructional designers, 508 specialists, LMS coordinators, developers and user experience and user interface specialists – recommend how to shape a learning solution aligned with customer’s needs, scope, scale, cost and timeline.

Consulting Approach Increases Results

Our consultative approach exposes unrealized customer needs, providing an opportunity to educate clients on the vast array of options available to foster learning.

  • Stakeholders on one of our programs asked for web-based training. During the analysis, micro learning – small-sized units on immediate or short-term. skills-based initiatives – was discovered to be better aligned to program objectives, and the customer found incredible value from this training approach.

  • In another program, the client needed to drive understanding and compliance around a major security initiative. During the analysis phase, we discovered the best way to communicate information to the target audience was through video content. The training was produced to include a short, 90-second promotional video with a high-level overview of what was taught in the course. The video played on the agency’s intranet and in common spaces throughout the building. This video accelerated the overall goal of understanding and compliance in a way that a training alone never could.

Analysis done well not only achieves mission objectives but saves time and money. It’s such an important part of our process. Taking the time at the start of any learning initiative zeros in on the problem being solved, the root of the need, and the best solution to address it. And analysis doesn’t just happen at the beginning of a program – it happens at critical junctures throughout the program to ensure consistently delivered value.

Learn more about GDIT’s approach to training and learning.