AGILE in Instructional Design

This post will discuss the use of the popular AGILE process in instructional design. First before I start I will note – AGILE does NOT replace ADDIE. In fact, AGILE is just another way to perform ADDIE – and there are 1000s. There is not one correct way to perform the steps of ADDIE. When ADDIE was first developed by Florida State it was developed in a linear fashion but that was changed in the early 80s (1984 to be exact) after the military tested and updated the model. Each author, expert, company, organization, etc has a different way to do ADDIE. Thus ADDIE changes by entity and should be modified for each project to suite client needs and expectations – think of a blank slate where you follow the steps in the best path possible for the given project. AGILE is just one way of many ways to do ADDIE and a great buzzword! As a result we are always doing ADDIE, you cannot replace it. Now that I have said that…

AGILE was first created for software development to replace what is known as the waterfall method but has since been applied to many other industries.

So what is AGILE?

AGILE is a strategy that promotes iterative and incremental design and development in order to get out parts of a project to the client instead of the whole at one time (to save time). This is actually very similar to the rapid development strategies – they are for the most part exactly the same.

When can I use AGILE

You should use AGILE when you meet some of the same requirements that you have to meet to do rapid instructional design. It is not something that should be used on every project. Certain conditions should be met first.

1. Analysis is completed – without a proper analysis the project will fail. 70% of projects fail and poor analysis and management are usually the cause. This doesn’t mean analysis needed to be completed for this part of the project. You might know these clients and have done other projects with them so you can take some/all of that original analysis and use it.
2. Constant access to SMEs, Developers, and Graphic Artists (and person who signs off – i.e., client)
3. Project can be rolled out in sections – for instance 1 module can be rolled out by itself without the other 10 modules
4. Already have learning objects from other projects (optional and very helpful – cuts time) – this is not required though but will save a significant amount of time

How do I use AGILE

Here is a concept map from on how to use this process


Do you notice anything familiar about these? You should. They are just defining how to do steps in the ADDIE process. Here is the breakdown:

Align = Analysis

Get Set = Design and Development

Iterate and leverage = Implement

Evaluate = Evaluate

Updated 8/2018

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