Almost Always the 1st Phase: Project Planning & Kick-Off

Before Your Version of ADDIE Starts 

… Or SAM….

Sometimes it is for a Workstream, one of many, in a complex effort.

But most of the time for me, since 1982, it’s been a discreet project. A CAD – Curriculum Architecture Design project effort, or an MCD – Modular Curriculum Development project, or one of my many non-instructional design projects… such as Qualification/Certification Systems and Tests design, development, implementation, etc.

But whatever they are – they start off with this…

PP and KO Graphic

Now, those readers really paying attention will note the 2-part nature of this graphic and approach.

A one-two punch as it were. By design.

As in my adaptation of ADDIE…

MCD 6 Phases

The Planning Part

“Plans are nothing, Planning is everything,” – according to Ike (Dwight Eisenhower) after helping lead the allies in WWII.

Agreed. I like Ike and that quote.

But some places don’t like planning and especially detailed planning.

Do what you’ve got to do and present a Plan appropriate to the culture – meaning you might have all the stinkin’ details in your Back Pocket Plan – because the culture doesn’t like/appreciate/ever wanna see Detailed Planning.

Proj Plan Outline

I disagree. But I respect.

And I show them a high-level Plan – and keep the details to myself – until they inevitably ask about some details – in their reviews, in their challenges. Then I only show them that part of the details.

Invariably they want to see more. Then or later.

The Kick-Off Part

I Kick-Off a Project with a Project Steering Team F2F if at all possible. Not always possible – which means the interactions, engagement prior, is even more critical.

And of course what you do and how you do it depends on many variables, how well you personally know everyone, how well they all get along, etc.

It’s a business meeting. Filled with all the intrigue, political power plays, etc., as all of your other meetings I would guess. There is either that kind of drama going on in the background or up-front, or there is not. Deal with it if there is.

I also Kick-Off the Project with each new Team as they come on-board for the effort. I explain what went on in Phase 1 and what has been happening since the need for the project effort was determined. And I use it to paint the picture of the way forward – in each project.

First in The Flow

Examples of the First Phase in one of the project-organization-scheme models I use to help EVERYONE understand what we are doing and in what order – a Map – follows.

I use this when explaining that one CAD effort leads to many MCD efforts.


See – it’s used twice in this graphic above.

Which one might expect when one is using a systems engineering of performance-required enabling Content effort first – which then leads to many ISD efforts to build out the gaps – as determined in Phase 4 of CAD – leading to the planning of one or more MCD efforts in one or more Phase 1: Project Planning & Kick-Off.

Ending With a GRM

This Phase/Step/Whatever ends with a GRM – a Gate Review Meeting. Many Phases, but not all, do.

And this one, the first one, is special.

Its got the Upside down Traffic light – making it a Go-light versus a Stop-light – which is how I designate the GRM on these maps/visuals.

EPPI Stage 1

In a CAD or MCD or other (EPPI) effort.

This is always key. The first GRM. It sets the stage for the project and perhaps more.

And there should never be surprises from you – to the attendees – as you should have engaged them and provided enough background so that they come with some with their serious questions, names and locations to nominate, etc. and don’t get blind-sided.

This is where you or someone – in the first GRM – facilitates the team in charge to review objectives, obstacles, plans, people and other resources necessary to the Plan.

Which is always critical.

So do it well!

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One comment on “Almost Always the 1st Phase: Project Planning & Kick-Off

  1. Pingback: L&D: No Plan Is a Plan | EPPIC - Pursuing Performance

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