T&D: IMO “ADDIE Is Linear” Is a Misnomer

Or Maybe Just Misunderstood

And I would acknowledge that too many in the T&D biz think that once you are done with Analysis (for example) – you are done with Analysis.


Not so fast I would say.

The graphic above portrays the major overlaps between the Phases in my adaptation of ADDIE.

But First

Last Thursday Dr. Tony Marker of Boise State spoke to my local ISPI Chapter. His title was: “Applying Agile to Human Performance Improvement: The Spiral HPI Framework.


I’ve taken the liberty (artistic license?) to change HPI to HPT (the original name – unless you go back far enough to when it was called PI – Performance Improvement).

The “T” was added, displacing the I to indicate – that it’s not about computers or other technologies – but to mean “the application of science.” And the “H” was added for a reason I am not quite sure of – but I would echo the late Don Tosti’s remarks that “all performance is a human endeavor” – and folks in the HPT/HPI/PI realm don’t often mess with mechanical systems improvements – leaving that to the mechanical engineers.

And – of course – ASTD took HPT and rebranded it to HPI. And then rebranded themselves as ATD.

Alphabet soup.

Tony spoke and presented some visuals that portrayed the overlapping nature of THE PROCESS (for HPT/HPI/PI or even ADDIE) where there is an iterative and overlapping nature to it. It’s messy. It was a good presentation of the issues and another way to look at it.

But it was not new to me – other than the language of Agile.

As a consultant in the biz since 1982 – and who does the vast majority of his work Fixed Fee – due to being burned via Change Orders more than once while at Motorola in 1981/2 – and vowing to never do that to my clients – and I have never used a Change Order in any project after several hundred efforts.

That’s because I plan in detail and do analysis in detail and use a FGP – Facilitated Group Process.


One thing about all this ADDIE – or SAT (Systematic Approach to Training) as the US military called it when I was new to the field (1979) – was that in my experience – with T&D Clients and other T&D Providers – is that few of them had a good mechanism to identify and get acceptance to the terminal business objectives – the performance – objectives and the learning objectives.

Nor did they have a good mechanism to uncover the other variables of Performance that impact the targeted Performance within the scope of the effort.


And then they – clients and providers – went about the ISD effort as if they were the Lone Ranger – whereas I’ve been going about it with the Calvary … a team of the right people to bring into my ISD processes … the Right Stuff.

And a lot of Confusion over Content – what to include, exclude, etc., was due to a bottom-up approach rather than a top-down approach to the efforts. That leads to what seem like arbitrary decisions about what to include or exclude.


And then there is the whole issue of too many efforts being Topic-focused versus Task-focused.

And when I say Task-Focused I mean the Tasks and their Outputs that meet all of the Stakeholder requirements.

My approach is different – and was a deliberate attempt to avoid all of those issues. And it is all covered in my 1999 book: lean-ISD.


It’s also covered in my 2011 Book 6 pack – but lean-ISD is free (as a PDF) – and if you like that you might like the books in the 6 Pack.

Free PDF: lean-ISD (1999)

Click on graphic below to link to the download page.


Note: the cover design for “lean-ISD” was created by the late Geary A. Rummler.

Note: Guy W. Wallace’s book “lean-ISD” – was a recipient of a 2002 “Award of Excellence for Instructional Communication” from the International Society for Performance Improvement.

lean-ISD is also available as a $15 paperback book – and $7.50 as a Kindle – for more information and/or to order – please go – here.

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