While it is a common practice for the Trainers to follow the ADDIE model to design effective training curriculum, ADDIE has it’s own strength and weakness.
Though many new models evolved to address the weakness of the ADDIE model, agile was very successful as it addressed a very difficult challenge that most training developers faced – how to accommodate a last-minute change.
Implementing the agile methodology in eLearning development process increases flexibility in a project while sticking to the same deadline and budget – two very important factors to succeed in the business as well as to keep the stakeholders happy.
Of late, agile methodology is attracting a huge number of training managers and developers. This could be for several reasons – agile methods enable you to adjust the courses based on the requirements as and when it arises. This is an iterative way of managing the design and development phases in the projects. This method tends to be flexible to an extent that it can even accommodate changes very late during the development phase.
Now let’s see how agile is different from the traditional approach. Agile reduces the complexity of the project by breaking down the project into small tasks that are less complex and easy to manage as opposed to the traditional approach where the project is managed. In agile method, team members play a vital role in managing the project. Each team member is responsible for managing the task and quality. The role of the project manager in this methodology is to manage the environment of the team and encourage the team members in decision-making.
While the role of a project manager in traditional approach is to manage cost, time, and project scope, the role of a project manager in an agile environment is to facilitate the team to achieve results by empowering them.
In an agile approach, you continuously respond to requirement changes and customer feedbacks as and when a new training module is rolled out, but that doesn’t mean the deadline is not going to be met or you will need more resources to complete it. It just means you are going to deliver what the client has asked for although changes might be required in the long run. This is against the traditional approach, which requires sign-offs at each phase.
Teams also use online agile tools to make the eLearning planning boards visually appealing and prominent. This makes it easier to remind the team of what they are doing and how accountable for the work they are working. The teams can make minor adjustments to the agile methodology to fit their organizational needs. These can include minor changes in the terminologies, duration of the sprints, iterations, and the way the training team works with other teams.
Since eLearning is somewhat different from software development, we blindly cannot adapt to agile, but with the right changes this can be a huge asset.
Now comes the question – Is agile methodology a perfect fit for all projects or organizations that are looking to develop bespoke eLearning solutions?
The answer is “NO”. Just like every other thing, there is no one solution that solves all the problems. Having said that, agile offers a lot of benefit that every organization should consider and some of these are:
- High customer satisfaction
- Improved collaboration and performance among team members
- Less risk of project failure
- Better project quality