The change from large-batch to small-batch processing is the biggest change to the buyer’s processes.

  • The course design document may not change much.

  • Rather than see a storyboard for the entire course (large-batch) they will see only the storyboard for the increment or smaller portion of the courseware.

  • Rather than all the portions of the course stack up, waiting until the entire course is on the storyboard and approved before any development happens, a smaller batch of the course flows through storyboard and begins development with the rest of the course waiting until the contractor/supplier completes this smaller batch.

  • The increment the buyer inspected from iteration 1 gets their comments incorporated during iteration 2, so increment 1 can be done much earlier in the development lifecycle than with the waterfall approach. In waterfall ADDIE, the comments are not provided nor incorporated until nearly the end of the lifecycle.

  • Rather than only having stakeholders and subject matter experts review the courseware in a self-paced, asynchronous way, alone, they can also join the key conversations in a group-paced, synchronous way, together during iteration demos. Although timebox limits exist, these demos rarely demonstrate everything, but they do aim to evoke the most useful conversation possible between buyer’s staff and producer’s staff. Those stakeholders and subject matter experts concerned about more work are also protected because the amount of content in an increment is only what the contractor/supplier can build in a two-week period, the amount of content to review is substantially less than the entire course in one large batch of reviewer effort.

  • As increments get completed, the courseware is built up increment 'layer' by increment 'layer' into its whole when the last increment is completed.

  • Pilot testing of the courseware can be done in one large batch as before, or the buyer can now conduct the pilot course one increment at a time (especially for distance learning or if no travel is involved for pilot participants), parallel with development of the next increment. This can speed incorporation of the pilot participant’s feedback. Applying an iterative process to pilots is optional.

  • For buyers that desire lessons learned sessions with their contractor/supplier, the collection of lessons learned feedback should occur every two weeks, and tends to be mostly complete by the time a waterfall lessons learned session begins. This closer-to-the-action collection of lessons learned data tends to provide qualitatively better lessons because participants don’t have to search their memory from months ago, but for only the last two weeks.


Line By Line

Here a Little, There a Little, Layer by Layer.

Back to Overview