How SMEs And Startups Can Use The ADDIE Model To Improve Team Performance.

Many businesses today, especially Small Medium Enterprises and Startups, are talking about increasing productivity, improving efficiency and effectiveness, business sustainability and of course, increased profits. I have worked in small medium companies and start-ups all my life and I couldn’t agree more.

SMEs are the biggest contributor to a country’s GDP and it provides more employment than any MNCs. I am a strong supporter of government initiatives to help businesses sustain and grow as it also help to keep unemployment level low.

Businesses stay if they make profits. With high cost of living, rentals and manpower, entrepreneurs need to look into different aspects of their businesses and how processes can be improved.
One of the areas that managers and entrepreneurs can look into is staff development, specifically; training.

If you are a manager who wants to design a training programme as part of your staff performance improvement initiatives but with no training or curriculum design background, I think you might find this article useful.

There are many ways to design a training programme. One way is to just take 30-60minutes of your time putting some thoughts onto a powerpoint and voila! A training programme developed by you!

This is what I would call a training band-aid, a very short term attempt on staff development.

Alternatively, you could consider adopting certain instructional design framework and create a more comprehensive training programme which you could handover to your appointed trainer when you see fit. This will be a better approach if you prefer a long term plan.

As entrepreneurs and managers, it’s advisable that you create a process with succession in mind.

There are many frameworks that you could learn at ACTA (Advanced Certificate in Training & Assessment) or even Mr Google.

By the end of this blogpost, you should have an idea on how you, are able to design your own training program using one of the frameworks of instructional design.


What Is The ADDIE Model?

The ADDIE Model generally is a five-step process used by curriculum designers in creating an effective training programme. This 5 step process, which forms the name ADDIE, comprises of;
Analysis, Design, Develop, Implement, Evaluate.


Analysis – This is where the process begins. Objectives are established and skill levels of learners are identified. Some of the questions that you may want to ask yourselves are;

  • Are there rules and regulation governing your industry that you need your team to learn and comply with?
  • Is there any specific industrial practice or requirements that you need your team to learn and adhere to?
  • Do you want to include your company policies or regulations into this training programme?
  • Is there any feedback from your stakeholders or customers that you need to address?
  • Is there a role model from the industry and within the company that you want to emulate?


Design – In the design stage of the process, you as the manager will need to look into and address a variety of concerns in order to achieve a well-covered training program. These concerns includes

  • learning objectives- what do you want your staff to learn at the end of this program? Think about these three areas; knowledge, skills and attitude.
  • content – what information do you want to put into this program.
  • assessment instruments – how do you want to ensure the right learning is taking place.
  • What is the class size for this programme? Too big a class may reduce the effectiveness of your training programme.
  • What is the assumed knowledge of your current and future workers? Is the programme for fresh graduates, mid-career changers or experienced staffs?
  • exercises- do you want it to be just a pure, one-way classroom lecture or do you want to add in a variety of individual and group activities.
  • Do you have anyone with special needs?
  • How many training hours do you want your program to cover?
  • lesson plan- With all that content, how would you want to use them to train your staffs. What will be the sequence of delivery? Do up a storyboard if you can so that you can see the overall ‘picture’.
  • Use of media – do you have videos or animation to include in your program?
  • Do you have any training material from the past that can be improved or added into the new programme, if relevant?


Develop – In this stage, the ‘pieces’ that you’ve gathered from the design stage is put together. For any curriculum design work that I do, by the end of this stage, I would have;

  1. A Learner’s Guide
  2. A Trainer’s Guide
  3. Presentation Slides
  4. Lesson Plan with Course Outline
  5. Assessment Plan

Yes, it might be quite a daunting task if it is your first time doing this. When I do this for my clients, I will try to go as detailed as I can so that my clients, who were owners and senior managers in SMEs, will be able to take it and run it with their appointed in-house trainers.

Meaning, if I want to inject in Gagne’s 9 Events or Keller ARCS into the program, I will provide every video link, every activity for every stage so that any trainer could run with it.

Like a good cookbook, you can’t just tell trainers the process. You also need to tell them what ‘ingredients’ and ‘equipment’ is required.

Do you want to be as detailed? It is your call. Just know this; these training documents are like a movie script. Do you want to keep telling the actor his lines or do you prefer the actor to be independent and deliver the required results?

Before a workshop, a trainer will need to sit down and immerse himself with these documents, learning every activity and making sure the learning outcomes are met according to the specifics stated in these documents.

Without details, trainers will be required to research or utilize their own resources to run the program. Even though it is not a bad thing, the intended outcome may not be as what you would like.


Implementation – This is where you, as the manager developing this curriculum, will need to develop procedures for both facilitators and learners.

Facilitators should be briefed on the needed resources, curriculum, learning outcomes, delivery methodology and assessment procedures.

You may want to consider running a pilot test for this new programme of yours to help you identify ‘blind spots’ and make the necessary adjustment.

Students should be briefed on the program requirements and registration. If you require some form of pre-training preparation for facilitators and/or learners, do include it in.


Evaluation– This last part of the process will require you, the programme owner, to find out

a. if the all stated goals of the learning process will meet the specified needs.
b. how can the programme be further improved.
c. on-the-job coaching and/or assessment for performance after completion of the course required?

Simply put, this is where you find out if your programme works and if not, why? And remedy it. The evaluation process should ideally be an on-going process to ensure the validity and effectiveness of the training programme.

The last thing you would want is to teach something that is not relevant anymore.


By now, you would have learned how straightforward the ADDIE model really is. It is so simple that many developers have abandoned it and decided to adopt a more detailed model or framework such as Systems Design Model, Hannafin Peck Model and the Jerrold & Kemp Model.

I remembered at meeting with a training development firm when one of the training managers asked me the model that I often used.

I said ADDIE was one of the models that I used. Then he gave a sarcastic laugh and remarked that the ADDIE model is a very basic model. I was not sure why the sarcasm but I do agree that the ADDIE model is a basic model.

If he asked me differently or if the conversation had more time, he would have learned that I also use the Hannafin Peck model. In addition to that, I blend learning theories within the ADDIE models.

ADDIE model, to me, just like a project management tool.

I get to choose how to use it to create my content. In addition to that, the ADDIE model is so generic and adaptable that it could be used outside areas of training and instructional design.

Let’s not forget, other models still has ADDIE model at its core. Let’s take a look at one of them.

This is the basic process of the ADDIE Model.


The Hannafin Peck Model
This is the model that I use often. The Hannafin Peck Model has only 3 steps in its curriculum design process but every step will requires the materials to be evaluated and revised.

This constant evaluation and revision might be too much to chew for some developers but it is important so that both developers and clients have the common understanding before proceeding to the next step.

So as you can see, both models have similarities and both have been used successfully to design training programmes. From some sources, I learned that even the United States military is using the ADDIE model to develop their training curriculum.

Even though ADDIE may be a very basic model, the work behind is not any lesser.


For managers and entrepreneurs who are getting their feet wet in areas of developing training materials, ADDIE might be a good start.

As you progress, you will have the choice of trying out other instructional design models. For now, I would suggest that you get started using the ADDIE model in the way you see fit.

At the same time, you may want to inject in learning theories such as Gagne’s 9 Events or Keller ARCS for some of the topics within the ADDIE model.

Feel free to experiment and gain new experience.




Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *