Look under the hood of the most effective workplace training programs and you’ll find a common word used in planning processes, ADDIE. No, this isn’t a person. Instead, it’s a five-phase instructional design framework used by learning and development (L&D) teams to help employees reach their learning goals and for companies to drive business outcomes. 

ADDIE is an acronym for the five stages of the framework: Analysis, Design, Development, Implementation, and Evaluation. Workplace frameworks like ADDIE were designed open-ended enough to speak to a large percentage of organizations. This doesn’t mean you have to follow ADDIE as a linear process. Plenty of L&D leaders pull or even omit pieces of the ADDIE methodology to adapt it to a company’s unique needs.   

L&D teams looking to update or adapt existing training modules should also borrow from the iterative process of ADDIE. The framework leans on feedback for continuous improvement so that an employee training program never gets stale. 

Let’s examine the five phases of the ADDIE model.

5 stages of the ADDIE model for instructional design

To better understand the ADDIE model at work, we’ll apply its principles for outlining a hypothetical Diversity, Equity, & Inclusion (DE&I) program. This sample program is borrowed from Udemy for Business’s DE&I Learning Playbook. Udemy for Business customers have access to resources like playbooks to take the guesswork out of creating topic-specific training programs. 

Take note that the Udemy L&D team has put their own spin on the ADDIE model by grouping the Design and Development stages and adding an additional stage, Evolve.  

1. Analyze: 

Identify your training program’s desired business outcomes and look at how they can result in impactful business outcomes for your company. Start by building an understanding of the resources needed and the people required to create the program. Also, imagine how the program can evolve over time.

Analyze for a DE&I program: 

Kick things off by assessing your company’s DE&I learning needs and identify the business outcomes the program will drive. Then, before you set goals for the program, reflect on questions like: “What DE&I initiatives, goals, or learning programs are already in place in your company? Who is involved with these initiatives? What are the biggest opportunities for improvement? What knowledge gaps exist?”

2. Design and develop

Some list “design and develop” as separate stages, but we believe these stages should work in tandem. In this phase, you want to design and develop the learning program. This includes planning learning activities like online courses and events that align with your program outcomes.

Design and develop for DE&I program

Based on the outcomes and goals you identified in the Analyze stage, narrow down which topics and activities to include in your DE&I training program. Cut ideas that, while great, don’t align with your overall goals. Then, begin developing the program by identifying roles and responsibilities, creating custom DE&I content, and scheduling employee events. 

3. Implement

It’s time to implement the program! First, generate awareness for the program and desire to participate and learn. Use principles from the ADKAR change management model to generate employee enthusiasm for and engagement with the program.

Implement for DE&I program:  

As you launch the program, build awareness and desire within your workforce. Encourage employees to participate by connecting the program with a greater sense of purpose to their career goals. For example, skills learned in the DE&I learning program are critical for effective teamwork and management.

4. Evaluate

After you kick off the program, measure the program outcomes and evaluate the impact it’s having on your business. Track employee data for program participants to see if there is a change in their productivity, retention, and innovation. Upticks in these areas indicate employees are putting learning into practice and that the program has had an impact.

Evaluate for DE&I program

Use a survey to track employee engagement with the DE&I program. Elements of employee engagement tied to diversity, equity, inclusion, and belonging include: feeling that someone at work cares about you, your opinions are respected, belonging, and opportunities for growth and development. Strong scores in these categories can indicate that your program is succeeding in making employees feel included.

5. Evolve

We think it’s essential to add one more step to this framework (hence why we grouped Design & Develop together): Evolve. As your company changes over time, your learning program must adapt and respond to new needs, reinforce learning in new ways, and keep up with evolving company culture. 

Evolve for DE&I program: 

Leverage your company’s regular quarterly or yearly planning cycles as an opportunity to evolve. Respond to changing needs with updated content. Continuously align the program to your company’s desired business outcomes.

Put ADDIE to work today

The simple framework of the ADDIE instructional design methodology ensures it has a straightforward implementation for companies of all sizes. Plus, connecting ADDIE to L&D organizational goals means you’ll never have to start over with your learning and training programs. Instead, you’re constantly evaluating and evolving the program to align with business needs. 

Want to try it for yourself? Talk with our learning experts about building development programs for your workforce and using our entire collection of L&D playbooks.