I Cannot Predict. I Can Prepare

You leave the house this morning and predict that at 8:30 a.m. a knife-wielding person will rob you while you are filling up the gas tank of your vehicle. You predict that your vehicle’s right front tire would suddenly explode while driving to work. You predict that a co-worker would have a sudden outburst and threaten to kill another co-worker. You predict that you will spill your cup of coffee on your keyboard while searching the WWW. You predict that your wife will call you an idiot at least once today.

All right! I will give you the last one but if you can predict the former, you are a gifted individual indeed. I cannot even predict whether I will wake up in the morning. I can predict that if I purchase one more firearm, and my wife finds out about it, I will be building a nice two-story barn-like structure in the backyard in which to live. For the most part, I cannot predict a darn thing. The best that I can do is to plan for various events that may or may not occur to a degree where I feel satisfied with the outcome that unfolds in my mind.

In most cases, I think that we fly by the seat of our pants when addressing the challenges and opportunities that present themselves in our lives. We keep our vehicle’s spare tire inflated to the proper pressure just in case that we experience a flat tire. We “toters of personal protection devices” are aware of our surroundings when we are out in public so that no knife-wielding individual sneaks up on us. We have bug-in, bug-out, and ‘git-home-before-the-world-ends’ bags prepared and ready to grab at a moments notice. We have learned how to cut down a tree with a butter knife and skin a buck deer while it is on the run so that we do not have to waste a bullet. We have four sets of ‘Ghillie’ gear, one set for each season, so that we can blend into our surroundings at any time. We carry enough gear with us on a daily basis that our spines have lengthened by three inches. We have enough food and water stored in our homes to feed a small nation just in case the fertilizer hits the ventilator. We have a Faraday-shielded garage just in case of an EMP strike. While somewhat tongue-in-cheek, I think that you get the point.

The point is that while we cannot predict exactly when something might happen, we can analyze and plan in the event ‘that something’ occurs. Not only can we analyze and plan, we can carry this out further. Bear with me while I explain.

There is a tool that we can use better our efforts at addressing ‘that something’, and one that I have professionally used for over 40 years; the ADDIE model. In fact, you may have been using the ADDIE model over the years and never realized it. I am going to deviate from its original context quite a bit to show that it can be used in every phase of your overall ‘survival plan’.

The ADDIE model consists of five phases. The five phases—Analysis, Design, Development, Implementation, and Evaluation—represent a dynamic, flexible guideline for building effective responses to planned or unplanned events. Take a closer look at the model.

The ADDIE Model

Analysis Phase
In the analysis phase, we identity and clarify the event for which we are responding, goals and objectives are established, and the environment and existing knowledge and skills of the participants (including yourself) are identified. Below are some of the questions addressed during the analysis phase:

  • What is the event being planned for?
  • What is the desired outcome?
  • What types of constraints exist?
  • What are the delivery options?
  • What are the strategic considerations?
  • What are the learning considerations?
  • What resources do you have available/not available?
  • What is the timeline for project completion?
  • Evaluate your analysis.

Design Phase
The design phase deals with objectives, assessment instruments, exercises, content, subject matter analysis, planning, and resource selection. The design phase should be systematic and specific. Systematic means a logical, orderly method of identifying, developing and evaluating a set of planned strategies targeted for attaining the project’s goals. Specific means each element of the design plan needs to be executed with attention to details.

These are steps involved in design phase:

  • Document the project’s design strategy.
  • Apply strategies according to the intended behavioral outcomes by domain (cognitive, affective, and psychomotor).
  • Design the method of approach based on existing knowledge or experience of yourself and others.
  • Create prototype.
  • Evaluate your design.

Development Phase
The development phase is where you create and assemble the assets that you blueprinted in the design phase. Reviewed and revise your project according to the received feedback.

Implementation Phase
During the implementation phase, a procedure for training is developed. Preparation of the learners includes training them on new tools (equipment). Implementation is also evaluation of the design.

Evaluation Phase
The evaluation phase consists of two parts: formative and summative. Formative evaluation is present in each stage of the ADDIE process. Summative evaluation consists of evaluation designed for domain specific criterion-related referenced items and providing opportunities for feedback from the users. For example, inputs from your immediate family. Inputs from others familiar with background and knowledge (what is termed as Subject Matter Experts or SMEs) may also be useful although SMEs must acknowledge that they may not be able to relate to your specific needs, requirements, abilities, disabilities, etc.

The ADDIE model is a living model; it does not end when the project is completed. Changes to a project after it is completed are inevitable and must be considered in the long-term. As rotating, updating and using stored food items ensure freshness, you must update your ADDIE model at times to ensure its intended outcome.

Once considered only a tool for professional technical writers and training program developers, you can use the ADDIE model to address a myriad of projects. I have used it for projects related to technical documentation and training, maintenance projects on my vehicles, projects involving the purchase a defense platform for my family and myself, and a new project involving pickled bologna (Michigander’s will appreciate this one).

I may, depending on the responses to this posting, endeavor further into the ADDIE model and address each phase in a series of postings.

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About Taurian

Taurian is a U.S. Army veteran and former LEO and Defensive Tactics Instructor. Taurian also has over fifty years of experience as a Technical Writer and Training Program Developer. After leaving home at the age of ten without any shoes, Taurian continues on with many years devoted to the keeping and bearing of arms.

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