Over past couple of years, I have taught a number of workshops on SAM (Successive Approximation Model) and have given even more talks on the subject. In these workshops and talks, I always get the same basic questions, which I guess makes sense since I am talking about the same thing. But, the one question I can guarantee I will be asked is, “How do I implement SAM in my organization?”
While I am happy to be asked this question, as I firmly believe organizations benefit from the efficiencies and improvement in quality gained in an iterative process, this is a tough question to answer! Truthfully, it is nearly impossible to answer even in a 2-day workshop, let alone a 90-minute lecture. Since I do encounter this question so frequently, I have learned to focus my answer on a few key factors that increase the likelihood of success.
Angel Green and I often use the phrase “moving the needle” to describe the efforts when implementing SAM in an organization. By “moving the needle”, someone is making incremental changes that produce noticeable results.
Let me share some of these incremental changes with you.
- Start at the start.
There is no better way to build excitement for the power of an iterative design than to kick-off with an active brainstorming and sketching session, which is called the Savvy Start in SAM.
Sure, we recognize that you might face resistance when asking for the full amount of time required of a Savvy Start (as described in the book), but perhaps you can facilitate a one-hour brainstorming session on a single performance event or objective. The energy and excitement generated from a robust brainstorming/sketching/prototyping event goes a long way to build credibility within the organization for a new instructional design approach.