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Seb Anthony

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Rapid design techniques, what are they? Where do I get more information?


I have been tasked with changing the design process within a large organisation. Changing from a process led, slow to deliver culture to something that is far quicker and can be designed almost intuitively.
As I am responsible for training and learning across the board, from legislative through to leadership, how can rapid design techniques help?


2 Responses

  1. Designing training
    There is no one magic formula. Some favour Accelerated Learning approaches, but creating good materials to appeal to all the senses still takes time. Others favour small design teams of 3-5 people – good for the initial creative ideas and ideal for sharing the workload.
    In my view, however, there are two key factors. Firstly, the designer should be highly experienced. A few large organisations still employ the dedicated design team concept (lower grade staff in a design factory seperated from delivery). This is a sure fire recipe for slow, expensive and unpopular designs. A good designer/deliverer will design a course in a tenth of the time that is the norm in these old fashioned structures. The design time should be measured in hours and days not weeks or months.
    Secondly, some organisations employ trainers and then don’t trust them. If you cannot trust them then don’t employ them. And if you do trust them then don’t insist on rigid scripts (which are inflexible, slow to write, always queried by the technical ‘experts’ and are rarely stuck to anyway). Good design can exist in the lightest of frameworks – just enough to aid the trainer. The acid test will come in the assessment or evaluation, especially post-course. Good designs should work with different groups, with different trainers, in different venues but deliver the right learning (often different learning for different groups) that links to consistent, measureable business results. If a design acheives this, who cares if it is one page long or 50?
    Some trainers need more from a design than others. But to do the training any deliverer must know the content so why write it down in the ‘brief’ (if they need to refresh their memory there are always the handouts). The brief should be just that. In fact, briefer than I am being now!
    Just as a quick final point, there is a similar discussion on the CIPD web site ( on understanding best practice in training design.

  2. RID

    Have a look at the “Any Answers” design ratios thread of 12th July for suggested rapid instructional design (RID) resources.


    Scott G. Welch


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